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Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Monday, October 16, 2017

Firefly's Race - a mixed media painting tutorial

Firefly's Race
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

This painting was very loosely inspired by a gorgeous copper beech tree that lives next door to me.  It is a truly glorious tree, but since it is not a native of New England, it is always about four to five weeks out of sync with all the other trees.  Just when we think we're done raking...you guessed it!  I suppose it is lucky that it is so glorious :-)

For this simple painting, I started with a sheet of heavy watercolor paper and painted the background entirely with diluted Iridescent copper acrylic paint, using a foam roller.  I gave it several coats.  



When it was completely dry, I tinted up some tar gel with Red oxide paint in an applicator bottle, and used that to sketch in the tree.  Accuracy was NOT an issue, just a general impression.  You need to let tar gel dry on its own...it doesn't always react well to a heat gun.  So put it aside, work on something else, and come back the next day. 

The next step involves painting a scraping with ever deepening shades of the follow colors: Permanent green light, Phthalo green, Turquoise phthalo, and Phthalo blue.  Quickly drop some alcohol around the piece and lift some of the paint with a paper towel or cloth. 

Splatter the tree branches with Red oxide, Quinacridone crimson, and Pyrrole red.  Finish with some lightly drawn lines of White gesso and dots of gesso tinted with Hansa yellow light.

www.dickblick.com

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Monday, October 09, 2017

Golden Grove - a mixed media collage tutorial

Golden Grove
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Whether you live near forest, desert, mountains, or water, trees hold an iconic place in our imagination.   People write poems about them, which is what inspired this particular piece.  I've included the text of the poem at the bottom of this post :-)

Materials + Tools
Pages of text torn from various books
Watercolor paper
Matte medium
Foam brushes
Spray bottle
Pipette
Acrylic spray
Black India ink 
Acrylic paint colors:
Yellow ochre
Red oxide
Quinacridone nickel azo gold

 

1. Use matte medium on a foam brush to lay down your torn text pieces on the watercolor paper.  Don't overthink it.  Leave the top unsealed as much as possible.  

2. Use a foam brush or sponge to add diluted (with water) Yellow ochre over most of the surface.  Let it puddle a bit and sink in unevenly.

3. Add Red oxide next, and finish with Quinacridone gold, added with your fingers in just the spots you want.  Let it dry thoroughly.  Iron flat if needed.

4. Spritz the piece lightly with water.  Using a pipette, drip in your trees and add some extra branches where you want.  Let dry and spray with acrylic spray.


 


Spring and Fall
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.



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Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Epiphany - a mixed media painting tutorial

Epiphany
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Think about all the different colors you could use for a mixed media painting like this, depending upon the season!  I'll share the colors I used for this one, but feel free to make substitutions that suit you.

Materials + Tools
Watercolor paper
Black India ink
Pipettes
Acrylic spray
Spray bottle
Acrylic paint colors:
Hansa yellow medium
Quinacridone magenta
Permanent violet dark

1. Starting with a sheet of watercolor paper, drip black India ink from a small pipette to form the "trees".  Let it dry thoroughly and give it a light spray with acrylic fixative.

2. Mix up the colors you want to use.  I place them in small cups and dilute them with quite a bit of water to get the thin consistency.  No acrylic medium this time!

3. Spritz the surface with water.  Use pipettes (one per color) to add lines of color between the "trees".  Spray more if the paint doesn't move the way you want it to.

4. Let it dry and adjust the colors if needed. 




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Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book review: The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design


Ok, either you love Sharon Boggon's work, or you're wrong! :-)

But seriously, how could you not love her work?  Just look at what you'll find in The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design:


Sharon's main goal, I feel, is to teach you how to tell a story with your quilts, how to make every part of the process serve the art.  To that end, she starts with an overview of the encrusted crazy quilting style, discusses how to design that journey for your viewer, and then moves to piecing and stitching.  The second half of the book teaches you how to do beautiful variations on basic stitches and how to incorporate beads, buttons, and more. 

I don't often quote parts of the books that I review, but I just want you to have an example of one of Sharon's many many (many!) tips that you will find in this book.  I recommend it for beginners and experienced quilters alike:
"A good, quick way of finding a color scheme is to select a favorite patterned fabric. The trick is to find fabrics that match the colors in the fabric. Once you have about five colors, you will have your color scheme for a block.  Look for fabrics that match a favorite photograph.  As you piece a block, don’t forget to select lace, thread, beads, and buttons to harmonize with the colors in the fabric patches. Think about color not only as you piece your project but also during the hand embroidery and embellishing phases."

Monday, September 25, 2017

Into the Woods - a mixed media painting tutorial

Into the Woods
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I used a batik-style background for this piece.  The instructions can be found at the link above.  It's super-easy to do, using waxed paper and some non-waterproof black ink.  After adhering the textured paper to your substrate and ironing it, I would advise adding a few coats of acrylic spray to prevent any running.

 


I used heavy-bodied acrylics diluted with water (not medium) in the following colors: Permanent violet dark, Quinacridone magenta, Hansa yellow medium, Phthalo green, and Ultramarine blue.  I spread it around on my piece using pipettes.  I used paper towels to blot it frequently, and to build up layers of color.

After drying thoroughly, I spritzed the piece with water and used regular water proof India ink in a pipette to drip the trees and add thinner branches.  I let it dry and then adjusted the paint colors as needed.


This post contains affiliate links.  
Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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