Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 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 t

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 This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin.

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," unrecogn

Moon Dance - a mixed media painting tutorial

Moon Dance Cyndi Lavin, 2017 Prints for sale 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 light stripe. I pulled some grayed acrylic paints top and bottom using a slightly darker mix of gray gesso. The colors I used were Medium magenta , Ultramarine blue , and Pyrrole orange .   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!   This post contains affiliate links:

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". 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.