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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...

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book review: The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design


Ok, either you love Sharon Boggon's work, or you're wrong! :-)

But seriously, how could you not love her work?  Just look at what you'll find in The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design:


Sharon's main goal, I feel, is to teach you how to tell a story with your quilts, how to make every part of the process serve the art.  To that end, she starts with an overview of the encrusted crazy quilting style, discusses how to design that journey for your viewer, and then moves to piecing and stitching.  The second half of the book teaches you how to do beautiful variations on basic stitches and how to incorporate beads, buttons, and more.

I don't often quote parts of the books that I review, but I just want you to have an example of one of Sharon's many many (many!) tips that you will find in this book.  I recommend it for beginners and experienced quilters alike:
"A good, quick way of finding a color scheme is to select a favorite patterned fabric. The trick is to find fabrics that match the colors in the fabric. Once you have about five colors, you will have your color scheme for a block.  Look for fabrics that match a favorite photograph.  As you piece a block, don’t forget to select lace, thread, beads, and buttons to harmonize with the colors in the fabric patches. Think about color not only as you piece your project but also during the hand embroidery and embellishing phases."

Monday, September 25, 2017

Into the Woods - a mixed media painting tutorial

Into the Woods
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I used a batik-style background for this piece.  The instructions can be found at the link above.  It's super-easy to do, using waxed paper and some non-waterproof black ink.  After adhering the textured paper to your substrate and ironing it, I would advise adding a few coats of acrylic spray to prevent any running.

 


I used heavy-bodied acrylics diluted with water (not medium) in the following colors: Permanent violet dark, Quinacridone magenta, Hansa yellow medium, Phthalo green, and Ultramarine blue.  I spread it around on my piece using pipettes.  I used paper towels to blot it frequently, and to build up layers of color.

After drying thoroughly, I spritzed the piece with water and used regular water proof India ink in a pipette to drip the trees and add thinner branches.  I let it dry and then adjusted the paint colors as needed.


This post contains affiliate links.  
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, September 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Light in the Forest - a mixed media painting tutorial

 

Last week I talked a little about adding some depth to an abstract by shading the elements in a way that draws the eye into the picture rather than just across it.  Today's piece uses the same technique with a different color palette, and in a much larger size so that the elements could be spread out a bit more.  I wanted to see if that would make a difference in the perception of depth.


 

The background was rolled with Green gold and allowed to dry.  I then painted around the center, moving outward, with Sap green, Phthalo green, and Turquoise phthalo, these three being both mixed with white gesso and plain.  I then dripped in the most "distant" trees, white ink with a couple drops of turquoise paint.  After they dried, I sponged the whole piece lightly with Iridescent copper (not shown above).



 

The next step is to drip in the "middle distance" elements, this time mixing the white ink with a bit less turquoise.  When they were dry, I sponged over just the area with the existing trees.




For the last area, the "foreground", I used plain white ink with no added turquoise.  Once dry, I sponged the entire piece with the Iridescent copper.

This composition breaks a "rule" by putting the focal point right smack in the middle, but I'm ok with that.  More bothersome to me than the central placement is that the focal tree is more realistic than the others, and I do think that was a mistake.


This post contains affiliate links

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, September 11, 2017

Autumn Glory - a mixed media painting tutorial

Autumn Glory
Cyndi Lavin, 2017



As my obsession with trees continued, I had a pile of paintings that just didn't work out.  I used one of those as the base for Autumn Glory, although that's not really completely accurate since I repainted the entire thing!  However, just to be completely honest, the background was very dark, and maybe a little bit of it shows through the lighter colors near the middle.  Or not :-)

This piece was the first of my experiments with adding more obvious shading to the trees to suggest distance.  I didn't want to go too far into the realm of realism, but on the other hand, it's good sometimes to apply what you know to your abstract work as well.  Abstract doesn't mean "rule-free"!



The center portion was rolled with Hansa yellow opaque and white gesso.  I let it dry and then sponged on two strengths of Pyrrole orange and gesso, and of Dioxazine purple and gesso.

 

Mix waterproof white ink with a few drops of Dioxazine purple and a drop of water if needed, and drip the distant trees.  Let them dry and sponge over them lightly with Iridescent copper, just where the trees are and the center of the piece.

Mix white ink with a bit less purple and drip in the mid-distance trees.  Sponge them and the distant trees (again) with Iridescent copper.  Don't re-sponge the middle. 


Use white ink with no purple at all for the foreground tree.  Sponge the entire piece lightly with copper one last time.  

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

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, September 06, 2017

Beading Arts book reviews - part three

 

The books that I am sent to review that cover wearable art, beading, bead jewelry, etc are found on the Beading Arts blog.  Every so often, I like to list them here so that if you are interested in those topics as well as painting, collage, and quilting, you can bounce over and see the ones that catch your eye!

In Chronological order:

The Embroidery Book

Micro-Macrame Jewelry

Simple Metalwork Jewelry 

Casual Bead Elegance 

Jewelry Made with Wire + Fiber 

Jewelry Making with Resin 

The Art of Quilling Paper Jewelry


Earlier lists:
Part one
Part two 

 

 

 

 




Monday, September 04, 2017

Spring Blows In 2 - a mixed media painting tutorial

Spring Blows In 2
Cyndi Lavin, 2017



I liked the colors of a piece that I shared a few weeks ago (Spring Blows In 1) so much that I did a second one using a slightly different technique.




This time I dripped the waterproof black ink trees first, allowed them to dry, and then sprayed them with fixative just to be sure.  I mixed up the following acrylic colors with silicone and medium, but instead of pouring puddles, I poured thick lines: Medium magenta, Hansa yellow opaque, Pyrrole orange, Titanium white.

I topped these with a thick line of white paint, swiped across and swirled.  The paints were not thick enough to form cells, but they still did lots of neat skittery little things that I loved.  After adjusting some of the colors, I let it dry overnight, and then dripped a few more black trees.


This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick
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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