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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, April 30, 2018

Some early experiments with alcohol inks

Rainbow Gravity
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

Whenever I start up with a new medium, I always expect it to be easy.  I don't know why.  Experience has certainly not borne out this cock-eyed optimistic view of life, but nonetheless...

So, I'm humbly sharing some of my earliest "paintings" with alcohol inks.  Yikes!  Over time, I have gotten better, though I'm nowhere near the proficiency level of the best pieces that you see on Pinterest!

Please visit my tutorial on making your own alcohol inks.  It's way way cheaper than buying them ready-made, though as I get better at working with them, I may decide to add some of the Pinata or Ranger colors.  I know the pieces that follow are not that good...they are my baby beginner practice pieces!





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This post contains an affiliate link: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 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, April 23, 2018

Falling Further In - an acrylic pour mixed media painting tutorial

Falling Further In
Cyndi Lavin, 2018


I have been trying some different swipe methods with my acrylic pours, and I recently stumbled onto a technique that I REALLY like.  A lot!  Here's what I did:


1. Since I was just experimenting, I used an old masonite board that already had some dried puddles on it.  You can see the rough surface in the middle.  After painting the background with Black gesso, I added my paints on the diagonal as you can see.  The basic formula for all of the paints is as follows:
1 part heavy bodied acrylic paint
2 parts GAC100
9 to 12 parts Floetrol or GAC800
Dash of 91% rubbing alcohol
Spray of silicone (except in the base color, white)


2. Here are the colors I used: Titanium white, Medium magenta, Hansa yellow light, Cobalt teal, Dioxazine purple



3. I used an old plastic card to drag the paint from the center towards one corner.




4. I added more paint and swiped it towards the opposite corner.



5. After living with it for awhile (and letting it dry completely), I chose an orientation and applied a paper mask to the piece.  Outside of the mask was hit by some thinned White gesso with a foam roller.  The black lines are waterproof India ink.

Originals and prints of Cyndi's work for sale

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 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, April 18, 2018

Book review: Sew Creative


Do you enjoy sewing with children or grandchildren?  Do you want them to learn how to use a sewing machine but also how to do hand stitching beautifully?  My personal opinion of some books that try to do these things is...boring!  No kids want to make uncool, unhip, untrendy projects just to learn some skills.

What they do want are projects like these, which you'll find in Sew Creative by Jennifer Pol Colin:

 
Mermaid tail blanket


Chalkboard backpack

Click on this table of contents to see it larger

You'll notice that most of the projects are for beginners and intermediates.  Only one is considered difficult enough that help will probably be needed.  However, working alongside a child (either both working on one or each doing your own) will definitely add a lot to the fun!  I think a couple of Animal Neck Pillows are needed by my two grands!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Moonrise – a mixed media painting tutorial

Moonrise in December
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Prints for sale

I showed you late last year how to do one of these deeper-toned paintings by using an underpainting (tutorial link).  For the painting at the link, I used India ink, but for this one I used a mix of a mix of black gesso and white gesso, as you can see below.  If you need additional details about how I did this painting, check the other tutorial for more step-by-steps.    

 

I used a mixed medium dark gray gesso to pull the top half with Phthalo blue and Dioxazine purple.  On the bottom, I used a lighter gray to pull Dioxazine purple, Quinacridone magenta, and Pyrrole orangeLet it dry.

   

On the bottom half, I added glazes of Hansa yellow light and Pyrrole orange.  After that dried, I touched up with the original colors mixed with White gesso.  When dry again, use a pipette to drip waterproof black India ink for trees.  My final step was to splatter the piece with a mix of Hansa yellow light and White gesso.  I should have done that before adding the trees!  Next time!



Originals and prints of Cyndi's work for sale

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 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, April 11, 2018

Crochet mania!




Last Monday, I shared a tutorial for crocheting a wave stitch scarf.  Also, there were other links to tutorials that I posted on Beading Arts:
Part one
Part two
Part three

If you enjoy crochet as either a mainstay or sideline of your artistic diet, please visit my Crochet Pinterest board for more projects, links to stitch tutorials, and inspiration!


Monday, April 09, 2018

Ribbon of Blood + Broken Hearts - an acrylic pour painting tutorial

Ribbon of Blood + Broken Hearts
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

Like everyone else, I cried the day that seventeen lovely people were murdered at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  That is was Valentine's Day only made it worse.  Instead of celebrating young love, we mourned the loss.

I don't tend to make a lot of political statements, and I'm not usually one to attend protests or rallies.  I have nothing against these things, they are just not my mode of being.  Instead, I vote.  I pray.  I make art.  I donate money where I think it will help.  The piece above, Ribbon of Blood + Broken Hearts, came from my sorrow following that ugly day.

It's taken me two months to post it here, because I wanted to be able to share the materials and the process with you, but at the time it was just too raw.


1. I decided to use the pour and tilt method of liquid acrylic pouring.  Gesso your masonite boards and let it dry.  Place it inside an aluminum pan, raised up on small cups.  Make sure the surface is completely level. 




2. Mix your paints.  This is how I did it:
  • Small blob of heavy bodied paint in a small cup.
  • Equal amount of GAC 100 (a Golden product).  Stir well.
  • Add self-leveling medium or GAC 800 equal to or more than 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.


3. The colors I used were Yellow ochre with Red oxide, Dioxazine purple with Titanium whiteRed oxide with Quinacridone burnt orange, Cerulean blue, Green gold with Sap green.  Make four puddles of ochre on the masonite board, and top each with a smaller puddle of purple, red, blue, and green.  Tilt the board and let the colors run.  I added more red and swirled a skewer through it.  Re-level it and allow the cells to start to form.



4. I used Faber-Castell Pitt pens to do the sketching after the piece dried.  You can see that more cells formed as it sat.

Originals and prints of Cyndi's work for sale

This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 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, April 04, 2018

New gallery at Fine Art America

Particle Shower Do-Si-Dos
Cyndi Lavin, 2018


Last month, I mounted some of my paintings and got them ready for sale.  In my stumbling-around way, I eventually landed on FineArtAmerica, and decided that would be my new gallery home.  Right now I have a selection of pieces from my physics series available, and I am planning on adding more pieces: trees, geometrics, more from physics, and other abstracts.  If there is a particular piece that you'd like to have, please just message me at beadingarts at gmail dot com, and I will be happy to upload it there for you.

Prints are available in quite a few sizes, from 5.5x8 inches to around 3x4 feet!  And they start at only $20 for the three smallest sizes. 




Monday, April 02, 2018

Making your own alcohol inks


I've been playing around with alcohol inks lately.  I love the bright, over-the-top saturated colors, but I don't love the price.  Looking around online, I found several suggestions for making your own, but some of them neglected to take into account the differences in pigment vs dye in the markers, and the difference in the effectiveness of 91% rubbing alcohol vs regular 70%.

Sun Drenched Icicles
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

I have gotten much much better results with dye-based markers.  Most (not all) permanent markers are dye-based.  Here's an article you can read if you want to know about the chemical difference, and which markers are which.



So what do you do?  Just pull off the point of the pen and put it in a small glass jar.  I used those tiny little jars that you get jelly in at Christmas time!  Pry apart of cut off the end of the pen and slide out the plastic covered reservoir from the center.  I recommend gloves!  It doesn't matter if it's dried up or fresh.  Cut it up to fit in the bottle and cover the pieces with 91% rubbing alcohol.  Shake, and let it sit overnight.


You will have to experiment with amounts, but it's pretty much impossible to make them too concentrated. since you can always thin them down with more alcohol.  If they are too diluted, you can pour them out into a plastic palette and let them evaporate somewhat.  I transferred my inks into little squeeze bottles so that I could control the drips better, but this isn't necessary if you're going to do mostly brush work.

I use freezer paper instead of the pricier Yupo paper, because I'm cheap!  Well, that and because I'm just getting started and don't want to waste expensive paper :-)

I have some resources here, with links to my Pinterest board on alcohol inks and the best book I've found on the subject. 

Copyright 2018 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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