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Aspen Afternoon - a mixed media painting tutorial

Aspen Afternoon
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

For this piece, I started with a very limited palette that I wanted to experiment with.  For the sky, I used a Phthalo blue gradient, and for the trees, I used Hansa yellow medium, Pyrrole orange, Green gold, and waterproof white ink

1. Using a large foam brush, paint a blue gradient onto a wet piece of watercolor paper for the sky.  Use a paper towel to wipe off an area for the mountain background. 


2. Working from the bottom of the piece, alternate blobs of your yellow, orange, and green paints.  Use White gesso on a foam brush to pull the colors upward. 


3. Use white ink to drip trees from the bottom with a pipette.  Use a skewer to add some skinny branches.  Also use the skewer to add bark markings with diluted Phthalo blue. 

4. Cover the tree area with Polymer medium and the sky area with Matte medium.  Let it dry.


5. Use a ratty brush to stipple in "leaves", making sure the tops are uneven across the horizon.  I used 2 parts of the Hansa yellow medium to 1 part of the Green gold.  I topped all of it with a bit of Iridescent gold, and once everything was dry, I gave it all a final coat of Matte medium and a few coats of Krylon spray.     

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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.


Aimeslee Winans said…
Very pretty piece, and I love how you did it using drips and bands of color. I was curious as to why you used polymer medium for the area you were going to add to and matte medium for the other. I am supposing it's because you prefer polymer medium as a workable fixative as it were. I will have to try this for myself! Thanks for the tutorial, xoxo
Cyndi L said…
Thank you for your are exactly right! When I went to add the "leaves", I wasn't sure exactly how heavy I wanted them. I find that the gloss formula is much easier to wipe clean of mistakes, even after the paint dries somewhat. I wanted the entire piece to have a matte finish, so after getting the leaves the way I wanted them, I covered them in matte medium :-)