Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mixed media tutorial

Sorry for being late with this post! But it’s a fun one! I think so anyway!
As I told you earlier I’m hosting this month challenge at ARTastic. I was asked to pick a painting of a Swedish artist that would work with a mixed media theme, and to do a tutorial. You can read more about the challenge here.
Here’s my interpretation of the challenge:
And some close ups:

Here's the tutorial that shows one way to work with mixed media on a layout. (This is a shorter version (yet not short) then the one shown at ARTastic.)

Welcome to this tutorial where I’m about to share one way to work with mixed media on layouts (or other backgrounds). You can use this technique to create a rather plain background but I wanted to create the mixed media feeling that is often found in art journaling so I used a lot of layers and paint. :) Most mixed media artists recommend that you use white gesso to cover the whole cardstock before starting. I never do that as I think that gives you colors that are to pale. Another benefit with skipping that step is that the cardstock doesn’t get that crumpled.
You can use different kinds of ink, mist, acrylic paint etc. The only limit is that the product can’t be too wet. I started out with some Distress Ink. This is easy and I guess you have all done it several times before. You just put a template on the paper, press it down so it can’t move and add the ink. The secret here is to dab of the ink pad on a separate paper before working on the cardstock to get a smooth layer.
I then started to add different layers of acrylic paint using a lot of different templates. The technique is exactly the same as shown above with ink. I use a piece of ordinary cheap sponge when adding the paint. Remember, it’s just as important to dab of if you’re using acrylic paint.
This is the final result. What I wanted to achieve is a background where you can’t really separate the layers from each other. On this layout I wanted to create a rather messy impression as I think that the second step in this tutorial will moderate it.
You can also use mist on your templates. What you should keep in mind is to spray from a long distance to make it smooth. Another thing to keep in mind is to be aware of the way the medium you choose blends together. If it does blend and you don’t want it to, you have to dry each layer before continuing (if that helps – it depends on the medium). But, once again, it’s your choice. To blend colors can make an awesome effect. :) If you’re not used to working with different layers and different mediums you can try your ideas on a separate paper along the way. I always have a paper at hand that I use to dab of and try out ideas on.
After splashing on some more paint I went for the second part of this tutorial – to add texture with modeling paste. I use an old putty knife when adding the modeling paste. If you aren’t lucky enough to have an old one I have heard that a credit card works fine. New putty knifes doesn’t work well as they are too stiff. Add the modeling paste in the same way as if you were about to putty, but don’t press that hard. The thicker the layer of modeling paste the more texture you will achieve. A tip is to cover those areas on the template that you don’t want to fill with post-it-notes.
Lift the template carefully and let the modeling paste dry.

I was inpired by the black and white in the inspiration painting so I chose to color the textured poppies with black gesso and filled its contours with a white pen.

The only thing left now is to add some embellishments. My final result is shown above.

My very last (and best) tip is to dare to try whatever you feel like. If it doesn’t come out the way you wanted all you have done is wasted one cardstock and some paint… :) And remember – you seldom have to through it away as it’s often possible to cover the parts that you don’t like with some more white gesso or paint… ;)
I hope you enjoyed this! I can’t wait to see your creations!!!!! You can load your challenge entries here. Good luck!!!


  1. Uauuu.
    Amei o tutorial,bem explicado Helene.
    Muito lindo o efeito que resultou.
    O layout ficou incrível.
    Obrigado por compartilhar :)

  2. This is a fantastic tutorial, Helene! I love your layout, creative, feminine and colorful! Thanks so much for the visit to my blog, I'm so glad I was linked back to yours! :)

  3. Hi Helene, I really enjoyed your tutorial and how you put your page together for ARTastic - it was a great challenge and I loved it too. Wonderful work :)

  4. Great tutorial Helene. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Di xo

  5. Wow! Fantastic work - really love your style and this is very cool! Thanks so much for sharing! :D

  6. Hey great Tutorial Helene, love seeing how your layouts come together! Love that stencil you used for the big black
    flower, gorgeous. Is that a Crafters workshop one?
    cheers. :)


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