Monday, February 8, 2016


You have know you do...saved pieces on which you experimented, or scraps from failed works. Maybe you even keep papers on which you've tried out colors or wiped your brush!
This tutorial describes my own, simple method for creating a quick collage. Use it as fun inspiration, motivation, as a lesson for kids, or perhaps even to make a serious finished artwork! You can also add mark-making if you feel some areas need more. OR you might borrow from the finished design to compose a painting!

tutorial, how-to
A "Primary-ly" red, yellow, and blue color scheme.
1. Go through your stash of your own, original decorative papers. You might already have a color scheme in mind...I did! Gather them together, and check to see if you've included a full range of values from near-black to white. TIP: No need to stick with brights, as I did...all neutrals are terrific for this. Or complementaries like orange and blue, or whatever grabs you!
collage, tutorial, MixedMediaManic
Not a collage, just a sampling of papers, but I sorta like it.
2. I went with cut edges and geometric shapes, although torn, organic shapes work too. Aim for a variety of sizes (and shapes). Arrange on a sturdy support and audition a number of compositions before gluing anything down. Strive for balance! And unity! Are there some similarities and some differences? Is the finished collage harmonious? HAVE FUN!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


And this technique re-uses unwanted paintings, too!

Tissues and rice papers can be torn and adhered, wrinkles and all. I actually used acrylic paint as my glue!

My very rough first step.
Such papers are very absorbent, so do wait for the first stage to dry and seal with clear acrylic medium if desired. I did!
Then I painted in a layer of several colors, again very roughly.

art. blog, painting, collage
Stage 2, still not finished.
A thin wash of dark acrylic paint was added here and there. Finally I scraped with a painting knife and refined somewhat.

art+blog, mixed-media
Not my favorite work, but it reminds me of my travels.
The finished collage - painting.

Monday, January 25, 2016


This is my final post in the current series on handy suggestions.
See several more (previous) pages for more ideas!

Brushes straight up!:

The best way to store brushes after cleaning them is to get a nice-size block of green florist's foam. Stick the ends in the foam, leaving the bristles to stand on their own.  
art.painting, hint
Water drains from the ferrules this way!
Going straight:

When you want to paint straight lines, try an inexpensive pizza cutter. Thin the paint the same way you would for a liner brush, until it is an ink-like consistency. Roll the pizza cutter through it, then roll it on the canvas. Or try wooden skewers as painting tools. AND/OR the painted edge of a piece of cardboard. Cool!

art+blog, mixed+media

Mr. Clean Comes Through:
The "Mr. Clean Original Magic Eraser," which is mostly used for household purposes, removes dry watercolor paint if you first soak it (the magic eraser) in water, squeeze out the excess, and rub gently over the paper.

Painting tip:
Tone your canvas before use. This gives an immediate mid-tone to the painting, and you can start adding light and dark values right away. Or, if using gesso first, tint it first.

Make your own sepia paper:
To make beautiful, sepia-colored paper for art projects, soak sheets of heavy white papers in a casserole tray filled with warm, brewed coffee. Set sheets to dry on racks designed to cool baked goods. The cooling rack will leave an attractive design on the sheet -- to keep it plain, line racks with waxed paper. You may also wish to sprinkle sheets with the coffee grounds (to be dusted off later), leaving dark sprinkles of color.
MY PERSONAL THANKS to the followers who stick with me...I seem to take it hard when one quits, even knowing there are multiple possible reasons beyond control. DO let me know if you crave more mixed-media paintings, or assemblages, or whatever makes your little hearts beat faster. I live to serve.



Sunday, January 17, 2016


texture, mixed-media
Texture: A good way to break creative block is to collage rice papers and paper scraps onto heavy watercolor paper with matte medium. See the example above. After it's dry, use pastels, pencil, watercolor, acrylics, or whatever you wish to finish the piece!

Love those old wallpaper books!:
Ask for old swatch books free from the paint store, and use the vinyl samples as a support for various media. Oil pastels are great because you can layer and sgraffito the pastel and enjoy a bit of the background pattern showing through. See below.
tips, techniques
Oil pastel over vinyl, then scratched through.

art+blog, mixed-media
They DO look like china flowers!
Make your own “porcelain” flowers:
Believe it or not, these “porcelain” blooms are fabric flowers dipped in tinted plaster of Paris!
tips, mixed-media


A cool technique with acrylics:
See my own above! I plan to use this cut up into pieces!
Create interesting backgrounds with rubber cement, to keep certain areas white. First, apply some rubber cement and let it dry, paint a color and let dry, apply rubber cement in an interesting pattern and let dry.  Do again with another color. When that’s dry, pick up or rub off the cement across the entire piece, and see what is underneath.
(I did the one shown above 4 or 5 times on a single white surface, and needed elbow grease to remove all the rubber cement!)

For left-handed artists...turn your spiral bound sketchbook upside down and work from the back of the book. The spirals will be on the right side and not interfere with your hand.

A fun exercise to motivate you:
When you need inspiration, try the two-hand method. Pick up a different-colored marker or colored pencil in each hand and draw something—or nothing! Move both hands at the same time, alongside each other in a similar pattern. You'll be amazed at what your non-dominant hand can produce. A great warm-up tool.

mixed-media, tips, techniques


Saturday, January 9, 2016


See last week's post, was the
beginning of this series of
pointers for mixed media artists!

An old trick to see with new eyes:
To check your accuracy, view your work in a mirror. This will give you a fresh look rather than simply turning your piece upside down.

Hair of the brush:
Natural bristle or sable brushes getting scruffy? Inexpensive hair conditioner might bring back some spring to the bristles. 

Reuse old magazines (and more!) as paint palettes:
Use a magazine that you have finished reading (or an old phone book!) as a palette for your acrylic paints. The glossy paper won't absorb the paint and after you are finished your session, just flip over a page or two.
Old muffin tins and/or plastic ice cube trays hold separate colors of acrylic paint, too. Find them for cheap at thrift stores. Styrofoam egg cartons are free!

And: Whether you're finished with your painting or are just half way through, you can put your palette of wet acrylic paint in the refrigerator and it will stay fresh up to 2 weeks!

And: Use aluminum foil as your acrylic painting palette while painting and cover the paint with another sheet of aluminum foil when you are finished. Open it in a week and you'll see the paint is still usable.

Baby wipes are great for cleaning oil paint off your hands and tools. And they’ll help moisturize your hands!

And: Add about 10% Liquin Original (medium). Not only will you get more out of your paint, but the painting will dry faster, allowing you to re-work sooner.

Having trouble with the caps on your paint tubes getting stuck and hard to open? Place a small square of Saran Wrap over the tube before replacing the cap. It keeps the paint
from drying on the inside of the cap and sticking to the tube. Much easier opening!

And: To prevent paint from drying out prematurely because of cracked caps, save extra caps from those tubes that are still in good condition when you’ve used up your tube. That way, you will always have a cap ready to replace the bad one when that happens.

Stop with all the paper towels!:
Cut up old, stained t-shirts into small pieces. Excellent for drying brushes, erasing off wet paint when needed, cleaning your palette. Helps to save the environment.

Next week I'll even have pictures illustrating
more hints and suggestions
for artists using many media.


Friday, January 1, 2016


mixed+media, art+blog        
I used colored pencil here.
I hope to inspire you
with the content below
even if one or two are 
old pointers
(to you, anyway)
that you haven't
used in awhile!

Check your values: Before
adding the finishing touches
to your artwork, take a picture
with your digital camera using
the black and white setting,
or change it to black and white
on your computer. You'll be
able to quickly judge if your
values are correct. 

art+blog, Guhin, how-to
Heat up the texture:
Have you tried this technique?
Paint a canvas with a heavy
coat of acrylics. Then, while still wet and
in a well-ventilated area, use a heat gun to bring
up bubbles in the paint. Let it cool down and then
heat it up again if necessary. When cool, go over
the bubbles with a contrasting paint color so
the cracks and crevasses will be enhanced.
See below.
tip, pointer, trick, how-to
I used an old, unwanted painting as my base.
tips. tricks, easy
For simple round forms.
Paint berry forms easily:
To paint quick and easy grapes & berries,
load a round stencil brush with your main paint color
(purple for grapes, red for berries, etc.),
then load white on the outer edge.
Place your loaded brush straight down
on your painting surface, give it a
swirl and lift. Try smaller
and bigger brushes for grape bunches. 
technique, how-to
I used a round foam brush!
See more tips and tricks next time, for many media!


Sunday, December 20, 2015



Below, tiny squares on a calendar were filled with daily thoughts.

Guhin, art, blog 

Pinterest, idea, art 

Front and back cover, and the fastener.

Love the integration of back and front.
The third example, also found on Pinterest, is a finished page that I quite liked.
Guhin, art, blog
Love the color scheme!