When I was doing street festivals in Florida, I started doing these mixed media paintings. People would stand and stare at the paintings because they were so different from regular watercolor paintings.
People would just rave about them! They would stand with their mouths open and ooh and aah over the paintings.
"What awesome paintings", they would say and they would ask, "How do you do it?" I never told.
Well since I am in my mid-70s and I am not doing festivals anymore, I figured - why not share how to do mixed media paintings?
I had been doing butterfly paintings and it was getting tiresome doing all the detail. Plus, the glazing of traditional watercolors, takes a lot of time.
So to jazz it up, I decided to do some mixed media paintings of butterflies.
The butterfly is painted fairly realistic. Around the outside of the butterfly there is lot of color and the Penta flowers they love. The extra color and texture create a free and lively painting.
Sometimes when you are pouring the paint, it flows into unexpected areas.
The red and blue flowed into the butterfly's wing. That is not its natural wing color. But it certainly adds interest to the painting.
The acrylic texture sometimes grabs the paint colors and other times it blocks the paint and keeps it from flowing. It blocked the red from flowing into the leaf.
The added interest and variety makes awesome paintings.
On the way to a show I stopped to show my neighbor the paintings I was taking to the show. When I pulled "Freedom's Light" out of the travel bag, she exclaimed, "What an awesome painting!"
She could feel the heart of the painting. That's what inspires me to paint. When the viewer feels the painting, you know you did a good job.
This is a prophetic painting showing the sailboats heading out of the storm toward the light.
Usually my watercolor paintings are on Ampersand's Aquabord. Aquabord has a texture similar to cold pressed watercolor paper. See why I switched to using Aquabord.
Normally I use white acrylic, in Freedom's Light I used a combination of white on most of the painting and yellow for the light.
The watercolor moves normally on the areas without the acrylic texture. The textured areas make the paint do interesting things. That's the beauty of painting mixed media.
In Freedom's Light (up) I used paper towels to blot the poured paint on some areas of the bottom of the painting to create additional texture.
If the poured paint went over the areas of your highlights, you may use a fiber brush to remove some of the watercolor paint. The fiber brush is included the tool kit made specifically to use on Aquabord and Claybord panels.
The finished painting can then be framed without glass. The texture and colors display beautifully.
Flowers, especially daisies are two my most favorite things. When I saw a Buckeye Butterfly on my daisy Chrysanthemums, I just knew they needed to be painted.
They cried out to be painted in a new and unusual way. Painting mixed media was the answer. It made a fresh and unusual painting with texture in the butterfly wings, the flower petals and the background.
Painting watercolor alone cannot create this amount of texture.
Painting mixed media will give you a new freedom in your creations. The horse in this painting is running in his "Freedom" of this awesome technique.
After the horse was drawn on the painting support:
The painting is done with a limited color scheme of red, orange, yellow and blue. The browns and greens were created by the paint flowing and mixing.
Learn more about painting color schemes.
A fiber brush was used to pull out some of the highlights on the rump and other muscle areas on the horse.
The freedom and joy of doing this painting was awesome! You can do it!