Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Making Soft Pastel, Collage and Encaustic

Vicki has always been involved deeply in the creative arts, from professional soft crafts publications (knitting/crochet/needlework) to French Hand-sewing, stenciling to macramé, oil painting to encaustics. Never the less she is still focused on sharing her journey to art and how life events can shape us through creativity. The following are the materials she uses:
  • 12″x 9″ Luan panel
  • R&F encaustic gesso
  • Deli Paper (thank you mixed media artists)
  • soft pastels
  • gold leaf
  • encaustic medium
  • Razor Blade
  • Ranger Tacking Iron
  • Heat Gun
  • Prime the panel with two coats of clear medium, fusing each with heat gun. Alternating a Ranger tacking iron, scraping with a razor blade, and fusing with the heat gunmake the surface smooth. 
  • Lay a layer of tinted medium (melted with scrapings from the early pieces.
  • Gently heat the prepared panel with the heat gun, align and place the deli paper pastel side down, and burnish it carefully and thoroughly.
  • Carefully remove the deli paper from the panel.
  • Gently warm the surface with the heat gun and carefully position the deli paper with the ghost image pastel side up this time, creating a mirror image.
  • With the heat gun again, warm the paper. The underlying layers of encaustic medium will encapsulate the paper, rendering it almost invisible.
  • Carve a circular halo, add more touches of gold leaf
There you have your image.

How to Organize your Mixed Media Collections

All the nature surrounding Ann Strecko Koeman inspires her artwork being a Mixed Media Artist working in the capital of Canada. She collects a lot of ribbons and trims, yarns, cords, and threads in a variety of places. She will buy all things on sale or in clearance bins as well as visiting thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales and ebay. Eventually there is the free stuff she finds through friends and family, Free Cycle, and anything that enters her home and can be recycled such as string, shipping bands, rubber elastics around the vegetables and old clothing unfit for donating but fine for recycling.

With all the above it becomes easy to put away the new items so long they are stored in labeled drawers, shelves and bins. Items that come in tangled messes of pieces she tackles them differently. She dumps them in a big see thru purse that she found at a local thrift store and hangs the bag from one of the drawers in the Studio until she is in need of them. Once in a while she will plunge into the treasure bag and do some organizing.

She has a larger than necessary collection of fibers. She will keep a sample of 3 metres while the rest is stored in a storage closet. More of her work can be viewed on her blog Annmakes.

Creating Art from Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay India Inks

The quest to find different and creative ways or organizing different materials into art is a constant, never ending adventure. While we can’t make something from nothing the act of creation can be fairly difficult without anything to create with. On the other hand becoming proficient in using a few materials over and over again isn’t satisfying enough- new materials need to be found and experimented with until we become proficient in using them.

Anjuli Johnson the Mixed Media Artist used to think that India ink was only available in one color- black. However these different sets of inks come with as many as 12 colors, all vibrant and versatile. On Mother’s days she made Black and white cardstock with clear acetate attached to top with brads while coloring the acetate using alcohol inks and india ink. She also made a sketch while being curious to see how these inks worked on black paper and when the inks dry it becomes permanent and you can leave it as a top layer, or use more wax layers on top. This is a technique she plans to use frequently.

The inks are pretty intense, and adding a little water can make them last longer and go further without taking much away from their brilliancy. Anjuli began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since. She is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.

Art Journal Pages: Tips and Tricks

Mixed media is all exciting and fulfilling for those who love color and art. Most artists will do anything with art because it helps them be creative and be able to express themselves. Tamara Dinius says that her two grown up daughters make her life meaningful in her creative journey because they support her, ground her, embrace her, and are amazing people in their own right. Her love for media is evident having taken over most of her creative projects solely. According to her mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression.

As a way of being creative, she has created videos that will show you the process of completing an art journal layout, start to finish. Some of the materials she will use to complete her layouts include Dylusion Sprays, Liquitex, Acrylic Inks, stamps, stencils, papers, paper napkins, as well as other items. It is in less than 30 minutes that you will have completed the layout.

From Tamara’s work, there seems to be a lot of expression in art. You too can engage in it and to learn more of her work you can check out her website It’s all yours to have and learn.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Making Containers from Mixed Media PapierMâché

Papier-mâché (French for “chewed paper) is a sculptural technique that most people know from elementary school. However papier-mâché was used for making coffins in Ancient Egypt, for armor, medieval church and castle interiors, boats and even aircraft fuel tanks during World War II. to make a papier-mâché bowl in your house you will need:
  • Paper, torn into strips and pieces – tissue paper, newsprint, junk mail, gift wrap, scrap paper
  • Fiber, fabric, threads and other light, “glueable” things
  • Flour or wallpaper paste
  • Masking tape for adhering bases, handles
You can make a balloon bow while using decorative paper for the inside layer. When you have almost reached the desired thickness, think about the base for your balloon bowl. You can get as creative as you like, but one easy method is a base ring. You can also use this technique to make handles and rims.

You can also make a container bowl by covering the inside of that container with plastic wrap and use it as a form. It’s safer to work on the inside of containers you don’t want to cover permanently with papier-mâché. However remember that you are working the outside first this time. When working in a bowl, you won’t need a base to make your object stand, but you can certainly add one later, as well as handles.

Once the objects are dried all the way through, lift your papier-mâché bowl out of the form and pop the balloon. Cut the containers into any shape that pleases you. Decorate the papier-mâché bowls.

Making an Altered Book

With mixed media art you are free to go beyond your comfort zone, using your imagination and exploring an anything goes mind set. Kim Kelly made his very first altered book a year ago when he found out that his uncle Rocky was dying of cancer. Having been given months to live, he wanted to make something that would give him and the family a little hope. And after playing with a book he created a master book and an altered book.

There are a few ways you can alter a book…altering page by page, making a shadow box of sorts, fanning pages, and even cutting shapes out of the pages. However he chose to create a stand up, 2 opening frame display where he used Jacquard Lumiere paints, harlequin chipboard pieces, bead texture, flake texture and texture gel. Here is how you do it:
  • Break the spine of the book by bending and wringing it back and forth
  • Glue the pages together.
  • Draw the lines where you want to cut and then cut down about halfway through the pages.
  • Put at least two coats of gesso on both the cover and the inside, making sure you get all the cracks and crevices.
  • Once you get the texture the way you want it, you can start to add your chip board pieces.
  • Add the decorations you want to use as the last step. 
At the end of the it all you will have learnt and explored new techniques of being a creative artist.

Painting Wood Blocks

Melanie’s style of art is fun, whimsy and eclectic. She adores working with word and altering objects an art that was pasted down on her by her mother who painted art on everything she could alter. She says each night her mother would spend long hours painting on wood, tin and more. She has drawers full of wood blocks, knobs, balls, and cut images and below she shares what she created with lovers of art:

Materials you shall need include:
  • 4 wood balls with flat edge
  • Acrylic paint
  • 1 Large wood block
  • Gel Medium
  • 1 Small wood block
  • Collage images/words
  • Wood glue.
This is the procedure:
  • Start by painting all four sides of wood blocks, knob and wood balls for the bottom.
  • Stamp, stencil or glue paper to four sides of your square blocks.
  • Once you have all your sides painted the way you like you can begin to glue your collage images down to the sides for your blocks. Leave two sides open for a top and bottom with both blocks.
  • Glue your door knob on top of the smaller block and follow the same direction on your large block. 
  • Glue your small block on to the large block and glue your wood balls to the bottom of the large block. Glue your knob on last. Leave plenty of drying time.
  • Embellish your word blocks with your intuition. Use the words you’ve chosen as inspiration to help you complete your blocks.
There you have it!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Learning How to Use Rainbow Colors in your Mixed Media Art Projects

The love of mixed media by Tamara Dinius has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and that anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression. She insists that you can only be a better artist if you learn how to use the colors effectively. The following are some guidelines you can take up to create color wheels and charts to understand how variances in brands of paint can give different results:
  • The vibrancy of the Derwent Inktense Block is the most intense while the Caran d’Ache does not retain as much of its vibrancy.
  • The Derwent Inktense Block retains the greatest intensity. The information received from this will help to determine what product will give the result we are looking for.
  • Create a swatch chart using preferred colors and brands of paint. It is far easier to view your swatch chart when looking for a particular green than it is to mix and remix your paint. 
Tamara has taken numerous classes in watercolor, acrylics, and oil painting and from each class she has acquired great success having become acquainted with various materials. She says her two grown up daughters make her life meaningful because they give her immense support, embrace her and are amazing people in their own right.

Using Recycled Materials to Create Bird House

If you are tired of just slapping paint on your birdhouses, take this opportunity to learn from Shari Welch who is passionate about Mixed Media Art and loves helping to bring along creativity into the lives of others. More often than not, she will reuse and recycle materials in her artwork. The following is what she did to create a decorative birdhouse:
  • Trying out on Washi Tape which worked perfectly well for the outside
  • Cut out a series of scalloped shapes strips for the roof, a flower for the opening and a banner using burlap paper.
  • Glue them together and use a wooden candle stick and a round disc of wood on which they can be attached to 
  • Attach a wire to the roof and to a decouped wooden bird with E600glue
  • Add two types of buttons, small rick rack, shade the flower and the roof line with memento dew drop dye ink pads and markers. You will definitely get a beautiful piece of art for an indoor bird house 
As a result of her passion for artwork, she teaches workshops as well as doing art demos. She lives in Denton Texas where she volunteers for SCRAP Denton.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Making Gift Wrappers with Intricate Paper Stencils

Martice Smith II who is the creative director of Martice Smith II has established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Below is her tutorial on how to make a gift wrap while using Intricate Paper Stencils:

  • Put your tools together and if you have used watercolors, water-soluble pencil or any other water-based mediums spray 1-2 light coatings of varnish. This will result to sealing and prevent bleeding or mixing of colors on your stencils.
  • There’s no need to work on large areas unless your stencils are very large so position your stencils on craft paper. Do not clutter too much of your stencils.
  • Apply spray adhesive and this should be done from outside because of the strong fumes. Each stencil should be sprayed individually with even layers of adhesive.
  • Generously apply Mod Podge® directly to the stencils with a large, bristle brush or a foam brush.
  • Let them dry ad trim the excess and a 15-minutes should be good timing to allow drying. 
  • Continue adding more of your intricate paper stencils if so far you love what you have already done. Once you are done cut off what you need to wrap a package or you can re-roll the kraft paper. 
You are now ready to wrap your gifts and you can start the process all over again.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Nature Inspired Mixed Media Art

Learning and discovering new techniques and materials are two activities that Cecilia Sanchez (CeciScrap) loves to do. Besides, her three gorgeous sons inspire her everyday with their crazy ideas. The art journal is a real diary for her, because sometimes she needs to express feelings with colors and shapes. It is from shapes, colors and textures of nature that she also gets her inspiration. From her early childhood days, Cecilia liked the photography, drawing, collage and make photo albums with cuts and travel souvenirs. Thus she generally loves crafts and it is only a few months after the birth of her twins that she discovered scrapbooking where she began with digital first which was then followed by the traditional scrapbooking. She contributes with some blogs and digital magazines and organized Scrapbooking workshops in Malaga where she lives in Spain.

She started by trying to reproduce the shapes, layers, shadows, though not knowing how it would end and gradually the creative process led her into a final draft. According to Cecilia sometimes you can see the end result from the beginning while other times you ought to wait for a couple of days to see the results. What she loves most is the 30X30 pages, cards and mini albums. With the fascination she has of the Art Journal, all she can think of now is getting her hands dirty with scrapbooking.

Recycling Wooden Cigar Boxes

Kathi F. Rerek is a mixed media artist and has been crafting for almost fourteen years. Her father used to smoke cigars that were packaged in wooden cigar boxes which he re – used to store various items like nails, screws, keys, and batteries. Kathi claimed many of those boxes after her father passed away and she has since used those boxes to feature colored stamped images, a painted surface, and seashells from her collection of art. Here is how she does it:
  • Smoothening the wooden surface with sandpaper so that there are no splinters or jagged bits. Thereafter sealing the wood and providing some tooth for the acrylic paint. This is done by coating the exterior with a layer of gesso.
  • Painting the box surface with Mermaid, Bora Bora, Sky, and Beach Hut Fresco Finish acrylic paints - Top and sides
  • Gel medium was sponged over the die-cut, image panel, and the top of the box, excluding the “sand area”. Shells and pearls were adhered to the sand area and the oval respectively.
  • Painting inside the box with black acrylic paint.
  • Patterned paper from my stash is cut to fit the interior of the box while gluing more shells from various collections
At the end of the whole exercise, Kathi says she is usually so spirited to go on and on using these boxes. Her blog can tell the rest of the story. She has also been lucky to have served on several design teams.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Seth Apter: The Passionate Mixed Media Artist

“The wonderful or not so wonderful thing about the craft industry is there is always something new.” It allows us to give ourselves permission to play and experiment. And you just never know which product or combination will spark a new idea or move your interests in a new direction as there are always new products to try. While the true definition of “mixed media art” is extremely broad, there are three main categories in abundance on the internet at the moment – mixed media painting / collage, journals / books and mixed media assemblage.

Michelle G. Brown is passionate about mixed media art and enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with people to allow them express their own creativity. Michelle loves Seth Apter's pieces of art which appeal to him. Seth is surrounded by inspiration every time he steps out of his front door – the energy of the city, the architecture, the culture and the shops all provide a dose of daily inspiration. This allows Seth to see his work differently and what may have appeared finished at first glance actually needs more work.

Seth will then use the new products, like inks and sprays as adjuncts to the core of his designs. He loves bookmaking and likes to use Gelli printed papers to cover book board, either to create a book or to use as a layer in his collage. By learning a few basic techniques the amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone.

Making Intricate Paper Stencils Part 1

Martice Smith II is the creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio and she loves creating her own backgrounds for her art journal pages. However, she can go through stack of papers when learning a new technique but she will not throw them away; instead re – purpose to create something different with them. She will create intricate, paper stencils using pages from a phone book. Below are the tools and supplies she gathers for her project:

  • Old phone book with torn pages will give you decorative paperwork. Two pages stuck together will give you more stability and strength. 
  • Glue and Gesso which will be used to stick the pages together. The foam brush will be good enough to apply the Gesso because it applies on an even coverage. 
  • Paint for decoration. You can use acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels- whatever. However keep in mind that the more layers of paint added, the heavier/sturdier the final stencil will become.
  • Fold the paper diagonally and be sure to crease all folds with a bone folder. And because Phone book pages are trim off the excess paper after the folds.
  • Use scissors to cut out the largest area(s).
Eventually, add the finishing touches with distress inks, more paint to accent certain areas, embellish with textured stamps or add some glitter.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Inspiring Yourself in Becoming a Full – time Artist

As a paper-crafter and mixed media artist, Keri Sallee believes that everyone was made to create and though pursuing a dream is not an easy task, you must have the strength of heart, heap of patience and a dash of insanity.

She quit her job to become a full-time artist in the paper-crafting/mixed media world something she had never considered until she met an amazing woman named Cheryl Boglioli. Cheryl is a home school mom/medical transcriptionist turned full-time artist and social media maven. The following are the practical tips Keri learnt from Cheryl of becoming a full time artist: -
  • Do your research! Take time to figure out what kind of business is right for you. You can Seek help from those who know more than you.
  • Find a mentor who will not do the hard work for you or act as a business coach but one who will be an example of a professional designer and to be your sounding board for questions.
  • Be prepared for rejection and don’t take it personally. Instead be open to critiquing; in the long run, it will make you a better business person and artist.
  • Be organized and have a plan because it helps keep the lines of communication clear. 
From the Artist’s view Keri learnt that you must also believe in yourself that you can do it. Stay true to yourself by asking yourself self – evaluation questions and by being inspired by those around you. “Inspiration Does exist, but it must find out working.”

Make your Own Tape using the 5 Easy Steps Below

Sandra Parés loves working with mixed media because the colors and textures leave her amazed. She enjoys creating and getting her hands dirty with paint and gesso. Additionally, she has this understanding that mixed media allows me to create her own decorations and customize to the personal style that she prefers best. Some of the supplies she uses for her work include masking tape, permanent markers like Promarker, black permanent ink like Stazon, paper figures punched, templates and paints among others.

Here are the 5 easy steps that Sandra did:

1st step: - using color of Silks Acrylic Glaze while painting the whole tape with a brush give a basic background color. Silks Acrylic Glaze gives good transparency and adds a nice shiny appearance.

2nd step: - Promarker color paints the background of the tape and also with transparency. Once the background is ready, choosing a template is the next big thing while you stencil a pattern with acrylic paint.

3rd step: - Using different Silks Acrylic Glaze to paint the background. We have to paint with a large quantity of paint in the tape, and we can mix the colors.

4th step: - Doing a background with paint or permanent marker while stamping a stamp with a permanent ink making again a pattern throughout the tape.

5th step: - Doing a background with paint or permanent marker but this time small paper figures are pasted

There you have it!