I Found This Cool Mixed Media Demo
So I thought I would take a peek on the internet to see what a search of "mixed media art" would pop up. A LOT! U-Tube alone has endless tutorials of ways to do mixed media pieces. I stumbled on one called Steampunk Dragonflies, a mixed media art canvas. The artist credited was Rach0113 and it was posted 5 years ago and has been watched 7350 times - well, now 7351 because I watched it, too.
On a 5x7 canvas the artist began with some lovely painting in shades of blue, greens and some gold. Then she used a technique I had tried a few years ago and really enjoyed.
My Version of this Technique
It involves stamping an image on tissue paper and then applying it to the canvas. In my piece above, "Irises with Figure" I taped tissue paper to ordinary copy paper and printed the image which was applied to the painting with gel medium. The stamps were applied directly. By the way, this piece was selected for a major juried competition and exhibited at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Back to my U-Tube observation.....So far, I thought it lovely. But now the artist applied some modeled dragonflies which were then painted and embellished....and embellished. A cool touch was using bits of pull chain for the tails and adding bits of tiny watch works into the background. At any of these points, I think the canvas would have been acceptable. But layer after layer, including drips and squirts of accent colors, made it move away from artistic expression to piles of stuff - covered with more piles of stuff.
To the artist's credit, they used all archival materials which are important for the long life of a piece of art. Is the piling up of stuff a major part of steampunk art??? Take a look and tell me what you think!
This week I want to talk about another technique for mixed media painting. This time I will be using a canvas, illustration board or 140 lb. cold press Arches watercolor paper with acrylic mediums. Starting with modeling paste (as in my painting on the right). I selected several ornate stencils and squeegeed the paste over the stencils one small area at a time around the figure and then allowed the paste to dry. Color washes were added to enhance the textures.
In the painting of the white horse below, I began with a blank canvas and smeared the modeling paste all over it with a palette knife, sort of like putting frosting on a cake. Once applied the fun began! I started with a cheap hardware store tool that is used to spread glue while installing tile. It has a nice serrated edge. I pressed bubble wrap into the paste, added crackle texture fluid, pulled, pushed and scraped. As long as the modeling paste is wet, you can do as you like. (It dries quickly!)
A Beautiful Surprise
I had no idea I would be painting a horse, but after randomly smearing some color over the dried surface, there he was. Some have said another horse head is appearing in the upper left corner of the painting. What do you think?
Whether you are using textures to enhance a painting or jump start one, I hope you have great fun giving it a try!
In the beginning there is blank paper which is bright with possibility. My work gets a jump start when I can do some sort of background treatment on the paper. Of the many possibilities (and I'll talk about others later) one involves using watercolor on a handmade watercolor paper, Arches 140 lb. cold press. I select two complimentary colors say ultramarine and burnt sienna. I wet the paper and take a length of Saran Wrap and place it over the wet paper, pushing and creasing it until it seems interesting. Then a round brush is used to drip two colors randomly under the edges of the Saran, tipping and moving the paper so the paint moves over most of the surface of the paper. I let it dry overnight. Next day when the Saran is lifted off, beautiful surprise patterns emerge that will spark my imagination for a new painting.
This is the paper after the Saran has been removed. What do you see? A mountain range, drifted sand on the beach? If it is tipped other directions, new possibilities will pop.
Here is a piece I have begun to develop as a part of my Refugee series. I've added some collage papers and painted background, faces and hands. I'll develop the cloak before I'm finished, but it's a good start!