Friday, May 22, 2015


Not an aspect of mixed media, you might say? Many artists use faces and figures in their collages,
paintings, and other mixed media artwork.
But have you noticed how many people hide
the hands of their figures?
Practice drawing many different poses of hands
and feet, and you can't help but improve!
sketch, charcoal
Charcoal study
art+blog, Guhin
This was done with Conte in several colors.
sketch, Guhin, art+blog
A good project for high school kids.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I had some black tagboard and the urge to experiment!
Any black or dark surface will work with this method: how to make lovely metallic paper for collage or backgrounds or whatever you wish. (TIP: Tape the paper down!)
You'll also need interference paints (acrylics) and a crackle medium.
P.Guhin, how-to
I tried another crackle brand too, and it worked as well!

First, mix just one of your interference paints in a small container with water to thin it, and set aside. I did not do that with the gold paint, and it was too thick to work, as you will see later.
Next, apply crackle medium thickly to the black substrate, and work fast so it doesn't dry before the next step.
technique. art+blog, Guhin    
This is just the wet crackle medium on black.
Then quickly drip the thin interference paint into the wet surface. It will spread and maybe even separate a bit. 
how-to, tutorial, method, technique
The gold paint didn't work because it was too thick!

Thanks for following my blog!

Saturday, May 9, 2015


I know the two photos below might look unappetizing to some people, but the methods behind them can be very useful!

But first, let me ask you readers about a couple of techniques I tried and failed at:

Have any of you ever had any luck with stamping laundry bleach onto dark papers? My stamps dripped, which could be remedied, perhaps, with gel bleach. And regular bleach is so thin and runny that my "prints" were pretty bad. Maybe if I had some sponge stamps! Yeah, that's the ticket!

Then I tried another idea, hot glue stamped with impressions. But the darn glob hardened too quickly, and my gadgets got stuck in the glue! I've had good results with drips that I then painted with metallic. But stamping a big glob was another fail for me.

Dry walnut ink crystals are soooo cool. I know you can get liquid walnut inks in sprays, too, but the crystals are so versatile. Sprinkle them randomly on damp paper, or sprinkle on dry paper and spatter them with water or thin paints. Then you can blot them or not, or tilt the paper for drips (or not).
P.Guhin, art+blog
I actually sprayed the crystals with Color Mists! Subtle but nice.
Chalk powders such as Pearl Ex can also be misted or squirted with water or thin color.
For this example I held the paper up for a few runs in the effect.

Guhin, mixed-media
      You might even use scrapings from chalk pastels.
I wouldn't overdo with the walnut ink idea, but in small doses it might be nice! And the pretty powders make a gorgeous background! I hope you'll try them, and do comment if you've had good luck with bleach-stamping or impressing hot glue. I'd love to see some great examples!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Complementary Color Schemes are Great!

Complementary colors are our focus with this post. This acrylic painting, shown below, uses the complements of red and green.
Yellow and violet are lovely together, as are blues and oranges. Notice the pastel pink below rather than real red. And notice the many shades and tints of green!

complements, color+scheme
Are you busy planting or potting for Spring?
Do you have a color wheel handy? Pairs of complements are found directly opposite each other on the color wheel.
Often it's wise to use one color predominantly and its complement as an accent.
I especially like red-violet with yellow-green...sooo pretty. Blue-violet is another fave, with touches of yellow-orange.

Try your own artwork with a complementary color scheme!

Sunday, April 26, 2015


I tried more methods of creating visual texture with CitraSolv on magazine papers...these decorative papers can be used in collages, mixed-media paintings, and more. Previous posts with tips on using CitraSolv can be found here and here!
method, technique
With the one shown above, I covered the entire page (taken from Elle magazine) with a thin coat of CitraSolv concentrate, and used the large-size bubble wrap, pressing it well into the solution. Then I just let it sit overnight!
Here's one, below, made with bubble wrap with smaller bubbles, and a page from Lucky magazine.
art+activity, how-to
Is this one your favorite too?

Next, I used plastic wrap, pushing and shoving it
into big wrinkles on the solution. See below.
Guhin, tutorial, CitraSolv
This one was done with a page from Bazaar.

Finally, I had a bottle of the blue school glue (it's washable), and I used it as a mask or a resist, let it dry overnight, and then rubbed with a CitraSolv-soaked cloth to remove the ink that wasn't protected. See above.

There's a section with examples of CitraSolv papers in the book, Creating Decorative Paper.

Thanks for viewing this post! (Let me know
if you're inspired to try some of these ideas.)

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Why buy collage papers when you can make your own, really cool
papers for mixed-media creations? CitraSolv is a natural
cleaning product that dissolves the inks in some magazine papers.

Guhin, art+blog, lesson
I tried to avoid obscuring the figure completely.
Needed Supplies:
CitraSolv (the concentrate)
National Geographic magazines as old as the 60s! I also had luck with Bazaar.
Smock (optional)
Latex gloves
Foam brushes
Q-Tips or a rag (optional)
Container for product (glass or plastic)
Stencils (optional)
Clothespins and a line

Here’s How:
Work outside if possible, as the product has a very strong scent.

Prep a surface to work on. You will want an area to dry your papers,
so you might set up a string clothesline on which to clip your pages.
NOTE: Use care that the product should not get into your eyes or mouth!

1. Prepare a work area. Set up your drying area as well. Put on your gloves. Pour some CitraSolv into a glass or plastic tub (margarine containers are good) and use a foam brush to spread CitraSolv liberally on the colorful pages in the magazine, working from the back to the front of the publication. Smear each page around a little to soften the dyes!

2. When you are done, let the magazine “cook” for about 5 minutes. Check it by opening a page in the middle to see if it looks good yet When you like the results, cut or tear the pages out and hang them up to dry. Both sides will be altered and it may be hard to choose which is better!

NOTE: Be sure that the image you altered is unrecognizable. If it cooked long enough, it will be nothing like the original. This will avoid any copyright issues…don’t use it in your art if you can still tell what it is and where it was from.

My favorite technique for removing ink is to use a stencil as a mask over the page, wiping the exposed parts with a CitraSolv-doused rag. 

tute, Guhin, how-to, art+lesson
Using a stencil is easy with CitraSolv!

how-to, Guhin, art+lesson
This one took a stencil well.

how-to, tute, Guhin, art+blog
Here I masked with rubber cement!
I also suggest trying a mask of either rubber cement or acrylic medium. When either has dried
(though rubber cement remains sticky), THEN use the CitraSolv with a rag! You can rub off the sticky rubber cement later!
When you have finished papers you like, I recommend spraying your page with a workable matte fixative to stabilize the ink and reduce smudging.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I make my own transparencies from original photos and my inkjet printer. There are more than a few posts on this blog explaining how to use transparencies artistically in a number of easy ways:
Today's message is twofold: Another "drawing in the cleared space" with several ways to proceed with an inkjet transparency, AND a special note to the visual arts facilitators who might read this!

Rubbing with a damp cloth is a far easier method of removing inkjet ink from the rough side of a transparency. I've used a scratch tool in the past, and that's great for precision and sharp edges. But if you have a large area to remove, you can even dip the inkjet transparency briefly in water for easier removal! (Of course results may vary.)
With the photo below, I rubbed large areas away and then used both wide and thin markers to doodle in the cleared spaces.

mixed-media, art+blog
Kids could have a blast with this project!
Do you subscribe to Arts & Activities Magazine? It's a must for activity leaders of all types, for all ages! I'm tickled pink with the two-page spread on my sand bowls in the May '15 issue. Here's a link to the digital edition if you wish to download it! See blog sidebar at right for a link to subscribe.
Guhin, art+blog
An art project simple enough to make and SOOOOO cool!