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Welcome (back) to Mixed Media Artist!

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, April 24, 2017

The Walls Come Tumbling Down - a mixed media painting tutorial


This piece started with a piece of watercolor paper that was wet.  I used dilute acrylics to paint a watercolor-type of background.  When dry, I figured out where the central shape was going to be and I added some lines with resist fluid.



1. Create a mask from card stock and painter's tape.  Roll over the exposed painting with a light coat of white gesso on a small foam roller.




2. Use painter's tape to create an outer frame which will be rolled with black gesso.




3. Remove the masks and tape, and remove the resist from the lines.




4. Use painter's tape to position black bars across the central shape.  Use black gesso.




5. I liked it on end the best of all the orientations.

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

Schism - a mixed media painting tutorial

Schism
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Here is another example of a piece that almost got abandoned, ripped in two, or just plain thrown out.  I started with colors and techniques that had served me well in the past, but just didn't seem to work this time. 



1. I failed to write down the colors that I used for the background, but I would guess that they were probably cobalt teal, ochre or hansa yellow, and red oxide.  I used black India ink to create some directional lines, and then rolled a mixture of white gesso and titan buff over a paper mask.  I was a bit underwhelmed.



2. Since I hated the way it looked, I decided to try using more black ink to tie the piece together.  Not so much...



3. I used an ochre glaze to unify the colors a bit.  Now we're getting somewhere.
Over that, I added more black ink lines.  There's a certain freedom you feel when you believe that a piece is ruined anyway!



4. I re-masked the central shape and rolled it with a light layer of white gesso.  Then I used tape to create the second boundary and rolled it with black gesso.  The colors didn't turn out true in this photo, so I scanned the piece, and (at least on my computer monitor), the scan below it true to life :-)





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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On the Wing - a mixed media painting tutorial

On the Wing
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
I neglected to take a whole lot of step-out photos for this piece, mostly because at one point it went terribly wrong and I almost abandoned it.  Instead, since I had nothing to lose, I gambled on a new direction, and it is now easily one of my favorite pieces from the past few months!  It was honestly not until I got to step 7 that I realized what it was, because I had it turned on it's side the whole time I was working on it.

1. The substrate is wide vinyl tape in a brushed steel finish, over stiff paper.  I sandpapered it lightly.



2. Acrylics used: turquoise phthalo, cobalt teal, titan buff, and quinacridone gold.



3. Mark out where the shape will go, and use black ink and tar gel to outline some random shapes.

4. Cover the entire piece with dilute white gesso, and scrape it off with a plastic card.

5. Flood the line area with dilute colors, letting them mingle.

6. Cover the background areas with polymer medium, and embed kosher salt in it.  Add a wash of dilute blue interference and allow to dry.  Brush away the salt.

7. Add black ink lines with a razor blade.

8. Strengthen and adjust colors in the line area.

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

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Books: fabulous color for Spring!

I am tired of the browns and grays and blacks and whites in my New England landscape. I want COLOR!!  These two new books from C&T Publishing are just what the doctor ordered!



Take the first steps to becoming an art quilter with popular teacher and best-selling author Katie Pasquini Masopust in her new book, Artful Log Cabin Quilts. Starting with an inspiration photo or painting, choose fabrics to create your own artistic log cabin quilts.


Learn to navigate visual pathways and composition, applying easy techniques and experimenting with color. Student work is presented, showing that anyone can create an art quilt! Design and make your masterpiece with freeform log cabin blocks using this versatile method.





Become a skilled foundation piecer with New York Beauties and Flying Geese blocks that amaze! Carl Hentsch simplifies a technique loved by many with his straightforward approach to curved piecing, foundation piecing, and simple machine appliqué.



Stitch your way through 31 architectural block patterns, ideal for advanced beginners and intermediate quilters. Then it's time to practice on 10 full-size quilts and 27 bonus pillow projects with lively color combinations to provide movement and drama. 

Monday, April 03, 2017

The View Out My Window - a tutorial

The View Out My Window
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Late last fall, I visited the Boston Museum of Science with some friends.  It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that my two favorite things were the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit (the intersection of art and science) and the large glass wall looking out over Boston Harbor.  Especially the view from the second floor.  I probably took more pictures of that view than of anything else.

This piece is pretty obviously not an exact representation of what I saw out the window, even though most of my pictures were enlarged past the point of blurriness (deliberately).  I did a black marker "sketch" of the major shapes and textures to start off with.  Then, I did some acrylic pours with yellow, turquoise, and violet.


Less than satisfied with the look of the pours, I tried making glazes of some of the colors and painting them in window pane sized blocks.  Still not thrilled, although I did like it better when I tipped it vertically.

What finally brought it together was deciding that since it was ruined anyway, why not...??  I strengthened the color blocks, and then mixed a glazing medium with white gesso and a touch of Quinacridone violet.  This mixture was applied all over the piece with a foam roller.  I spritzed it lightly with rubbing alcohol to texture it and blotted gently.  As a final touch, I added a few India ink lines, using a tiny pipette.



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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Total Eclipse of the Heart - a tutorial

Total Eclipse of the Heart
Cyndi Lavin, 2017




1. Paint watercolor paper with mixture of black gesso and turquoise acrylic.  Let dry thoroughly.  Spread on watered down white gesso and cover with plastic wrap.  Peel off slowly before completely dry.


2. Working on one half at a time, run a bead of India ink along the center and allow to drip towards the edges.  Use black on the upper half and white on the lower.  The white will mix a bit with the black.  Spray the ink with two coats of Krylon acrylic spray.  



3. Paint the piece with very watered down acrylics, adding and blotting to build up the layers.   

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Snow - a tutorial

Spring Snow
Cyndi Lavin, 2017


1. Apply tissue paper to watercolor paper with gloss medium.  Spray paper to wet it, and add India ink drips from near the top (piece shown upside down from the way it was worked).  Smudge crimson and turquoise acrylics near top and use white gesso on a foam brush to smear it down the page.  Add yellow with fingers to any white areas and to highlight the tissue paper.



2. Mist with water and allow colors to mingle.  Dig circle shapes through the upper layers of paint with biscuit cutters.  Add some smears of interference violet paint.  Add magenta paint to what is now the bottom of the piece.



3. Stamp with bubble wrap.  Use masking tape to create plant shapes.  



4. Use a foam roller to lightly roll white gesso over plant shapes.  When dry, remove them.



5. Cut out pieces from the whole, and mount them on large piece of paper covered by a mix of black gesso and dark turquoise.

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