Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Charlie Bear," A Portrait (Mixed Media play #2)

"Charlie Bear"
Mixed Media
9" by 12"

A Surprise

This is the second mixed media play project I started a couple of weeks ago. I didn't share it right away, as I decided that it worked out well enough to be a belated birthday gift, and, of course, the birthday girl got the first look. ;-)


I found the layering of the colored pencil, india ink, and paint paints to be freeing. I'd like to try making an image like this again of a person or animal a bit more abstractly, but with the same varied surfaces, from implied textures, to somewhat flattened patterning, and soft colored pencil color transitions.

Detail: "Charlie Bear" 
Detail: "Charlie Bear" This is a nice point to show how the different mediums and implied textures came together.


I have a couple of abstract mixed media test pieces to share with you all. I just pulled out the papers, pens, and acrylic paints and had at it. I was more pleased with the process when I started the second piece with collaging paper rather than swishes of paint. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mixed Media Play #3: Details

Layers of Paper Added to the Process

For this piece I decided to see if I could incorporate collage with the colored pencil, india ink brush pen work, and paint pen work that I have been playing with. Usually collage has been a major part of my mixed media work in the past. I'm quite interested in the physical texture and interest it can bring to a piece of art, rather than the implied texture that can be created with crosshatching or other patterning. I hope that the physical texture will absorb those who see the work.


I learned a lot. Using matte medium to adhere the papers really changed how I could use the materials. I was greatly suspicious it would do just that. I ended up using colored pencil and paint pens sparingly because they just didn't like to sit on top of that matte medium. Instead I used the india ink brush pens and acrylic washes.

Next Adventure

I may try laying in the paper later in the process next time to see if I can get a more similar effect to Charlie Bear's portrait my last Mixed Media experiment (He'll be the subject of my next post. :-)). The piece is close to being finished, but not quite there yet (and I'm trying to keep it under wraps until it reaches its recipient), so I'm sharing some exciting surface and color details today.

This has also reminded me of how much I need to do some abstract mixed media work. There is something meaningful and meditative about the mixed media process and I think that is something the viewer gets to experience too.

Detail: This is an early part of the process. All the papers had been adhered with Matte Medium
and I had started to layer in india ink brush pen work and paint pens.

The colors and texture in this part of the piece were so much fun, but the piece as a whole was not
cohesive yet. I need to pursue this kind of energy in a mixed media abstract work.

Detail: Here you can see a couple of different ways I tried out feathers in the collage
 process. I'm interested in the versatility of effects that can be created and that they are
more of a textural element than an obvious feather on the surface of the art.

In the little brown patch the very soft feather took on a wavy surface that reminds
me of hair and water while up higher in the various shades of white, cream, yellow,
 etc. the feathers have a much more bold effect prominently stepping off the surface.

Detail: A close up of one of the feathers worked in to the paint, paper, and pen work.

P.S. You may have forgotten the Whole Piece Series by now, but I haven't. :D  It has been too long since I posted about it! :-P That shall be remedied. So, keep an eye out!