A woman who works with her hands is a LABORER; a woman who works with her hands and head, a CRAFTSMAN; but a woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an ARTIST. ~ St. Francis of Assisi




Saturday, September 3, 2011

techniques and some sites to look at

Creating Layers in Mixed Media Art: Dry-brushed Gesso

see article with pictures
Mixed Media with dry gesso

Adding dry-brushed Gesso to add highlights and texture in our Mixed Media Art is another way to create layers. Part of creating Mixed Media Art, whether its bringing together a mixed media painting, a collage or creating a background, is all about creating layers. Sometimes these layers flow; other times we need to stop and think to find alternatives that stretch our artistic ventures. Here we will explore a range of methods and techniques that can help in creating layers within your mixed media art.

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Dry-brushed Gesso

We have previously used Gesso as a foundation layer. Adding a feature layer with a little gesso or paint can be done by using a dry brush but this technique can be a little tricky, so make sure you practice it first, before adding it to your masterpiece. The effect this technique creates is like a little flash of light, or like a shooting star; we’re going for subtly here and that’s partly why it’s hard to achieve a good results.

Part of the skill with this technique is to get the brush just right. It can be a clean, dry brush or a damp brush that has been dried well and the bristle separated. When you brush it across the back of you hand, it should hardly be wet. The next part of the skill is getting the right amount of paint on your brushy. We only need a little bit, so a paint pallet is needed here, even if you wouldn’t usually use one. Put a small amount of paint or gesso onto the pallet and use another brush to spread it out. This makes it easier to get an even
covering across the bristles.

The last part of the skill with the dry brush gesso technique is to use a light touch. The effect is usually subtle and we want to just touch the dry paint brush onto the surface and then switch it quickly in the direction you would like your flash to go.

This technique can also be used to adding paint to only the top parts of the texture, creating a highlight of the tissue or medium that is standing our above the surface.

So remember the key parts of this technique – make sure your brush bristles are separated, add only a little amount of paint and lightly brush it onto your artwork.

Creating Layers in Mixed Media Art; Credit Card Lines

The edge of a credit card can be used to add thin lines to our Mixed Media paintings and collages. Part of creating Mixed Media Art, whether its bringing together a mixed media painting, a collage or creating a background, is all about adding depth and layering. Sometimes these layers flow; other times we need to stop and think to find alternatives that stretch our artistic ventures. Here we will explore a range of methods and techniques that can help in creating layers within your mixed media art.

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Credit card Lines

mixed media credit card lines

Adding lines and features with paint is a great way to add layers in your mixed media art collage or painting.

One of my favourite ways of adding lines is to use paint on old credit card. This allows a thin line to be added and it’s a repeatable method. I have found trying to do this with a paintbrush is messy and the lines are too wide. I could use a smaller paintbrush but that would take too long. This is a quick method.

When adding lines, I often look at adding a border, or frame or horizon, depending on the piece. Using a paintbrush to add a little paint to the edge of a credit card, I place it down carefully, where I want my line to begin, then drag it out until the paint fades. I repeat this process if I want to make the line longer, or add a parallel line or another to make a corner.

As with any mixed media art techniques, there are lots of different things to try;

- I will usually use black or dark gray paint – a contrasting colour to your background also adds a feature.

- vary the amount of paint you apply – this sometimes gives a thicker line or a longer line

I do love this method of applying lines as it is quick and mostly repeatable. I hope you will give it a try next time you sit down to create layers in your mixed media artwork.

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tissue idea

templates

stampington templates

Creating Layers in Mixed Media Art; Images with Tissue Paper

Creating brilliant Mixed Media Art is about creating layers and there are many ways to do this. Today we look at adding images with tissue paper. Sometimes these layers flow; other times we need to stop and think to find alternatives that stretch our artistic ventures. Here we will explore a range of methods and techniques that can help in creating layers within your mixed media art.

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Images with Tissue Paper

Using white tissue paper to add images into our Mixed Media Art seemed like magic the first time I saw it done. The first time I tried it – well, it wasn’t quite as successful but practice has improved my method. Adding images to tissue can be done by stamping directly onto the tissue. Here we need to use a solvent based ink, like Stazon, to make sure the image won’t run when the adhesive is added. You can also print directly onto the tissue, using the method described in Mixed Media Art Technique – Tissue Paper Images.

The key to adding images with tissue is to have the tissue stick to the background without wrinkles or bubbles; smaller images work best. A good layer of gel medium or varnish onto your background, then applying the image from the centre out, carefully rubbing with your finger helps to eliminate the wrinkles. Adding some gel medium over the top of your image with your fingers also helps to smooth it out.

Your work needs to be left to dry – trying to rush the process with a heat gun can expand any small air bubbles under the image, causing it to expand. As this IS mix media art, it may be an effect you are happy with but it’s one I usually try to avoid. Once the image is dry you can continue to add a few layers of paint to hide the tissue edges and blend the image into the piece.

Experiment with the tissue paper layering – what happens if it goes down first, on top of the gesso? Can one image be added in the middle and another later? How does that look? Happy Creating! Images from Karen Whimsey Clip Art Collection .

The link to the article with pictures
tissue paper technique

Creating layers in Mixed Media Art; Paints

Part of creating Mixed Media Art, whether its bringing together a mixed media painting, a collage or creating a background, is all about creating layers. Sometimes these layers flow; other times we need to stop and think to find alternatives that stretch our artistic ventures. Here we will explore a range of methods and techniques that can help in creating layers within your mixed media art.

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Adding colour with paints

Paint is the first material I grab when I am starting on a new mixed media piece (once it’s been gesso’d). My preference is acrylic paints as they are relatively cheap and come in fantastic colours. The price range and quality of paints does vary greatly, so choose a selection and experiment to see what suits your needs and budget.

Creating layers with paint can be achieved in many different ways; more ways than I could list here (or even know about!)

Artist like Julie Prichard blend the colours on the canvas and builds layers that way

My most used method was taught originally to me by Joy Bathie, using washes of colour and most often letting each dry before adding the next. Using washes allow some colours to show through. Creating areas for light colours and dark colours and blending between these zones creates amazing effects.

I find it brilliant when I really get into the painting zone and can see what needs to come next or how one colour will respond against another. I’m not sure how it happens but lots of practice does help to understand your paints and brushes and background surfaces.

To get started with adding paints to your mixed media art, choose a small project to practice on and see what happens. I find altered book or art journals to be brilliant for that. I also make notes in my sketch book to keep track of the colours I use, noting what seemed to work well (adding a little red to the yellow) and what didn’t (adding too much gesso over bright colours). Having a heat gun handy is useful to speed up the drying process.

And don’t forget to have a break from your work too, especially if you get frustrated or can’t see where to go next.

In upcoming articles we will cover other methods of crating layers in your mixed media art that can be used in conjunction with using paints.

Original article

paint backgrounds
 

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