My Secrets to Creating Mixed Media Art

Have you ever wished you could peek over an artists shoulder to watch them work? Ever wondered about the process or tools & supplies used? Or wished for a peek into an artist's working studio space? Lean in closer for some secrets!

Well, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Facebook Live broadcast where I did just that, as well as completed a live demonstration finishing a mixed media pet portrait. 

See how it went from this...

See how it went from this...

...to this! Watch the video below!

...to this! Watch the video below!

And although it will live on in the archives over at the Vango Art Facebook page, I thought it would be great to share with all of you who frequent my blog.

 

 

While you might not have the benefit of watching it live, you can still ask me any questions you might have. Just leave your questions in the comment section below!

Like the final piece? It's called "Van Gogh's Dog" and is a mixed media piece on 11 x 9 paper. It's available for purchase.

 

A Bite-sized Tip For Creating a Series of Art

  “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”    — Vincent Van Gogh

 “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

— Vincent Van Gogh

The thought of doing a 365 day daily art project can seems daunting. What will I do for that long? What if I get bored or run out of things to draw? What if I quit after a week, like that diet I tried last year? I had such good intentions and high hopes, but at the end of the day, it amounted to nothing, except a reminder that either i’m a failure, a quitter, or I just seem to be missing something in my DNA to enable me to complete the task at hand.

 

I learned early on that I needed SMALL projects. I can’t think in 365 day chunks. But I can do 30 days. Or even 100 days. So after a little bit, I started to identify a topic that I wanted to tackle for 30 days. 30 days of self portraits, 30 days of pets, 20 days of toes, 30 days of faces... you get the idea. I started to incorporate Instagram and social media. I would sketch people’s photos who would show up in my feed. I would then tag them so they could join in the fun too. It was a great way to be held accountable because I was posting publicly, as well as meet new friends. I started to sketch celebrity photos they posted on Instagram, and tagged them too. Some of them even liked and shared (and occasionally commented to my delight as well) I mean, who wouldn’t like to be included in being sketched by an artist, right? Most people consider it an honor.

 

I also joined in a 100 Day Project that was being hosted by another artist I was following on Instagram, Elle Luna. She threw out the challenge to join in with creating or making anything for 100 days straight. We would all start and end together, posting and hash tagging so we could all follow along and encourage each other. I did this project twice. The first time, I sketched a black line drawing based on the photos of others, using only my iPhone and a stylus. The second time I did the same, only this time, adding in color to the background and key parts of the drawing. Every day was a new adventure. I would look for inspiration, and others would follow along wondering what I would post next. And some, hoped that they might make it into my project. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I did attempt another 100 day project recently, but I got behind and the subject matter wasn’t engaging me enough, so I only made it to day 60 or so. You've got to choose carefully, or you won't follow through when things get tough.)

 

It was always a thrill at the end of the 100 days, to create a photo montage of all the images. One giant image to chronicle the past 100 days.

 

I talk about the importance of this process and gaining momentum in an art making practice, more in depth in my video course “Your Artists’ Journey”.

Check it out if this sounds like something that would be of interest.

 

What bite-sized tips have you discovered along the way that helps in your art making practice?

 

 

 

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Dare To Be Stupid

DareStupid (Image available here for purchase)

Last time, I introduced you to one of my "3 Rules for Creating" - Show Up and Work!

Today, let me introduce you to my next rule...

#2 Dare To Be Stupid

Yes my friends, Weird Al Yankovic had it correct back in 1985 when he released a song by this very title. He's been doing stupid for a really long time. With no signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact he's in the height of his career with having nabbed the number one slot for a comedy album on the Billboard charts. Now before you click some other link to leave this page, hear me out...

This rule is about loosing you inhibitions. Every time you sit down to create something, you start hearing "those" voices. You know the ones.

"You can't do it that way. You'll look foolish".

"What on Earth are you thinking? No one is going to {buy, read, watch} that. You'll just prove to others that you really aren't that good and don't have a clue what you are doing."

By adopting Rule number 3, you kick those voices in the teeth and actually do something "stupid" just to spite them. It's not just for stupidity's sake. But it's in doing something stupid that we experience the sense of PLAY. And that my friends, is where the good stuff is.

Last week, I decided to try something stupid. Instead of using a paintbrush, I used a stick. Yes, from my backyard. And I made a video Instagram post of me using it. Stupid. But you know what? It was also freeing and playful. And I really like the results. Results, I might add, that I would never had come upon if I had not dared to be stupid.

What stupidity should you be chasing? Odds are you know. It's that thing that the "voice of reason" is trying to stifle right now.

What are you waiting for? Go for it. You never know what breakthrough might be just beyond stupid. Take Al's advice. Watch his video if you like, then muster up all the stupid you can find and have FUN!

...Get your mojo working now I'll show you how You can dare to be stupid...

...Come on and dare to be stupid It's so easy to do Dare to be stupid We're all waiting for you Let's go...

...You can be a coffee achiever You can sit around the house and watch Leave It To Beaver The future's up to you So what you gonna do...

Dare to be stupid

~ Weird Al Yankovic, "Dare To Be Stupid"

http://youtu.be/SMhwddNQSWQ

If the 80's style is a bit much for your sensibilities, try this one on for size.

 

30 in 30: Day 30

Day 30 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @popesaintvictor

Original Instagram photo:

Day 30 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth30

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 30

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 29

Day 29 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @bammerjoy

Original Instagram photo:

bammerjoy

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth29

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 29

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 28

Day 28 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @kwick

Original Instagram photo:

Kwick

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth28

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 28

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 27

Day 27 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @_cherishthemoment

Original Instagram photo:

Day 27 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth27

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 27

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 26

Day 26 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @mediapeople

Original Instagram photo:

Day 26 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth26

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 26

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 25

Day 25 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @pamelaroserodriguez

Original Instagram photo:

Day 25 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth25

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 25

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 24

Day 24 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @emiliapare

Original Instagram photo:

Day 24 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth24

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 24

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 23

Day 23 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @heredes

Original Instagram photo:

Day 23 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth23

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 23

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 22

Day 22 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @mrs_kier

Original Instagram photo:

day 22 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

skecth22

 

30 in 30 day painting:

Day 22

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 21

Day 21 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @Boston41

Original Instagram photo:

Day 21 instagram

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

Day21_Sketch

30 in 30 day painting:

Day21

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 20

Day 20 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @brynnwatkins

Original Instagram photo:

Day 20 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

Day20_Sketch

30 in 30 day painting:

Day20

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

30 in 30: Day 19

Day 19 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @lorikadlec / @oliviaschoeller

Original Instagram photo:

Day 19 instagram

 

100 Day iPhone Sketch:

Day19_Sketch

30 in 30 day painting:

Day19

 

Acrylic & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.