Mixed Media Canvas

Today I’ll be teaching an inspiresdstudio class on a mixed media canvas. So I’ll share a brief description of the process.  We will work on a stretched canvas. I will demo on 8×10, but the class will work on 11×14.  The first step is a brush blended background. I always use a lot of warm white plus 2 or 3 other colors. It is good to keep the background light at this stage so tissue papers and napkin patterns show up. Load a large flat brush with the warm white and tip a corner in another color. Start in one corner and do criss-cross strokes covering the area and sides. Each time you re-load the brush (without adding water or rinsing in between)start with more warm white and pick up some color. Work quickly so the applications blend with each other. (When I do this at home, I just pour the paint on the canvas, but students often use waaaay too much paint. If i have too much paint, I just smoosh the excess on an altered book page spread.)

Next step is to choose an image and napkins, papers, text in your color scheme. I get my images from the book pictured below. I copy and cut them all out in advance.  Then tear and  arrange the papers, balancing the color, having the patterns in more than one place and including your image placement. Once you have them arranged, you can start to mod podge them in place, beginning with the papers that will be underneath others.

The last steps are to float color on the edges, float a shadow around the image and ground it if necessary, use punchinella to connect shapes and other texture if desired. I sometimes paint in the flesh with a mix of red, yellow and white. Sometimes I just float some burnt sienna in the shadows. I usually add some of my background color to her clothing in washes. You can finish with several coats of mod podge or varnish.ImageImageImage  These canvas’ can have further embellishments that are dimensional. I’ve made them with silk flowers and wood pieces.

The canvas’ pictured above are early stage and finished. Now go make art!


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