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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, 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.
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