Saturday, August 22, 2015


I've done many posts about various kinds of resists (glue, soap, wax, and more). This is one of my favorites!
The process appears in four photographed steps in a book I co-authored, Painting with Mixed Media. 
Guhin, painting
It's really a beautiful book.
First, use heavy white paper. A smooth, thick watercolor paper is wonderful for this.
If you wish to sketch your design first, do so very lightly in pencil.
Next, use thick white tempera paint, applied wherever you wish the finished work to be white. (It's a challenge at times to only paint in lines and shapes in reverse, so to speak, since most of us are so used to working with darker lines first. But stick to highlights and lighter areas with the white tempera.)
Thirdly (is that a word?!), when the white tempera is dry, cover the entire piece with a coat of permanent black India ink. Apply it gently with a wide brush and let dry.
Lay the paper into a sink of cold water and gently sponge it until the tempera paint lifts off, taking the black ink with it. You're left with a black and white design reminiscent of a woodcut, perhaps.
This example was enhanced with washes of watercolors, but you can use inks, thinned acrylic paint, or pastels to add color if desired. 
Guhin, resist, tempera, project
Simple, but I loved the process!

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Tonking : Sounds a bit erotic, doesn’t it? 
But I used the technique to create painted
paper for a mixed-media work. 

Mashing paper onto an overworked painting is a way to remove excess paint (usually oils). But I was painting over an old canvas and wanted papers to add as collage, so I applied acrylics to the substrate heavily and “tonked” before they were completely dry.

The paper pulloff was rather nice (a monoprint) in itself, but I tore pieces to add to the substrate.
mixed-media, tonking
The finished collage - painting.
Oil painters often use plain newsprint for tonking, but do try papers with text, too!
(My tonking paper for this project was white drawing paper.) I love that word: Tonking!
I also stamped the canvas in a few places and added depth by painting a shadow effect to some shapes.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Not mixed post, I promise!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Textured Mixed Media Painting

This largish artwork feels tribal to me, with the animal and "moon."
When I cover an old, unwanted canvas, I try to leave bits of the
previous work showing wherever I can. I also try to use major
texture, especially if previous brushwork or dimensional edges
show through (and if they don't work with the new idea).

tribal, symbols, acrylics
I used acrylics and thick mediums.
I enjoyed creating this piece, and it went quickly. You, too,
should try symbols in a largely non-objective or abstracted
work...they can add meaning and interest!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


A grid composition can be very gratifying. 
 The mixed-media painting shown below is extremely textural.
I added sawdust to the paint, but you can try crushed eggshells, sand,
or store-bought texture mediums.
Pastel tones may not be your preference, but for a large,
 soothing work suitable for a bedroom, perhaps,
colors with white worked out ok for me.

texture, acrylics, pastels
Try a grid painting or collage yourself!
Here's another idea if you feel your grid is too boring: Add lines,
scribbles, or stamped-on words, numbers, or letters.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


This finished work is titled Atelier, and it took time and patience, but wasn't difficult to do! It's composed of many, many cut-out pieces of paper all adhered with acrylic gel medium. The final coat was a UV protectant.
Do try your own interior's fun!

art+blog, mixed-media
I hope the numerous images form a unified whole.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Do you want to work less realistically and more abstractly? Letting go takes practice. Open up with these ideas.

Base an artwork on a piece of one of your own sketches. Here's one of mine, below, which I cut into sections.
how-to, tutorialdrawing, Guhin
On pastels paper, using water-soluble oil pastels, I made the quick abstraction below based on just one of the pieces.
tute, techniqe
Here's another way to find abstract compositions: Cut out just a small portion of a magazine photo, as I did below. 

pastels, how-toThen I played with soft pastels
(Rembrandt is an excellent brand).
Be're not trying to be exact!
I'm not crazy about the red in the center!

art+blog, mixed-media