Hello!

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, August 14, 2017

The flip cup method of liquid acrylic painting - a tutorial


So far, we've gone through the steps for doing a pour and swipe liquid painting and a pour and tilt liquid painting!  This week, we'll look at the flip cup method. Each of these techniques has its benefits and its limitations.  I really like the flip cup method, but you have the least control with this one.  It's fun to not know what you're going to get, but it can be frustrating too!



For the set up, follow the first three steps from last week.  Even the paint colors that I used are the same, and are listed in step four.  Funny how totally different this one turned out from last week when they were the same colors!

4. Pour the paints from their smaller individual cups into a large disposable cup, each one on top of the previous color in this order: Titanium white, Cobalt teal, white again, Pyrrole orange, white again, and Quinacridone magenta.


5. Flip the cup upside down onto the masonite board.  Hold it down and swirl it slightly.  Remove the cup and tilt to spread the paints.  Spray lightly with rubbing alcohol or use a long-nosed lighter to bring up more cells in certain areas if you'd like.


6. When the piece is perfectly dry (overnight is best), use a pipette to apply some undiluted white ink to form underwater grasses.


Pour and swipe
Pour and tilt
Flip cup
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, August 07, 2017

The pour and tilt method of liquid acrylic painting - a tutorial


Last week, we looked at the "pour and swipe" method of liquid acrylic painting.  Today I want to share a different method that we'll call "pour and tilt".  There is no one right way to do these paintings, but you will get the best cell development if you use silicone, Floetrol, or other chemical inclusions to help them set.  Sometimes you will pour these paintings and get amazing cells, which disappear as time goes on and they set :-(  Do yourself a favor and take a picture early if you really like what you got, because it just might not last!  




1. Gesso some masonite boards and let them dry. 

2. Place a prepared board inside an aluminum pan, raised up on small cups.  Make sure the surface is completely level.




3. Mix your paints in small cups.  This is the formula I used:
Small blob of heavy bodied paint in a small cup.
  • Equal amount of GAC100 (a Golden product).  Stir well.
  • Add self-leveling medium equal to the total amount above.  Stir well
  • Water, added a small amount at a time and stirred in thoroughly until the mixture pours easily.  This is the hard part to know how much.
  • A shot or two of silicone.  Quick mix just before pouring.

4. The colors I used were titanium white, Pyrrole orange, Cobalt teal and Quinacridone magenta.  Make four puddles of white on the masonite board, and top each with a smaller puddle of orange, white, and pink.  Dribble the turquoise around the edges and in the middle.  Tilt the board and let the colors run.  Re-level it and allow the cells to start to form.

5. If there are areas where you want more cells, you can spritz it gently with rubbing alcohol and/or use a long-nosed lighter to bring some more up.


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, July 31, 2017

Eruption - a pour and swipe liquid painting tutorial

Eruption
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

A few months ago, I, like so many others, got bit by the liquid acrylic pour painting craze.  I watched many wonderful youtube videos and experimented several times before I got the mixture that worked for me...at least for what I wanted to accomplish.  My disclaimer...there is a product called Floetrol that some people are using in order to achieve larger and more stable cells in their pours.  I don't use it, so I end up with smaller lace-like effects, which I prefer.

To each his own!  This is how I did what we're going to call the "Pour and Swipe" method.



1. Gesso a masonite board and let it dry.  You may as well do several at one time, because you're for sure going to want to do more than one pour!

2. Place a prepared board inside an aluminum pan, raised up on small cups.  Make sure the surface is completely level.

3. Mix your paints.  There are dozens of formulas out there, but this is how I did it:

  • Small blob of heavy bodied paint in a small cup.
  • Equal amount of GAC100 (a Golden product).  Stir well.
  • Add self-leveling medium equal to the total amount above.  Stir well
  • Water, added a small amount at a time and stirred in thoroughly until the mixture pours easily.  This is the hard part to know how much.
  • A shot or two of silicone.  Quick mix just before pouring.


4. The colors I used for this piece are Ultramarine blue, Phthalo blue, Pyrrole orange, and Titanium white.  Pour the first three in streaks all over the board.  Pour the white along one of the edges and scrape it over top of the other colors using an old credit card.


5. Tilt to move the colors around and adjust them as needed.  If not enough cells form in certain areas, use a lighter held very near the surface to encourage them to rise.  Don't worry...it won't catch fire.  Use some of the run-off paint to color the edges of the board.

6. You'll need to let it sit for a looooong time, at least overnight is best, in order to dry clear through the thick layers of paint.  Put a large bowl or other covering over it to protect from dust, cat hairs, curious fingers, etc!  If the surface isn't level, the painting will drift, so check it from time to time.

So that's it for the Pour and Swipe method!  I'll show you other techniques in the following weeks :-)

Pour and Tilt
Flip Cup


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, July 26, 2017

Book review: Storytelling Art Studio


I really enjoyed reading through Cathy Nichols' new book Storytelling Art Studio, published by North Light Books.  I love the way she has organized the book, and I also love that her artwork is very very different from mine.  That way, I'm not as likely to fall into the mistake of copying so much as just thinking about how I can use her techniques in my own work.

Cathy's chapters build one upon another, but you can also skip around in order to simply try out the ideas that strike your fancy.  In order, the chapters cover creating characters, setting the scene, altering the mood, adding conflict, expanding the plot, adding a moral, storytelling with symbolism, repeating a motif, and titling your piece.  Each chapter has a step by step demo if you'd like to work through a similar piece.

One of the most helpful features, I think, is the broad variety of backgrounds that Cathy teaches throughout the projects.  She shows you, through the demonstrations, how to paint an emotional color field, a gradient, a collaged background, sgraffito and mishima on clayboard, vignettes, a black and white photo background, and found stories in an altered book page.

I find Cathy's art style delightful, which is another very good reason to take a long look at this book, preferably accompanied by a nice cuppa something good!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Time Passages - a mixed media triptych painting tutorial

Time Passages
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

This three paintings were all variations on a theme, as I think you can easily tell!  The backgrounds started out as gesso pulls over top of toned underpaintings.  Using the darkest one as an example, it went like this:

1. Paint concentric rings of gesso with white in the middle, gray around that, and black around the outside.



2. Use a gray mixed gesso to pull Phthalo blue and Phthalo green down the length of the page.  Adjust the colors and allow to dry.

3. Mist lightly and drip black India ink from a pipette.

4. Add "leaves" with a large craggy brush.  I used orange and violet, both plain and mixed with white gesso.

5. Splatter with a mix of Hansa yellow light and white gesso.



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, July 17, 2017

Scars + Stripes - a collage painting tutorial

Scars+Stripes
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

This piece evolved from an earlier version that didn't quite work out the way I wanted.  Many times that happens, that pieces don't look like what I had envisioned, but this one just plain failed!  But still, pieces were salvageable, and I was really happy with the way it eventually came together.



I started with a piece of brushed steel tape on paper.  After sanding it, I added 2 thin layers of Gold iridescent acrylic paint with 30% gloss medium.  This was sealed in by a layer of pure gloss medium and left to dry.  I then mixed some glazes to shift the gold color: Permanent green light and Quinacridone crimson, both in 1:1 mixtures with glazing liquid.  This is rubbed onto the gold background very thinly with a soft cloth and allowed to dry.

To this background, I added black tar gel designs, and when that was dry (overnight), I flooded it with a muddy mix of Gold interference, Gold iridescent, and Quinacridone magenta in lots of water.  It took several pourings and dryings before I got the colors I was after.


For the central piece, I used a similar technique, but started with a black gessoed background.  Here above, you see it with just the black tar gel added.



As with the other two pieces, I flooded it with the a different muddy mix, probably about four times, allowing it to dry each time.  This mix consisted of Interference violet, Iridescent gold, and Quinacridone violet.  


When the pieces were all the colors that I wanted, I cut them out with a straight edge razor and mounted them to a large piece of heavy watercolor paper that had been prepared with black acrylic.  

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, July 10, 2017

Eureka - a mixed media painting tutorial

Eureka
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I wanted to try another brightly colored painting similar to Breaking Free from a few weeks ago.  This time, instead of the batik technique for a background, I decided to use a rubbing alcohol technique.  It only works well on water-diluted acrylics, so save your glazing medium for another time!



1. I used three layers of paint, each one splashed or flicked with alcohol while still wet: Quinacridone magenta, then Hansa yellow light, and finally a muddy mix of Quinacridone magenta, Interference gold, and Iridescent gold.  As a final touch, I spritzed the whole thing with additional Quinacridone magenta.  The entire piece was covered with a coat of gloss medium.  When it was dry, I added the paper and tape masks. 



2. I used a small foam roller with Titan buff mixed with a bit of gloss medium.  




3. When that layer was dry and the masks were removed, I mixed Cobalt turquoise and white gesso with a little water, and used an applicator bottle to draw it on.  I used a razor blade to apply black ink lines, and misted them lightly where needed to encourage some bloom.  



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, July 03, 2017

The Rift - a mixed media painting tutorial

The Rift
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I usually am a pretty happy person, content with my life and grateful for my friends, family, and what I've got.  This past half year has been difficult though, for many of us.  I don't care what side of the "aisle" you are on, I have witnessed enough division and nastiness to last me the rest of my life.  So what do I do?  I pray, I serve my community, and I make stuff.  What do you do?

The background for The Rift has 3 layers:
Interference blue with a dot of Ultramarine, plus water
Interference blue with water
Gloss medium

Let each layer dry before adding the next.  I added a thin strip of blue painter's tape across the upper third.


The next layer of paint was slightly diluted Micaceous Iron Oxide.  I removed the tape and quickly wiped a thick streak off with a sponge.  I added waxed paper (crinkled) to the upper third and plastic wrap to the bottom two thirds.  This was heated and then peeled off.

Next I added dilute washes of Interference gold to the top and dilute washes of Iridescent gold to the bottom.  To that strip I added a muddy mix of very dilute paints: Quinacridone magenta, Iridescent gold, and Interference gold.  At first I added it the entire way across the painting, but I ended up wiping it off the streak later.

Once it was all fairly dry, I dropped some splotches of rubbing alcohol on it and rubbed to make some worn spots.

Last, I turned it upside down and liked it much much better!

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, June 26, 2017

Spring Blows In - a mixed media painting tutorial

Spring Blows In
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Sometimes (often), the thing you plan is not what ends up happening.  My plan was to try the swipe technique with acrylics mixed with silicone, so that I would end up with beautiful colored cells popping up through white paint.  The swipe turned out to be a complete failure.  I don't know why...others had worked wonderfully, some with even the very same colors.  But the trick is not to let a failure stop you from moving forward!



I poured acrylic paints that had been prepared with pouring medium and silicone oil.  Now that I look at this shot again, I think part of the problem may have been that the paint was just not poured thickly enough.


I swiped in an arch with white paint, but the few cells that formed were ragged.  So I continued swiping until the paint was smeared together and covering the whole piece.  I adjusted the colors and sprayed it with a bit more silicone to allow the colors to slide around a bit.



Just before the piece was fully dry, I misted it with alcohol and dripped black ink from the top.  The ink skittered because of the alcohol and silicone.  Turned upside down, I had some more of my beloved trees, looking like they were partially obscured by the arching colors.

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, June 19, 2017

Wisteria - a mixed media painting tutorial

Wisteria
Cyndi Lavin, 2017


I don't have any step-out photos to show for this piece, but it is so easy, you really don't need any!  It's just a simple, joyful piece that you can make anytime you're between projects and want something fun to fill an hour or two.

1. Use polymer medium to apply wrinkled white tissue paper to a piece of watercolor paper.

2. Sponge on a background color if you like.

3. Lightly mist the paper and use a razor blade to add black ink lines from the top.  Let it dry and spray with fixative before proceeding.

4. Use your gloved fingers to make the blossoms, starting with the largest and moving to the smallest.  Add a bit of white to the larger blossoms to give some shading.

Here are the colors I used:
Hansa yellow light (background)
Phthalo blue, Dioxazine purple, Quinacricone magenta, and Titanium white - all mixed in various combinations

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, June 14, 2017

Book review: Art Journey - Abstract Painting



North Light Books has a beautiful new volume out that was edited by Jamie Markle.  It's huge, and has the initial appearance of a coffee table book, but I couldn't possibly bring myself to call it that after I started reading and gazing my way through it.  Art Journey - Abstract Painting asks the featured artists to answer many probing questions that all of us probably have: what is the essence of abstract painting?  How much planning do you do?  What is your inspiration?  Let's look at how their answers broke down!

When asked about the essence of abstract painting, some artists explained that their work is totally non-representational.  Some spoke of emotions, experiences, and their own inner world.  Others focused on the elements of design like color, space, line, and texture.  But a large group of artists spoke more about "abstracted reality," with objects seen in a different way, fantasy "landscapes" or "still lifes," unrecognizable (or semi-recognizable) macro views.  These artists are inspired by everything from man-made objects to the natural world, but prefer not to be constrained by realistic representation.  



The answers to the question about planning were quite varied also.  "None at all" was not uncommon from the artists who like to work intuitively.  Others begin with an intuitive start and then work towards balance and unity in their piece.  Some others work out a basic composition and/or color palette, perhaps using an underpainting.  But some prefer to completely plan and work out their ideas with color studies, value studies, compositional sketches, etc.  The take home?  Don't think that you can't be an abstract artist just because you like to plan!

The media used in the artwork in this book included more pastels than I was expecting.  Pastel can be considered a drawing or a painting medium, and it was just a bit curious to me how many painters have adopted (at least in part) pastels.  Acrylic, watercolor, oils, ink, colored pencils, and ephemera appeared regularly.  
As for inspiration, that was a wonderful thing to read about!  There were works about everything from the "view out my kitchen window" to the perspective of an airline pilot!  The subject matter ranged from totally interior or geometry to exterior things like nature or the urban landscape.  This is a beautiful and very inspiring book!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Moon Dance - a mixed media painting tutorial

Moon Dance
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
I was still stuck on the same sort of somber palette when I went to paint Moon Dance, but I did want to make sure that it had enough variety in value since all the colors turned out very low key.  Here's how I checked that:


Isn't Photoshop a wonderful tool???

Moon Dance started out as a double gesso background (black gesso, followed by dilute white gesso, and heated under a layer of plastic wrap).  On top of that, I added a Hansa yellow stripe.  


I pulled some grayed acrylic paints top and bottom using a slightly darker mix of gray gesso.  


No matter what I tried, I just couldn't get excited about it, until it finally occurred to me to flip it.  To this, I added some black ink razor lines and some white ink lines, drying in between so that not everything would be gray!  


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, June 05, 2017

Valley of the Shadow - a mixed media painting tutorial

Valley of the Shadow
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I painted Valley of the Shadow a few weeks ago, before the weather turned a bit nicer here in New England.  It's not that my mood was exactly down... :-)



Anyway, I used white gesso tinted with Ultramarine blue and a drop of black gesso to pull streaks of Dioxazine purple and Ultramarine blue in two distinct sections.  I added razor lines of black ink and adjusted the colors as needed.

I used a foam brush on the sky with white gesso, Cerulean blue, and a few drops of Interference blue.  I used a very scraggly stiff brush to add white gesso and white ink along the "peaks".  
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, May 29, 2017

Sample birch trees - an experiment with masks and painting


I wanted to spend a little time trying several different masking methods, just for my own amusement, and also so that I'd have some samples on hand to help me make decisions on future projects.  I decided on a design, some simple birch trees, and three methods I wanted to test.


From left to right, these are the methods:
1. Wet paper, add paint and salt, add foam-core shapes, weigh them down and allow to dry.
2. Wet paper, add painter's tape shapes, add paint and salt, allow to dry.
3. Leave paper dry, add painter's tape shapes, add paint and salt, allow to dry.

Method 3, shown above, leaves you with the crispest lines.  I added the shadow and bark markings.  But I actually liked Method 1, shown below, best overall for it's unpredictability.  Method 2, not shown, was ok, but the trees turned out very dark as the tape on top of wet paper drew in and held the color.
All three methods are useful, depending upon your desires.  I would suggest doing some little experiments like this yourself when you're between larger pieces and want a little fun!
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, May 24, 2017

New books available in June from C&T Publishing


I am really really excited about one of the new books coming out in June from C&T Publishing!  I have been planning to make a t-shirt quilt, like, for-Ev-ah.  I know...it would probably be easy enough to just simply wing it, but I'm very happy to get some expert advice from Carla Hegeman Crim and Lindsay Conner in The T-Shirt Quilt Book before I start!

Info on the book says,
Capture the memories of a special time, starting with a quick pillow project or a baby quilt made from onesies, and work your way up to bed quilts in multiple sizes. Learn the secrets to choosing shirts, centering and cutting out around a logo, working with shirts that are too small, and interfacing knit fabrics with finesse. You'll practice your skills with 8 projects ranging from simple squares to pieced stars and triangles, plus easy machine-appliqu├ęd motifs. With beginner-friendly designs and truly unique layouts to entice experienced quilters, this essential guide to T-shirt quilts covers all the bases.

 

Another book that I'm very excited to read is Jean Wells's updated one called Intuitive Color & Design.  Be careful...you might already own the original, which has a different cover.
Jean Wells gives you the assignment of your life: put away your ruler and use your inner vision to design and piece spectacular, free-form quilts you'd never have guessed you could create. In this updated edition of best-selling Intuitive Color & Design, Jean’s workshop assignments get your creative juices flowing, giving you challenges to expand your quilting horizons. Start by learning to see line and color; study the nuts and bolts of design; develop your color work and composition; and when you get stuck, there’s expert advice on problem solving. You will never see quiltmaking in the same way again.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Joy Bursts Forth - a mixed media painting tutorial

Joy Bursts Forth
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I love experimenting with the palette's of painters I admire.  Even if I'm working in different media, I've found that I can at least get close by paying attention to color temperature, transparency, and proportions.  For this piece, I was inspired by the palette that Marc Chagall used for his stained glass windows!

I added a tar gel design to a piece of heavy watercolor paper.  See my notes on Rainbow Gravity for some tips on handling tar gel.  Let the tar gel dry completely before continuing.


I used a small foam roller to cover it with black gesso mixed with a bit of Phthalo turquoise.  Again, allow it to dry.  I brushed on white gesso diluted with water and added a piece of plastic wrap over top while it was still wet.  Using a heat gun as I went, I peeled the plastic off slowly.



For the next step, I mixed the following colors with glazing medium and filled in the shapes produced by the tar gel: Primary cyan, Hansa yellow light, Pyrrole red, Permanent green light, and Quinacridone magenta.  If needed, I added a drop of white gesso to a patch to keep the colors strong.  When the piece is mostly dry, mist it and add black India ink lines with a razor blade.



Make a mask from card stock and painter's tape.  Tape it loosely to the piece and use a foam roller to paint the outside with a mixture of white gesso, black ink, and primary cyan.  Remove the mask and gently roll over the sharp outer edges with the gesso mixture to blur them slightly.



Add more black ink lines, adjust the colors as needed, and paint the tar lines with gesso and primary cyan.


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.
Related Posts with Thumbnails