Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
EASY & CUTE Mixed Media Idea for Fall [Full Length Tutorial - Easy Enough for Beginners]
If you're new to the world of mixed media art, you're in THE BEST PLACE!! I have so many mixed media ideas, tutorials & tips for you.
If you're intimidated by mixed media, or struggling with how to layer your supplies, I'd love to teach you my SIMPLE mixed media technique for layering my supplies (it's the exact process I used to create this adorbale fall fox!).
Simply download my FREE Mixed Media Hamburger Cheatsheet. I know, "hamburger" sounds funny - but I pile on my art supply layers one by one - like I'm making the perfect burger. Click the button below, and you'll see exactly what I mean!
After you click the button above, you'll get an email with your cheatsheet. Make sure you print it out because it's an awesome reference to keep at your art table.
Now you're ready for action and have TWO choices...
#1: Learn how to make this adorable fall fox (stay right here & keep reading).
#2: WATCH my entire FREE Mixed Media Hamburger Playlist on YouTube. There's a video for every single layer of the cheatsheet (you printed that out, right?!) to help you learn my signature process from start to finish, step by step.
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
Yay! I'm glad you stayed. Let's get moving on the fox project!
If you haven't met me yet, you'll soon learn I love hoarding art supplies as much as the next girl, but I ALSO love saving money and upcycling thrift store finds for my art.
One of my tricks is to purchase old record album covers to turn them into canvas! Kinda brilliant right? They're dirt cheap and I love the square shape.
You can also create your own mixed media fox on canvas, canvas panel, or in an art journal (just make sure the paper is super thick -preferrably watercolor paper). Do what YOU love!
If you're upcycling any old surface like a once glossy record cover, we need to cover it with a light layer of gesso.
Now it's time to start painting!
Apply a thin layer of orange acrylic paint. I love acrylic paint by Lukas Cryl. I discovered it years ago when my kids were tiny and I was REALLY on a budget. This stuff is gorgeous and lasts forever. I've been recommending it to my students ever since.
I wanted an edgey look, so instead of using a paint brush- I used the edge of an old credit card to spread the paint around. Looks cool, right? If you prefer using a paint brush, that's cool. Use whatever you have on hand. If you're looking for a new acrylic set of brushes, this is a great one.
Another cool element to upcycle in your mixed media art for collage is phone book pages or thrift shop books! I always look for the books that are on their last legs. The paper is thin and perfect for mixed media collage.
For the fox, I ripped up a page from an old phone book. Does anyone even get these anymore?! ?
Lots of people use mod podge to adhere collage pieces to their art journal pages and canvases, but I actually use matte medium. Why? It's designed to work with acrylic paint, and it actually has secret adhesive properties! I paint a thin layer on the bottom of my collage pieces, and another right on top.
Napkins and tissue paper are also excellent for mixed media collage. For this project, I had an adorable, floral napkin I was dying to incorporate. I peeled the napkin backing from the pattern side (this is really important because it makes your collage pieces thinner and easier to control). Then I ripped it into pieces and carefully adhered it to my piece.
If you struggle with getting the wrinkles out of your napkin pieces when you're collaging, this video is for you. It really demos my technique of using TONS of matte medium! I pour it on so there's a lot under my napkin pieces, and then coat them on top as well. If you think you're using too much matte medium, add more :)
Next start adding in some acrylics that tie in with the color scheme from your napkin. I did a very thin layer and used my finger to spread it into the corners to kind of tie things together.
My next step was to add a bit of texture. I love the look of polka dots, and I've found that painting a bit of acrylics over a corner of bubble wrap looks AMAZING in the backgrounds of my mixed media portraits! I've been doing this trick for years, and it costs nothing! Win-win!!
After I hit my layers up with my hair dryer, it's time to start making room for our adorable fox! To knock my background back a bit, I add a super thin layer of gesso all over in the middle of my piece. I used an old credit card here too, to keep that edgey look.
Next, I penciled in my fox outline. I used a black stabillo all pencil because I love how watersoluble it is. It smears when you add something wet to it from water to gesso. Some of my students don't like the unpredictability of the stabilo like I do. If you're one of these people, just use a pencil. When you like the way your drawing looks, start painting again with your acrylics.
When it was time to start adding in that fluffy white fur, I used more white gesso instead of white acrylic paint. I tend to do this a lot in my mixed media work because I love how the collage layers will peek through gesso.
As you'll see in the video, my stabilo lines activated here and there when the gesso hit them. I love how that softened the fox's edges and helped add shading to my little guy without even trying!
Once I felt happy with my painting layer, I sealed it all in with a layer of matte mod podge. Be prepared because that stabilo can activate again when your mod podge hits it.
Let this dry completely. Just walk away and do something else for a while. Or if you're impatient like me... hit it with your hair dryer or heat gun again.
When the surface is slick and dry, it's time to "paint" with our pitt pens! I freaking LOVE this step. It's like ice skating when these babies hit your canvas! If you're following along with your Hamburger Cheatsheet, this is Layer #5.
If you're loving the cheatsheet, this actually inspired not only the FREE 9-Part Series on YouTube, but a book by the same name as well. If you love the feel of a book in your hand, it's available on Amazon.
Once you're done "painting" and doodling with your pitt pens, it's time to add a cute quote. I love using stamps for quotes because I don't love my handwriting. Feel free to do either, or no quote! This is YOUR art.
Next to the last step is to pop in some highlights with a white paint pen. I love this simple set of three in varied nibs from Posca. I also love my Sharpie White Poster Paint Pen.
I love the look of a bold black outline, so you'll often see this in my work. I also love using a stamp pad and adding the look of black, distressed edging all the way around my canvas. Make sure you click over to the video to see exactly how it's done!
Just a quick heads up, when you do click over to this fun mixed media fox video, this was shot BEFORE I had even named my magical mixed media layering process, so you won't hear me talk about the burger layers in this video. You'll just see them in action, set to music!
Wanna learn TEN ways to save money with your art supplies? Check out this video. It explains how the layers in this very project can help you from buying out your local craft store :)
Thanks for hanging out with me today!
❤️ CHECK OUT ALL MY ONLINE ART CLASSES & Art Clubs
❤️ CHECK OUT ALL my art books
❤️ MY FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES on AMAZON
❤️ MY BELOVED FACEBOOK GROUP
Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.