Mixed Media From The Heart
When I paint, I paint from the heart. I capture my dreams, my hopes, my reality and my daydreaming into my art.
If you’ve ever struggled to find what you like and wondered how to create meaningful art that becomes personal and full of passion, this workshop will be perfect for you.
More than just a painting class, I will show you the mixed media techniques I use on my paintings to journey through my process for creating mixed media art as an outlet for my dreams, my worries and my imagination to create art with a personal and distinctive style that you will love to call your own.
This course consists on 5 sections of inspiration
- Color and Inspiration. In this week we will get inspired! We’ll search for those things that really put us in a creative mood and learn how to start and keep a color diary. We’ll also explore our personal symbols and begin shaping your true voice.
- Backgrounds. We can stay in this topic forever! Backgrounds are my favorite thing to paint and collage and we will have lots of fun creating different backgrounds and papers for our mixed media pieces and art journals during this week.
- Art Journaling. I find that keeping an art journal has helped me grow as an artist and find my true voice and I want to share that experience with you. In this week we will learn more about art journaling. We will play with our materials as preparation to paint and have lots of fun.
- From sketchbook to canvas. In this week we will begin to construct a mixed media piece from scratch. Follow me as I guide you through my process, from finding the idea to translating it to canvas.
- Putting it all together. In our last week we will continue working in our pieces. I’ll show you my method to finish a piece and we will have our show and tell. It will be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what you create from your heart in this class!
Color And Inspiration
Welcome to this workshop!
I hope everybody is as excited as I am to begin. This course is all about finding what you like, who you are and expressing that in your art.
I remember when I was at school, the first day was all about the future. What we will cover, when the tests will be given, what materials to bring. Since you already have your materials, let's begin with the weekly activities.
Week 1: Color and Inspiration
Week 2: Backgrounds
Week 3: Art Journaling
Week 4: From sketchbook to canvas
Week 5: Putting it all together.
You can see in the left side the different weeks. Each week was break into different activities. You can see all the activities since the beginning of the week, but I recommend you to read the first one, make the activities suggested and then move to the next one.
I included interviews with some of my favorite artists in each week. They will talk about their creative process and how did they find their voice.
If you have questions, please ask them below their correspondent activity. That way it will be easier for all of use to follow up. The same with images, do you want to share pictures of your work in progress, inspiration or finished pieces? You can upload them either in each activity or go to our Facebook page and do it.
Some activities will have downloadable PDF's that will show at the end of each page.
Are you ready?
I wanted to show you my studio in it's natural state, I decided not to tidy up and prettify too much so you can see what a day in Danitaland is like. Since I work at home and it's not really open to the public (Unless you drop by for a cup of coffee, and you're more than welcome to do so), my studio is not glamorous but it's very practical, full of eclectic details from little things I love that I have been collecting over the years.
I am self taught and a book hoarder, I love buying and reading art and inspirational books and they take a considerable amount of space in my studio, always ready at a moment's notice when I need to read something, or get inspired by looking at illustrated children's books.
On this video I will show you a little bit of what goes on when I make entries on my color journal, so you get a glimpse of what goes into it and how to use it later.
I love adding a vintage wash to my paintings as a final touch. I think it helps the painting get a more "put together" look and I love to see how colors transform under it. That last step is optional, you can decide to leave your painting as is for a more modern look, or you can add it.
You can use either burnt umber acrylic, oil or walnut ink for that process and we're going to practice in our color journal for future reference.
Painting The Backgrounds
I'm in love with papers. Any kind of paper! They offer such possibilities for art! I collect lots and lots of them and on this video I will show you what I look for in vintage and new papers so you can incorporate them in your work.
Stamping is so fun! I bet you have done stamping in your life at least once, even in kindergarten with potatoes and sponges. In this video I'll show you how to incorporate stamping into your backgrounds and how to make your own stamps.
Stencils are my latest obsessions. I love the way you can incorporate them into your art. In this video I'll show you how.
Before we work in our journals, we have to prepare our paper. In this video I'll show you how.
A few tips:
- Unless you're working with a Moleskine or a journal with thick pages, I recommend you to glue 2 or 3 pages together before working on them if you're using wet media.
- You can use either white, black or transparent gesso to prime your pages or tint your white gesso with any color of acrylic.
- If you're covering your pages with paper it's not necessary to prime them with gesso first.
- You can use transparent gesso to your paper for a better adhesion of the subsequent layers (specially if you're using pencils or pastels to it).
- I glued everything with Golden Gel Medium but you can also use Modge podge, Decoupage or even white glue.
- Have fun! Art journaling it's not expected to be perfect, it's more about self expression so don't be afraid to ruin it, just do it!
Here are more background techniques that you may want to incorporate either in your art pieces or your journaling:
- Gesso your page and then while still wet draw on it with a pointy thing (could be a pencil). Let it dry and then add soft pastels and rub them with your fingers or a paper napkin.
- Add golden gel medium with a knife spreading it along the pages and leaving some texture on it. Let it dry completely before going to the next step. Once dry, add paint diluted with water and rub it with a rag to remove some of it. You can use one or more colors for this step. You can add a little bit more of water to remove more paint and add more layers of paint if you removed too much. The smother your gel medium the flatter the result.
- Use alcohol inks and acrylic inks to create splashes of color on a gessoed page. (If you don't use gesso first you won't be able to move the ink, it will soak into the paper right away). Add water and then remove some of the color. You can let it dry for a darker color too (altough this will take foreeeever).
Some more tips:
- When you don't feel very inspired or have some free time, go ahead and gesso your pages and let them dry. That way you'll have many ready to work with pages when inspiration strikes.
- Another thing you can do when you don't feel very inspired is working just in backgrounds, I've done this many times and when I less expect it inspiration is back.
- Stenciling using citrasolv in your magazine pages will remove the ink from the stenciled parts and will leave a very cool effect.
- There's no limit to the number of layers you can do, so have fun y experiment. Make them as simple or complicated as you'd like.
In the following pictures I'm sharing pages from my personal Art Journals. As you can see, Art Journaling is a very personal thing and not necessarily pretty. There are pages that express sadness, others joy, others important events, others are just simple reminders and others are just because I felt like doing them.
Want to take a look?
From sketchbook to canvas
"When you start a painting it is something outside you. At the conclusion you seem to move inside the painting".
Welcome to Week 4!
This week we will start working in our sketchbooks. Some people like to do sketches and other people enjoy more to work directly on canvas. I like to do both but I tend to work more often with previous sketchbooks and I find them very useful for the times when I'm in need of ideas or I don't feel very creative. We will also learn how to draw faces and incorporating them into your paintings.
Take out your pencil and a sketchbook (or grab a napkin if it's all you have available) and let's start!
There are so many ways to draw faces, you can change the shapes of the heads, make the eyes bigger, smaller, up in the face, lower, smiling, angry, with eyebrows, without them. Just by changing those details you can achieve a different look each time. Try practicing until you find what you're comfortable with. I'm more drawn to cute faces with big heads and eyes and attached is a PDF document with the instructions for drawing a face for you to download and practice.
My traces are very loose and natural when I work on my sketchbook, and I cannot get that free flowing feeling when I draw or sketch on the canvas, so I enlarge a copy of my sketch, and then carefully trace over it with carbon paper.
If you don't have carbon paper you can still transfer your drawing by covering the back with pencil (just color the back of the page with your pencil), and then transfer it.
Another way to work with your sketches is to scan or copy them, and then cutting them out to get figure templates. Very useful if you are going to do collage pieces with that later.
This one is not for the faint of heart, but it sure is fun! You just grab a pencil and start drawing!
This video will show you how I prepare for a painting, let's see how fast I can have one from scratch using the materials we have covered so far.
As a bonus, you'll see that I have a crazy way to work... I draw a rough sketch on the panel, then I cover it all with paper and paint, but I remember how everything was before I covered it so I sketch the good sketch over everything... I'm weird. Better do as Danita says and not as Danita does.
With the background I prepared on the previous video, I will show you how I work transferring the sketch I have in my mind into pieces of paper to collage and paste on a real painting. It's another way to do it and I'm not drawing it directly on canvas first because with those color I couldn't see a thing, second because I wanted the parts to cut the scrapbooking paper.
After watching this video, choose you favorite technique from the ones we've covered and get ready to give your sketch from the heart a real makeover and turn it into a beautiful work of art.
Putting it all together
You already know how to draw a face and now you will learn how to paint one with this super easy method that involves almost no shading and just 2 basic colors: White and Raw Umber. Let's see how it's done!
We're using our stash of papers here or you can choose to paint the figure, either way dressing the figure is so much fun!
You can download the Body types.pdf file below with some pretty simple types of body that I use in my work to help you make your own. You can enlarge them or make them smaller to fit your work.
I love to add shadows and lights with my soft pastels. In this video I'll show you.
Here's a practical demo of painting and shadowing a figure with pastels, you can see how the figure starts taking shape and looking deeper and deeper with every step.
There are so much pretty embellishments out there that I find it necessary to include them in my paintings. In this video I'll show you how to add rub-ons and stamps to your piece.
Adding vintage style mica flakes to your paintings gives them a touch of whimsy and it's great for those Christmas and Halloween paintings. I get mine at eBay and I've even found it colored! Applying it it's super easy. Watch the video to learn how.
In this video I'll show you ways to embellish the sides of your paintings and give them an extra that unifies them for a more complete look.
Adding texture unifies your painting and holds everything in a coherent way. It also prepares your surface for a very interesting effect when you apply the vintage wash. I will show how to apply it and have fun with it.
The crackle medium is going to give an old, distressed and weathered look to anything that you apply it to. If you apply it on a thin layer you get thin crackles, and a thick layer will get you thicker and larger cracks. This is very unpredictable and has a life on it's own, but it's a lot of fun to use it.
If you decide to add a vintage wash to your paintings, I'll show you how to do it using oil and walnut ink. Just be prepared with a rag!