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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...


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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another background paper

This background paper is extremely easy to make…once you start on these, your only problem will be to know when enough is enough!



1. Paint your paper with a solid strong colored base. Let it dry


2. Sponge on three accent colors, moving from dark to light. Let each dry before applying the next.

3. Sponge on a slightly lighter version of the base, mixed as a glaze. This is what pulls it all together.

I used this technique to paint my shoes. The mottled surface is so much more interesting than a solid flat color would be!


Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. 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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Multi-stamped background papers

When I’ve got a few hours and no particular agenda, I like to create a whole bunch of background papers. After all, if I’m going to drag out the paints and other materials to make one, I might as well make more than one…a lot more than one.

I used this paper in last week’s Make Art Monday project:


It has a lot of layers, but it’s really simple to build them up. Here’s how I did it, but feel free to vary the order and colors, to repeat whatever layer you like, etc.

1. Paint the background a solid light color (I used citrine). Let it dry.

2. Use a foam stamp with two dark colors and stamp all over the sheet (I used burgundy and indigo, with a stamp that I previously cut from foam). Stamp multiple times each time you load up with paint, so that some impressions are dark and some are light. Let it dry.

3. Use another foam stamp to add a few bigger shapes in the original light color. Let it dry.


4. Use a crackle shaped stamp or crumpled plastic wrap to add crackling in black solvent or pigment ink.

5. Brush on a thin layer of Quinocridone Gold acrylic with a foam brush. This makes the colors deeper and richer, and unifies the piece.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. 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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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gaussian blur in Photoshop



Creating a luminous looking gaussian blur layer on a photo takes a certain amount of experimentation for each shot that you want to apply it to. There is no one formula that is going to work well for all pictures, and some pictures just do not benefit from the layer at all. Still, when it works well, you achieve a wonderfully soft and luminous quality in your picture. Besides the photograph above, I also used this technique on Journey, which was shared on a Make Art Monday.


Here are the basic steps:

1. Load your picture and duplicate it in the layers palette.

2. Using a levels adjustment layer, lighten the duplicate layer a lot. You will be able to keep adjusting this amount if you don’t like the results.

3. Apply the gaussian blur filter. I usually start with 20 pixels or so and adjust as needed.

4. Select the multiply blending mode for the duplicate layer.

5. You can now adjust the lightness on the adjustment layer, the amount of blur, and /or the opacity of the layer until you achieve the look you want.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. 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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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Paper clay collages

I shared a collage last week called Delicious Autumn. One of the major materials used in this piece, and in several others like it, is paper clay. Here are the steps I follow to make these:

1. Roll the paper clay out thin on parchment paper.

2. Cover the clay with a fringed piece of muslin and soak it with a mixure of half PPA glue/half water.

3. Flip it over and add shredded cheesecloth. Soak again with the glue mixture, this time from the front.

4. Place it in the oven on parchment paper, and dry it at 200 degrees for a couple of hours.

5. Paint around the edges of a masonite board.

6. Paint the fiber and clay piece.

7. Dry it in the oven again. It will not take as long this time.

8. Flatten the fiber and clay piece under a heavy book.

9. Attach it to the masonite board with PPA glue.

10. Flatten again as needed.

11. Add images and other flat embellishments.

12. Add beads and any dimensional embellishments.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. 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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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Collage embellished with embroidery


Last week, on Make Art Monday, I shared this piece that I made in response to the question, "What are your favorite things to use in your work?" Today, I thought I’d share the general steps that I follow to make a collage of this type. It’s not the same as a paper quilt, but it does have sewing embellishments.

1. Lightly trace a grid design with a pencil on a piece of watercolor paper.

2. Color and pattern the squares with any pigments you choose.

3. Adhere papers, foils, and fabrics to the squares. You don’t have to look for a perfect fit, but do erase the lines as needed.

4. Poke holes with a larger needle and sew embellishment stitches as desired using cotton or silk floss.

5. Glue on 3D embellishments and “sew” them in place.

6. Glue the whole piece to watercolor paper or matt board backing.

Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. 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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