Tuesday, December 16, 2014



One follower leaving a comment below this post will be mailed a brand new, humorous calendar. Contest ends next week. MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  • Print out the duplicates on a copier that creates different sizes , or use an image-editing program to make the sizes smaller or larger. 
  • ANOTHER IDEA: Make every other size lighter or darker, or positive vs. negative! You could even go color vs. grayscale for every other one!
  • Trim away the white edges of each image if desired, and arrange them on a sturdy background before you adhere them.
  • MORE IDEAS: Instead of symmetrical design and formal balance like my example below, try asymmetrical, informal balance in any number of ways. Here are a couple of former posts with more finished examples: digital collage! and another.
how-to, tutorial
Wire Chicken Basket with Eggs

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


This project is not difficult at all, but the results are striking! 
  1. Print an inkjet photo that is high contrast, with many "white" and pure black areas. No gray to speak of! Print it onto an inkjet transparency.                                                                         
    transparency, Guhin
    A real scratchboard tool is great for this!
  2. Flip the transparency to the unshiny, printed side and improve the photo by scratching away some of the black areas. Great opportunity to add visual texture!                                                                                                                                                                        
    how-to, scratchboard, transparency
    Improving the inked side of the transparency.
  3. If some scratched areas need to be pure white for better contrast, rub a damp cloth over them to remove ink.                
    transparency, scratchboard, how-to
    Flipped over to the shiny, front side and ready for the next step!
  4. Next, let's add color to this thing. You COULD paint the back side with acrylics, as shown in this previous post. OR you can do it this way, with colored art paper!  Lay tracing paper over the front side of the transparency, and trace all the shapes that you wish to be colored.         
    Guhin, tutorial
    I'm tracing the mask shapes here, onto thin paper.
5. Use the tracing paper shapes in a sandwich to cut out colored art papers, and arrange the colorful shapes on a sturdy background the size of your transparency (or larger).          

collage, tutorial
I like warm and hot colors with black and white.
6. As you glue the colored paper to the background, keep checking  with your transparency that they are in position.  When they are dried in place, adhere the transparency (shiny side up of course) on top.  All done!
collage, tutorial, Guhin
Original photo and mixed media art copyright Paula Guhin

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


This one's as fun for adults as it is for kids! It's verrrry experimental, so be prepared to try several!
While you can use this technique to create collage papers, I skipped a step and used it directly on thick, absorbent paper upon which I had already collaged three butterflies.
First, allow the collage to dry well.
Next, use cheap shaving foam, not gel. Then spray the foam into a shallow container that's large enough for your collaged paper. (I used good, heavy journal paper and a baking pan.)
Spread the foam smoothly with a painting knife or scraper to make it rather flat.
I used a hodge-podge of alcohol inks, fluid acrylic paint, and even a waterbased spray paint to dot the surface with my colors of choice. Liquid watercolor also works!
how-to, Guhin
This is the shaving cream with inks and paints on it!
Swirl the colors a bit with a tool if desired. Then press the paper, images face down, into the foam. After a moment, lift and scrape off the foam to see your results.
 Note: You can use the foam again, adding more drops of color, unless it becomes "muddy".  Also, instead of a large pan,
you can place the foam on a big sheet
of Plexiglas.
collage, Guhin, technique
Can you find all three butterflies?

The winners of last week's
freebie contest
are followers
Pam Arthur &
Rebeca Trevino!
My thanks to both,
especially if they would
kindly send me (privately, of course)
their mailing addresses and preferences of prizes.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Free Contest!
(Note: This contest has now closed.)
Winners are followers Rebeca Trevino and Pam Arthur!

freebie, P.Guhin
  1. Follow this blog and be willing to privately send me your postal address (continental U. S. please) if you win.
  2.  Leave a comment below this post. Remember, I must be able to reach you (or vice versa) if you win. (I do know how busy the holidays are, but I will post a contact request on this blog when the contest ends, so watch this space!
  3. PrizesA brand new 2015 calendar or a pair of the cutest little blank, hardcover bound books! They're handmade by a professional and they're adorable, but then so are the calendars if I can say so myself. First winner to contact me at close of contest get their choice of prize.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


 The first is done with a peeled crayon, used broadside, although you could use stick charcoal, pastel, or any other medium in stick form.
You know how school kids love to be the one posing instead of drawing someone else? At home you can enlist someone to be your model, too. Mass in the figure from the center outward, working on the form but keeping an eye on the proportions, too.
Guhin, student, art, drawing
Work in a size that's comfortable for you.
Scribble outward until you reach the outer edges of the form. When you have the entire mass built up, go back and press harder in the bulkier areas to give visual weight.

 Our second art activity is contour drawing, looking at the outer edge in contrast to the massed-in figure above. A felt-tip or rollerball pen works good for this. You must concentrate on the figure's boundaries! Do more than one pose, and work quickly.
student, beginner, quick, draw
These are not strictly continuous contour examples.
Continuous contour drawings are done without lifting the pen from the paper. Blind contour drawings are done without even looking at the paper! Regular continuous contour drawings allow you to peek and to lift the pen sometimes!


Saturday, November 8, 2014


If you're like me, you have a stash of many, many photographs to use in your collage work. Heck, you can even use magazine papers for this "painting."
First, select a color scheme and find photos with those colors. Be sure to find textures and patterns as well as solid areas of color.
While you could cut the pieces, my preference is to tear the edges for a smoother look when finished. NOTE: You want a variety of sizes and some change in shape for added interest.
mixed-media, collage, painting
You do want a number of values, too.
See the different sizes?

Second, arrange the pieces on a sturdy background with some overlapping. A canvas panel, archival mat board, or your usual support. (I have even adhered a large, unwanted photo--in related colors--to the support before beginning the arrangement!)
Guhin, tutorial
This is not done! The arrangement has been glued down.
Go for balance, contrast, movement, unity...all that good stuff. My visual texture came from photographs of rusted metal.

When the collage (some would call it a photo-montage) is dry, get out your small, fine brushes and acrylic paints. I like the white, torn edges to show in places, but I also want to add shading for a dimensional effect. So I brush on dark colors as if a light source were shining from one corner and shadows falling away. I use water to dilute the edges of the painted shadows as they move away from the "light."

how-to, painting, Guhin
Pure black isn't as desirable, usually, as a mixed color.
Finally, if desired, stamp or print, letter, spatter, do any
of those fun things should the composition call for it.
I added some small dots, tiny squares, and a few other
tutorial, tute, how-to
The finished piece. I hope you like it!


Monday, November 3, 2014


How's this for a frame-up? Hand-draw your own
edge around a mounted photograph.
Even a snapshot glued to matboard will do. Let the subject matter be your guide as you embellish all around it. Use pencils, pens, or markers to make your border.
If it's a rustic country photo, try a rough wood-grain effect or draw some barbed wire! Is it a floral? Use colored ink or colored pencils and draw leaves, vines, buds...you get the idea.
Variation: Add texture by applying modeling paste or crackle paste around the edges of the photo! (Be sure to "antique" when dry, with thin dark acrylic paint.)
mixed-media, image+art

art, blog, how-to, tutuorial