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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...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mixed media tutorials and tips

Perhaps you feel that there is no need for instruction in mixed media. It’s something that just comes naturally to you. Or on the other hand, maybe you’re just beginning to explore assemblage, altered books and other constructions, and you need a gentle nudge to get you going.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, there are instructions and projects in the links below that will challenge you to move beyond what you are currently doing. I guarantee it!

Suze Weinberg’s Tutorials
Her tagline is “Schmooze with Suze”, and her instructions are clear and friendly.

Wonderful ideas and tips from collage artist Susan Pickering Rothamel.

International Society of Altered Book Artists
Online classes available to members of ISABA.

Mini-Books, Flaps, and Folders
Links to sites that provide how-tos on constructing handmade.

HeartsArt Tool Box
Some of the master artists from HeartsArt radio show provide information on mixed media techniques.

Ann Baldwin’s Techniques
Very generous information by a fabulous artist.

Encyclopedia of Symbols
Can be searched by words or graphics.

Dozens and dozens of inspiring pictures and instructions.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

India ink resists

Over in the Mixed Media forum of WetCanvas, our friend Sonia showed us a great tutorial on using gouache as a resist for India Ink. She works in watercolors, and the ink gave her piece a lovely "pop" that we all wanted to learn to do.

Well, I don't work with either watercolors or gouache very often, so I decided to try changing the method slightly so that I could at least give it a go with what I've got. I don't paint like Sonia does either (I'd be embarrassed to even show you a simple house and a tree), so I stuck with geometrics. I'm even slightly challenged with them as you'll see!

Here's what I did:
I used student grade oil pastels and rubbed them into my surface is a sort of spotty manner, so that the diamonds weren't completely solid.

It made a very bright - and unattractive - pattern. Then I sponged black India Ink all over it. The pastels act as a resist, but because I didn't apply them really heavily, the ink soaked into a lot of spots.

Before the ink had a chance to dry completely, I rinsed it off and patted the piece dry with some paper towels. I think I'll have to spray it with an acrylic or varnish to keep the pastels from rubbing off, but it looks a lot better to me. This certainly isn't a "finished" piece, but as a sample, I'm pretty happy with the effect!

Thanks Sonia!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Digital effects techniques

Another topic we visit pretty frequently here is different digital effects tips and tutorials (including those that mix physical and digital work). So I thought that they should get compiled for future reference too! You'll always be able to find the link in the sidebar under The Basics.

Transparent digital backgrounds

A photographic collage

Gaussian blur

Adding an embossed layer to your photos

Digital collage using scanned background papers

Multiplying your color options

Encased tissue paper

Using a gradient fill

Creating a digital mixed media collage

How to create a peaceful landscape

Making a digital stamp

How to digitally create "fuzzy memories"

How to make a digital Polaroid image transfer

Infrared with Photoshop

Cyanotypes with Photoshop

"Match color" in Photoshop

Black and white conversion methods with Photoshop

Pop art with Photoshop

Making a layered digital collage

Mixing digital and physical art

Digital manipulation with a torn landscape

Messing around with curves

Mixed media piece with watercolor background

Combining texture shots into a new image

Creating a glowing blurred border

Tesselation tool online

Graphic style florals

Adding a shadow with Photoshop

Photoshop border with a burned edge

Combining cartoon and vintage imagery

Fractured photographs

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Creating a glowing blurred border

This is a fun way to finish off some of your experimental pieces that you create in Photoshop. I love this particular border for expressionistic, impressionistic, or surreal pieces, or for anything that doesn't use a lot of hard edges. This method allows the border to blur and glow, while keeping the central image as sharp as you want it.

1. Open your completed image in Photoshop.

2. Make 2 duplicate layer copies of the image.

3. Add a canvas border to the background copy, using the color picker tool to find a color that looks good with the piece. Duplicate this layer, keeping this copy below the two other duplicates. Lock your original layer and work from now on with the other three layers.

4. Pick the middle layer. Apply the motion blur filter (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur) to the image. I used 50 for the angle and 150 pixels. Experiment to find the size that suits you best.

5. Pick the bottom layer. Apply the motion blur filter to this one too, but use a different angle and pixel number. I used 60 and 200.

6. Pick the middle layer again. Add the layer style effect called outer glow to the image. Experiment with size and shape. I made mine pretty big so that it would be obvious in this example.

7. Use the eraser tool to remove the hard edge from around the top layer.

Copyright 2009 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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Friday, May 08, 2009

Artsy blogging round-up!

Heritage Photos – Learn Something New Every Day
Do you know how to scan an old newspaper photo without all those pesky little ink dots being visible. Eileen just happened upon the key.

Upcycle a used shirt with crocheted flowers
Have you ever passed up on buying a great shirt at a second hand store because it had a logo from someone else's company? Well, now you CAN upcycle that shirt and make it uniquely your own! Here's a tutorial on how to crochet simple flowers to cover up an unwanted logo.

Hope is the thing with feathers
Read about my daughter's senior art show, the installation piece that she made, and the cause it supports! The video below is grainy because unfortunately my camera was set to compact mode.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Senior art project: Wings

My daughter Dani had her senior gallery show yesterday. Instead of creating multiple pieces for this one, the project was one big installation: a 20 ft pair of gently flapping wings. The piece was to benefit the non-profit organization Not For Sale, an group working to end the enslavement of people worldwide, including here in the USA.

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