Mixed Media Paintings

I met with my local group yesterday and Louise showed us some techniques that she uses for mixed media paintings. We were in Louise’s basement so you’ll have to excuse the low quality photos as the light wasn’t good. Louise makes gorgeous jewelry, scarves and now she is moving into mixed media paintings. You can see a bit of her work here but none of her paintings are on the website yet.

Louise's Use of Screen Printed Fabric

This is a very bad photo of one of Louise’s pieces that she made with the screen printed fabric we made out my house in February. She stretched the fabric over a board frame and then covered it with a cold wax medium. Anyways, she had made up 4 different surfaces for each of use to try. The great thing is you can use old boards or ceiling tiles, cover them with plaster (the kind you use with dry wall and get cheaply at the hardware store), let it dry and build your layers from there. She also applied plaster to burlap, let it dry and then roll it up to crack the plaster to give really cool textures.

Sepia Ink on Cracked PlasterHere is one of my plaster ones that I have cracked and painted with sepia acrylic ink.

Carole's Beginning LayersThis is one of Carole’s pieces that she painted first and then screen printed with thickened walnut ink.

Cracked Plaster on BurlapI’m not sure what I’m going to do with this purple one but I was thinking of peeling paint so there will be multiple layers and it won’t end up to be bright purple.

Base Coat of Paint on Plaster BoardThe blue one in the middle is plaster on a ceiling tile – it is drying. I thought I would try a gel medium transfer on this one.

Gel Medium TransferI printed out one of my circle sketchbook drawings and painted it with gel medium. But I was too impatient to let it dry completely. Plus it is done on an inkjet printer and should have been printed with a laser printer.

Gel Medium TransferSo after it was dry to the touch (not long enough), I put it in water and rubbed the paper off the back surface. So it really faded and I tore it in several places. I didn’t end up using it on my blue plaster piece. Instead, I am using a nail to incise the pattern in the plaster and then I’m going to paint the design. I’ll show you that one later.

Louise's Bark PieceHere is Louise’s “bark piece”. She sanded it down in the middle to get the white and then is contemplating adding the fabric and string to it. It will be finished with a layer of wax.

Sanding and Adding Oil PaintsticksI sanded my brown crackled piece and then added more color back in with oil paint sticks.

Painted and Screen Printed

This one, I painted and then silk screened. I should have stopped there and though through what I wanted to do but instead –

Adding more PaintI plunged ahead and added more color on top with a stencil. It looked very leopard like so I added more color. And now I don’t think much of it. But I brought it home and added some walnut ink layers. It looks a little better but I’m not sure where it’s going. You can add layers of sheer fabric, organic matter or whatever you like.

Louise's Leaf PieceThis is one of Louise’s with a leaf added. The only problem is that now I have 4 pieces started with only the base layers. I now have 4 projects to finish and little idea of where I’m going with the designs. I am really going to have to just allow myself to “play” with these and not stress over what the end result is. We’ll see how that goes – I’ll show you my progression as I go along.

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7 thoughts on “Mixed Media Paintings

  1. These all look lovely Ruth, some really nice ideas developing, I like the effect of the stencil and red paint on the “leopard print” piece but see what you mean that it needs something else, perhaps some cream or silver accents? Black veins? More stencilling? So many options! I’m really quite envious of you having so many canvasses to let your imagination run wild on, will you incorporate more of your “circles” designs into them?

    • Thanks! There are so many options I think that is why I am a bit hesitant besides my usual “not wanting to mess it up” mind set. I am for sure using circles on the blue one. Not sure about the rest but that’s a good idea.

  2. This is intriguing. So many mediums, so little time. I love all the textures you can achieve with these techniques. I’m not familiar with walnut ink. What is it? Louise’s bark piece looks interesting. I agree with you about adding the additional screen layer to the gold piece, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to use it. It looks like you had fun!

    • Walnut ink is ink made from walnut shells. It is a lovely shade of brown and usually comes in crystals that you add water and get ink. I found mine with stamping and scrap booking supplies. It will not hold through getting wet (so doesn’t work before felting) but is great on pieces that won’t get wet.

      There are way too many mediums to try – that’s for sure. But many times experimenting with these ideas brings me new ideas to use with felting and stitching. It was fun 🙂

  3. Cool – so many ideas! I never have enough time to do all the experiments I want to with felt and fibre, let alone other media! I look forward to seeing how you progress these. 🙂

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