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

Saturday, June 27, 2015


In honor of July fourth, coming up soon, here's a study
in colored pencil using a flag or drapery.
This drawing project is quite challenging. Berol Prismacolor pencils are best.
tutorial, drawing, colored+pencil
The student flipped 2 corners of the printed fabric.
The following colors are suggested:
  • Black
  • White
  • Gray
  • Tuscan red
  • Crimson red
  • Scarlet lake red
  • Blue-violet
  • Ultramarine
  • Indigo blue          
I like to pin the fabric folds into place on a large sheet of cardboard, since the entire activity takes a good amount of time to complete.
I always ask my students to use a large sheet of brown wrapping paper so they can work big! But you could work on white or toned paper if you wish.

Sketch very lightly in pencil first, blocking in the shapes and the folds.

TIP - Begin with the blue field first if you wish. One reason to save the white stripes for last is that you can protect the other colors with sheets of paper. Otherwise your reds and blues will bleed or smear into the white.
Guhin, how-to, tute
Remember to add shading under the flag where needed, too!
TIP - Shadowed areas around folds require a touch of blue, not just black or gray!

Blending is key: An art gum eraser and a waxy blending pencil (made by Berol) will help lots. If your students are less experienced &/or younger, practice with solid fabric instead of stripes, as shown below. 
drawing, colored+pencil, how-to
White fabric with blue and violet shadows.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Here's your chance to throw...not caution,
but thread to the wind!
Okay, not even to the wind, but do try this art method. It's great!
(Needed materials are in bold print.)
For the example here, I used an old canvas with a collage - painting that didn't work. I wanted a primary color scheme of red, yellow, and blue, with white and black too. Before trying the art technique, I daubed on some acrylic paint to cover some areas here and there.
Guhin, acrylic, painting
This is a detail of the canvas already prepared for the painty thread.
When it was dry, I cut some sewing thread into a length of about 12". I wet the thread with water to condition it for the paint to come.
Next, I needed a chopstick, a stiff drinking straw, or a round paintbrush handle.  I dipped the stick into a cup of paint. Then I ran the damp thread through the glob of paint that was on the stick. After pulling the thread off the stick, I put the painty stick back in the cup. I held the thread by one end over an area on my canvas and tossed it down. Slowly, gently lift the thread up off the canvas to find a lovely, curvy mark!

tutorial, technique, how-to
Another close-up view, now showing some painted marks.
If you give this a try, reload and continue with more crazy curliness as desired. Don't over-do, of course, and use new thread if the old one becomes too stiff as the acrylic paint dries.

method, art+activity
The  finished collage - painting in its entirety.

Friday, June 12, 2015




As you probably know already, the negative space in a composition is any part that's NOT the's the space surrounding the subject.
When you cut a stencil of your own design, if you want to use both the "background" and the "hole" shape, you may have to do some patching--I know I did! I cut two stencils together in a "sandwich" so I'd have a spare. But I don't recommend that! My stencils aren't perfect by any means! Below is the positive, cut from scrapbooking paper, and the spotty magenta one with the hole cut out.
how-to, technique
I didn't discard anything, in case I needed it.
For the finished collage below, I used spray paint and acrylics, and three different patterned stencils besides the figure stencil. Some pattern was added to my substrate before the figures were included, and some pattern came afterward.
Guhin, art+blog
Both a positive and negative in one artwork.
You might wish to try two different canvases with this idea, creating a diptych, displaying them side by side! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015


(My apologies in advance for those of you who prefer your mixed media without the addition of transparencies.)
I find copies so versatile and fun that I've experimented endlessly with them in many guises. I've also posted about them in this space numerous times, so please bear with me if you've been a long-time follower.
technique, art+activity
I printed this out on my home computer.
I used an original
leaf photo of my own,
altering it in Photoshop
for a very colorful
TIP: Note the
white spaces,
necessary for this
activity. Also remember
that your own
background cannot be
too terribly dark, or
you will lose contrast.

Next, I altered a
photo portrait to
pure black (and
clear), very
graphic (no gray).
I printed that 
transparency, P.Guhin, how-to
Try other backing sheets too! Sooo fun.
onto transparency
film, and lay it
over the colorful
background image.

Below, another idea!
I merely used soft
pastels to create a
gradient effect on good paper the same
size as my transparency (of a person on a dock, framed by foliage). Then I just sandwiched them together. So simple and yet, I think, quite striking.
tutorial, technique, Guhin  
Some of you might prefer more color in the sky.
PRIZE AWARDED TO A FOLLOWER! For those who participated in last week's contest,
the winner is Julie Mortillaro. Congrats to her, and
my sincere thanks to the others. Julie, please
privately send me your usps mailing address.