Friday, February 23, 2018

{Mixed Media Tutorial} Bloom & Grow Your Artist's Soul by Lynne

Hello and Happy Day everyone!  It's me, Lynne here today to share my  monthly tutorial post with all of you, (which is, as you know,  my very favorite thing to do!)  And hang onto your seats peeps because this month I am taking you a tiny bit deeper into the art side of the mixed media world as you Paint Your Own Flowers!
As always I am going to walk you through each step of my process, with lots of photos along the way, which if you follow along with me, one tiny little step at a time, you too will create a piece of your own art that you can be proud of - so here goes...

Step #1 - Creating Your Background: Fill your page with lots of color.  The more vibrant and colorful your background, the more the white flowers will pop off the page.
As you can see in this photo I am using my Dylusion paints and a foam applicator and applying the colors how ever I want, without thinking too much about it.  Just get the page covered...
Now for the fun part, using a stencil, it can be any stencil with a pattern you like, I am going to "cut through" the background colors applying white paint where the colors are dark, and a contrasting darker paint where the colors are light.  You will want to make sure that this first layer of paint is dry before you add your stencil pattern.
I began with my stencil in a vertical pattern and then switch it to a horizontal pattern.  There is no wrong way to do this, just keep adding paint colors and layering the pattern until your page is filled up with color and patterns.  I am using the brand new ARTplorations stencil by Sanna Lippert called Evolution because there are a lot of patterns on this one stencil so it looks like I did more work than I really did.  Step 1 is done ... let this dry.

STEP #2 - Draw in your flowers:  I am using a Stabilo All pencil but use what you have on  hand.  It can be a charcoal pencil or a black pencil crayon or a soft lead pencil like an HB. 
You want to use something dark enough so that you can see it over top your background and you will be painting over top if the lines so don't worry about being too dark. 
I drew daisies because they are easy for me.  You can draw any flower you like but keep the shape simple and very open... like the flowers you would draw when you were a child.

Step#3 - Paint The Flowers:   Now the reason I am using the Stabilo All pencil is that the black lines turn to paint when they get wet, so when I add my white paint it immediately turns grey, and gives me shading without having to do too much.   This will happen if you use a charcoal pencil or a soft lead pencil, but not if you use a pencil crayon.
I put a good amount of paint on my brush and either outline the petal or make one broad brush stroke to create a streak of paint going in the right direction.  
Clean your brush often so the paint does not become too black, and don't worry too much about what your flowers look like at this stage because you are going to paint over them a few more times.  You can see in this photo that my flowers look very child like, which is what I want.  
I let the first layer dry (you can use a heat gun to speed up the process) and then went over my petals several more times with my white paint until the  flowers really stood out against the background.  You will notice that the petal shapes are very child-like and imperfect, this is the look I am going for and I will clean up everything in the last step, so be gentle with yourself and let your inner child just paint some flowers. 
Next I added paint to the stems, and filled in the flower centres with a dark brown.  I used the same dark brown to add a bit of shading to the edges of my stems, but again I did not worry too much about the placement, I just wanted some color and some contrast.
And now I will create some shadows on the petals using a color that is darker than the white but still fairly light - I chose a warm yellow - and added strokes of color between the petals and I also dabbed the top of the flower centres with the yellow to show the direction the sun is shining.

Step#4 - Cleaning It All Up:  This is the step where everything changes from a very child-like look to a more purposefully whimsical look - or what I like to call Perfectly Imperfect - by outlining your images.
I like to use a fine-tipped paint brush and a very thin black paint, but you can use a paint pen or a waterproof marker any other tool that let's you easily outline the images.
Again, there is no need to be perfect and and it is easier if you do not think too much.  You will see that I did not follow my brush strokes, but rather drew in the petal shapes I wanted, and I even let paint show outside the lines!  I also added a few lines on the petals... if you think about what the images look like in a coloring book you will be on the right track.

Step#5 - Add Your Sentiment:  When I am creating a page in my art journal I like to add words that mean something to me.  Even if I am doing this on a canvas, I like to add words, because that is what I do.   You do not have to do this.
When you are adding journaling to a page that is this vibrant and busy you will need to create a place to write so the words will show up.  I like to use a watered-down white gesso for two reasons; 1. because pens seem to write better on the matte surface and 2. because I  want some of my background to show through and to keep the flowers as the focal point.  Otherwise the white and black journaling will overpower the page.
But this is not the case when you just fade back your background, as you can see in the finished spread.  You can practice this technique on paper, in your art journal or on a canvas  using whatever product you have on  hand - craft paint and pencil crayons will work just as well as acrylic paints and charcoal pencils.  The main thing is to allow yourself to paint some child-like flowers and then make them a little bit more grown  up!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial this month and that I maybe inspired you to try a new technique and to play with your stencils in a different way!

STAMPlorations Products Used:

Other Products Used:
Ranger Dylusion paints (background)
Stabilo All Pencil - black
DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish (for the flowers)
Whisper (off white)
Delicate (yellow)
New Life (green)


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