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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...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Messing around with curves

Bear Lake Trail, before

Sometimes it’s well worth reaching back into your own archives and revisiting something. I went to hike the Rockies with my family when I was in high school. I love this particular shot taken from Bear Lake Trail, and I’ve used it for several different pieces over the years.

So, how about surreal?

Bear Lake Trail, after

There are only a few steps used in making a surreal landscape like this in Photoshop, but that doesn’t mean that it’s fast and easy! I spent more time on this piece than on many that have far more steps. Take you time and play around…it’ll be worth it!

1. Open your original image in Photoshop and size it as desired.

2. Make a copy layer of your image to fool with.

3. Go to Image –> Adjustments –> Invert

4. Add a curves adjustment layer and go to town!

5. Adjust lightness, saturation, and contrast to suit.

6. Use the Multiply blending mode for your adjustment layer.

7. Crop a portion of the landscape that pleases you.



Copyright 2008 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, July 15, 2008

Painting your summer sandals

The Owl and the Pussycat

I shared this pair of painted sandals before, but I thought I should show you a second pair and maybe suggest that it might be a nice project for a quick pair of summer wearable art.

I don’t like buying new shoes. In fact, I tend to wear the same pair of sandals all year, even in the snow. When they get worn out, I do buy a new pair (the exact same style…aren’t I exciting?), but I can’t stand to just throw out the old pair.

So I usually paint them.

Acrylic paints, a black fine-tipped marker, and clean sandals are all you need!

1. Choose your colors of acrylic paint: a main background color and a couple of accent colors.

2. Using a sponge or foam brush, paint all the leather surfaces of the straps with your main color. Mine was turquoise. Let the paint dry.

3. Lightly sponge on your accent colors. I’ve always found that I get a better look if I return to my main color last, and lightly sponge it on as if it were also an accent color. Make sure you let the paints dry between colors.

4. Using a fine-tipped black marker, write or doodle whatever you want. I used a Zig Millennium pen with a bullet tip.

5. Use a heat gun to help set the colors and words further. Don’t get it too close or the paint may bubble.

6. Spray your shoes with a light coating of Krylon acrylic fixative.

Baa baa, Black Sheep



Copyright 2008 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, July 08, 2008

Waxed paper transfer collage



Here’s the image that I started with for this piece:



It wasn’t high resolution or anything: just a pretty picture. I used Golden’s Digital Ground White, and stroked it onto a piece of waxed paper, adding a few layers until the piece was covered where I planned to print. The image printed out quite well, and stayed a bit wet for awhile. I didn’t worry about that, though, since I planned to do a transfer. The transfer was made onto plain white copy paper, using the instructions for a basic paper image transfer.

Once the transfer was completed and dry, this is how I assembled the collage:

1. Paint a wrapped canvas frame. I used dark teal green acrylic.

2. Apply a wash of gesso, thinned with water.

3. Add layers of cheesecloth, using matte medium to adhere them.




4. Slice up the image transfer and use matte medium to adhere it to the canvas. Use a layer of waxed paper and a heavy book to make it dry flat.

5. Add a bit of black to your gesso to create a medium gray tone, and wash the piece with a very thin layer. Gray adds a chalky look. Mess up the edges of the image a bit.

6. Add some extra-heavy gel medium around the edges for more texture and let it dry.

7. Add another thin coat of matte medium to the entire piece.

8. Layer teal green glazes and white gesso until it looks good. Stop before you go too far!


9. Apply a final thin layer of gray gesso.


Copyright 2008 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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