Abstract Painting: Create beautiful abstract art without all the pressure we put on ourselves | DENISE LOVE | Skillshare

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Abstract Painting: Create beautiful abstract art without all the pressure we put on ourselves

teacher avatar DENISE LOVE, Artist & Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h 55m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Supplies I'll be using

    • 3. Project - Getting started

    • 4. Project - Adding paint and marks

    • 5. Project - Cutting out abstracts

    • 6. Finishing your piece

    • 7. Saving your color palette

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About This Class

Hello, my friend! Welcome to class.

In this class, I will show you my very favorite way to create some abstract art without the pressure we put on ourselves when we sit down to create. I used to get so frustrated when I sat down at my table to create art and I was staring at a blank paper. I wanted to paint a masterpiece without all the work and practice. I expected great things to just appear on my paper and I'd go away mad without anything decent to show for my time... and it was so discouraging that it would be months before I'd go back and try again. 

This technique I'm going to share with you isn't new, but it truly changed my relationship with my art and my expectations when I sit down to paint. It doesn't really matter what level you are at, this is a great technique for all of us. Perfect for experimenting and learning our papers and supplies, trying out new ideas and color palettes.

Now, every time I sit to create one of these - I'm truly pleased and pretty happy when I get up from my paint table. I know you'll love creating these... I cannot wait to see your pieces!

This class is for you if:

  • You love learning new techniques for your art
  • You are interested in abstract painting
  • You love experimenting with art supplies
  • You love watching how others approach their painting practice

Supplies: I encourage you to use your supplies you have on hand to do your projects. You do not have to purchase any specific supplies for this class. It is all about experimenting with the supplies you have and learning to let loose.

  • Watercolor paper - I Iike cold press and hot press at least 140lb. You can also use oil/acrylic paper - I think the one I'm using in class is 138lb
  • Ceramic paint palette - I show you 2 in class if you are interested in checking them out - I show you one from Sylvan Clayworks and one from Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. You don't need one for class - you can use anything for your paints like paint palette paper or paper plates, etc...¬†
  • Various paintbrushes and mark making tools
  • Various paints in your favorite colors. I'm using a variety of acrylic paints in this class, but feel free to use watercolors, oil paints, inks, etc... the sky is the limit on the supplies you could choose to use and experiment with.
  • I'm using some soft pastels in class - pick some out in your favorite colors if you choose to use any at all.
  • Various Neocolor II Crayons - I love using these and they are water-soluble.
  • Disposable gloves if you are using any toxic art supplies
  • I love using a Stabilo black pencil and the Posca Pen to make marks in my work
  • A few cradled boards if you want to mount your finished pieces to boards.
  • Finishing spray - I show you several I have used to finish my pieces to protect the art.

This is most of the supplies I chose to experiment with in this project... but as I mentioned above - don't think you need to go out and buy tons of new supplies (unless you just want to...). Try this project with some of the supplies you have on hand and grow from there.



Meet Your Teacher

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Artist & Photographer



Hello, my friend!

 I'm Denise, an artist, and photographer. I'm really passionate about sharing what I have learned with others and creating workshops is what I really enjoy. I've primarily focused on Photography Workshops up to this point. After having a thriving studio photography business since 2012, and being involved in different arts my whole life, I have started to delve into other creative workshops to keep things fresh and exciting for myself. I enjoy the journey of creating as much as what I end up with when I'm done. I can't wait to share with you and see what you are creating! 

I have an Instagram just for my art feed if you want to connect over there. I'd love to see you! I also have my main Instagram account for all things ... See full profile

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1. Welcome: Hey, this is Denise and I want to welcome you to abstract adventures. This is a series that I'm doing that just meant to help you kinda let loose and enjoy your painting and experiment with your supplies. And just see what it is that you can create when you just kinda let go of some of those inhibitions that we have when we sit down on our paint table. This project, particularly excited about, it's one of my very favorite ways to do abstract paintings. And I basically start off with a large sheet of just random things I just let loose. I'm not worried about composition, not worried about where I'm laying colors down. I'm not worried about what it's gonna look like when I finish, I'm just throwing paint down, market-making, having fun with different supplies, experimenting. And then when I get to the point that I think I can't put anything else on there, do another mark or do anything else that I think's gonna improve it or make it different, then I'm going to search out different compositions and layouts within that bigger piece to cut out into yummy, delicious, beautiful abstract pieces. So in the project that we're doing in this video, I got all four of these super beautiful little abstracts. These are five by fives. You can get different sizes depending on what you choose to cut out. You can do larger sizes. You can do the whole paper if you end up like in the paper when you're done, you can do four by fours. You could do any size that you want different shapes, four by sixes, six by nine. You can do larger pieces of paper. And then I chose to do in this video because I was trying to fit it all in the frame. And then I also have, in addition to the four that I've cut out, I have several micro pieces. And then I can use as little micro paintings. I can frame them in a series. I can use these as little gift tags on gifts. I can use them as collaged pieces. There's just so many uses that the little leftover bits can be used for that we are definitely using every square inch of the project that we create today, which is what makes me really excited because I get so frustrated sitting on a table looking at a white piece of paper and wanting to come up with something amazing and just not being able to. And this kind of got me out of that rut, kinda got me past seeing the blank page and worrying about composition. Did I get everything on there and do I like it when I'm done because so often, you know, you'll paint something that is intentional and you'll think this is terrible and I hate it. Whereas every time I have sat down to do one of these cutout abstracts where I cut little pieces out of it. I have loved everyone, has not failed me yet, even ones that are questioned, the color on, I have loved pieces that I've gotten. And then a really fun thing that we're gonna do in the class also is create color pallets from whatever we created that day. So that when we're done, we have a beautiful book of different pallets from different things that we've painted that we can refer back to and enjoy using time and time again. So gotta lots of fun stuff to show you in this project. I'm pretty excited about it. I hope you end up loving it as much as I do. It really is my favorite way to sit and relax and enjoy and just spread paint on paper. And in the end you get something that I've liked every single time I've done it. So I can't wait to show you what we're doing here. And I'll see you in class. 2. Supplies I'll be using: Let's talk about the supplies that I'm using in this workshop. So I have decided to go backwards instead of telling you what I might use and then doing a project, I did the project and then came back to tell you what I did use. So you'll see my palette here of paint on it just so that you can get an idea of what I've been using. So this is a ceramic paint palette, and you can use a disposable palette if you want. But the ceramic ones alike, because I can just scrape the pane off or go wash it off in the sink before it's all dry. But I don't like doing that because if you're using a toxic paint and you're washing it off in the sink, then you're washing those toxins down the sinking, you're not supposed to do that. So generally what I will do is let this dry and then I will take a little paint scraper that I have. Think maybe it's in here. Yes. I will take my little paint scraper. I will scrape the paint off of here and then throw the paint away. That's the way to do it. That's the most environmentally friendly. So I like using the ceramic palate because it's easy to clean up and I don't have to throw anything away. You can also use a disposable paper palette for something like this and then throw that piece of paper away either way. But I just think this is so pretty and there's some fun paint palettes that you can get from Silva and clay works or Sugar House ceramics. And they're both on Instagram. And they might find artist's palettes like this if you think you want to palette to work on. I like this particular one because it's a good size. And I've got little brush marks on there to set my brush, but I have paint on here, so I just got paint on the brush, but it is nice because I've got little brush marks that you can set your brush1. So I'm using the paint on the paint palette and just in case you might like one of those. I thought I'd tell you where I got that. And then of course I'm using some water. If you're using paints that have toxins in them and they may be toxic, which some of the acrylic paint colors can be, especially depending on the brand and the better quality ones, maybe using the more pure pigments that are talks it. So be careful. If you're using this Artesia, which is a really nice brand that's not super expensive and you can get a whole box of like 60 different colors off of Amazon for like 60 bucks. Or if you get lucky and neural sale and be like 30 bucks, which I actually did get the whole box for $30. This is a nice grade to experiment with and you have all the different colors. So if you have paints that you're not sure if they're toxic or it says on it they're toxic than wear gloves. So I'd have some disposable gloves handy. And night have Watson or acrylic paints because even though I told you. Try out this one that you can get all these colors pretty cheap and this is a good size container. This'll last awhile. I can paint for a long time on a squeeze at a time. I hear, even though I told you this, sometimes having more color choices is not good. And I'll tell you because I'm one of those people that thinks I need every color in every product. And then I get paralyzed because there's too many choices. And then I'm like, well, what do I use? What would I like? What color I don't want to go with what's my color palette. I don't know, I get stuck. So now I have found it much easier if I just pull out some of my favorites or pull out a color palette I want to work in and only work in those and put everything else away. So that's what I'm going to recommend you do pick out your favorites or pick out some that were used in, in class if you like my colors or, you know, go on Pinterest and look at color palettes and see if there's a color palette that you love. And, you know, go for that color palette, pick out some of your favorites and just jump in. So the Artesia, I'm going to be using some of these. I'm using rose matter. I have sharpen, which I really loved the sharpens, These are really high-quality, so they're not cheap. But I do love them. I've got the sharpen Caribbean pink that I've used in class. Olive green and green gold, which I particularly love this kinda all of them pink kind of color way. Also have some whole bean in a brilliant pink and lamp black, which I will be mixing some in. And then I'm also using in class gesso. And I'm using some clear gesso and some white gesso. And it's got tons of uses. It prime's our boards. It mixes into our paints so that we can then put things on top of the acrylic paint that we wouldn't normally be able to do. So that just so it's really important. And let me say, just because this is what I'm using, this project is such that use whatever you have and experiment before you go out and buy new supplies. I'm just showing you what I used because those people that wants to know what the artist used and maybe I would love this Caribbean pink and then I know what it is. But by all means, don't feel like you have to go out and buy any new supplies for this project that we're doing because this project really could linda Self to anything that you have, any brushes, mark making tools, anything. It's really up to you experimenting with your tools and what you've got. And then we're creating some beautiful pieces when we're done. So also love my black stuff below pin. And this is a mark marks on just about anything kind of pencil, Sorry, it's a stability pencil. And this is black and I like the black and it is water-soluble. So if I wanted to add water on top of there, I could. And it would smear that around a little bit. And I'll show you that in our project. But I really love us to below pinch. If I had to have some go-to tools, the stuff below, pencil and the postscript pencil or two of my favorite. And the postcard pencil is a pin, is a white paint pinned. So I really love my white paint pin. I'm also in this class using some neo color crayons. And even though I have a whole bunch here out, only used one or two of the colors, but I pulled these possible colors out of the entire set that I have so that I wasn't overwhelmed looking at all the available colours. Now I'm just looking at a few. And then I think I decided to use the black and the green gold. That looks like I don't think they call it green gold. They call it all if Claire. But it looks like the green gold paint that I'm using. So I ended up using those two colors, but I did go ahead and pull out a few choices based on the color palette that I was going with. And are also used some soft chalk pastels. And these are some LEA because I had got a collection of half pan pastels, which are little half pieces to experiment with. And I love them so much that I then went and got bigger pieces at the art store. But these are the most expensive of some of those pastels. I believe similarly AR, so if you want to use chalk pastels, say in the Dick Blick brand or your local art storage brand or are different ones then you know, trout, whichever branded is that you've got or want to play with playing with those because I haven't been to like him. And then I'm also mounting piece on a cradle board to show you how to do that. And you know, you can get cradle board that's unfinished. You can get a flat or with a side. You can get them with a finished top already on it or with the unfinished top. There's some choices there. And you don't have to have those to finish your pieces. I just happen to have used one to show you how you might finish it if you're interested. And then in the finishing video, I'll also show you some fixative sprays on how you can finish your piece when you're done. So I do like the Sunil EIA soft pastel, fixative spray if I'm using soft pastels on my piece. And then other than that, we can use some type of archival finishings for I will grab it, some type of archival Finishing Spray to finish the piece. If I'm not matting it in framing it under a piece of glass. So you can find the finishing sprays at the art store. And you can find some of them at the hardware store. You just want to make sure if you get any from the hardware store that they are archival non yellowing type, Finishing Spray and I like it in the mat or satin finish. I don't like it in the shiny finish personally. Just happens to be my choice. You pick what you think it's going to work best for you. So that's basically what I was using in class. I did use some various paint brushes. And this rubbery paintbrush, which there's couple different brands of those. There's this catalyst and this one is master's touch. And you can get those in different sizes. I used this one during class just because I thought let's play with that. I also used a palette knife to finish my piece off when I was putting glue on my panel. But also use this to paint with so little variety of palette knives would be good to have if you've got some of those. And I have a lead pencil, this is just like a regular writing pencil where you click the let out a mechanical pencil. I use that for mark making. So I love that. You can also use any kind of market-making thing that you can come up with. If you've got some of these little brushes with marks, these comb lookin ends, those are fun. You could use. Would skewer like from the grocery store and like you're gonna make a skewer for dinner of stake in onions and stuff. Knows comes from the grocery store. So you can use those to make marks. All kinds of things to make marc, She can be real creative there in your experimentation. But that's basically the supplies that I was using in the class we're about to do. And I hope you love it. The pieces that ended up with are here have a variety of pieces that we ended up creating. And, you know, as I'm painting, I'm always doubtful that I'm going to get anything alike. But with this technique, it never fails me 100% of the time. I like something that I end up with and today is no different. I end up with four pieces here that I love. And for smaller pieces that can be framed as little micro pieces of art, or can be used in a collage, or can be used as tags. If I want to put it on a gift, lots of different options there. But I'm thrilled with what I ended up with. Even though as I'm painting every single time, I think I don't think I'm going to get anything this time and every single time I get something a loved because this method is fantastic. Even if you've never painted before. I think with the abandonment and the freedom that you give yourself just to play and create. And then when you're done, I think you're going to end up with something that you really love to. So I can't wait to see some of those. And that's basically all the tools that I use, but I encourage you. You don't have to buy new stuff to do this project experiment with what you have, and then add pieces as you figure out what you'd like to try out. So I can't wait to see what you create in this class. So let's get started. 3. Project - Getting started: In this project, we are going to do something that is my very favorite way to make will abstracts. And basically what I do is I create one big mess here on the paper that I have taped down. And then we're all done. We are going to search out little compositions that we love out of the big piece. And what I really like about doing abstract art this way is it's kind of freeing. You're not committing yourself to a composition. You're not trying to think of how things are placed on the paper. You're not getting paralyzed by blank paper, for instance, because I know a lot of times I'll sit there and look at a blank piece of paper and I'll just feel paralyzed. Like where do you start and how did you get going and what if you don't make a masterpiece when you're done? And I find that by doing some abstract art in this way, I eliminate all those barriers for myself. I'm not trying to create something amazing. If I get something that turns out in the end, I'm pretty happy about it, but I gotta tell you, just to kind of show you some pieces that I have hanging up above my art table here that I've done before. This really has turned into my very most favorite way to create abstract art. And every single time I use it to experiment with supplies, with different materials, with different tools that I've gotten. And then when I'm done, I, I love something out to every thing that I create. Whether I like it to begin with or not, or like the overall big piece of paper doesn't really matter because when I'm done, I'm picking out little compositions within the big piece that I love. So this, to me is the easiest way to get started. It helps me experiment with all the tools that I've gotten. And, you know, I've got a for a year or two, I had a sketch box subscription and so I have several boxes of just supplies that I've never even tried. And this is the perfect time to experiment with those supplies and figure out, you know, what do they do? So to get started, I just taped down a big piece of paper. And this is an 11 by 14. And to be honest, I actually usually like even a bigger piece than this. Like the biggest piece you can get if you have. The great, big one is great. But for filming wise, I want you to be able to see what I'm doing. And this is watercolour papers. So I like the 11 by 14, I like hard-pressed or coal press, hot press are cold pressed because either one of them, they both have a different texture. The hot press is pretty smooth. The cold press has a texture. And then the one I'm using today is not a watercolour paper, it's an oil and acrylic paper. A 136 LB. I like the, a 136 pound or the, a 140 pound watercolor paper. This one has a tiny bit of a texture, canvas texture on it. And this is the perfect way also to experiment with papers to see, do you like this texture? Would you rather be smooth? Do you want that little bumpy watercolor texture instead? Do you like this white paper? Do you want something heavier? I mean, this is the perfect time to experiment with all the papers and the supplies. And then we'll cut out some pieces at the end that we'd love. Guarantee that you are just going to love this technique as much as I do. And usually to begin, I start with some type of pencil, graphite, charcoal pencil. I like the stuff below mark all pencils. This is black, comes in a couple of colors. And then the neo color, two crayons I love. And I am just going to start drawing on the paper. And when we're all done, we may not see this scribble, but it's the way you can easily get started. You can clear your mind at that blank paper paralysis that some of us get me and switch hands. I don't want them to be uniform shapes or anything. I want them to be really just kind of all over. And maybe at the end we'll see it and maybe we won't. And what I really like about the stability and even the neocolonial, either one because, you know, I'm gonna get a similar, maybe slightly different texture, but there are water soluble. So if I get a paint brush with some water on it, I can start pushing around some of that color on here. And each of these will push around slightly different. So like the NEO color is this one. I've gone all over. The stuff below you'll see the mark that I just did is darker and little more vivid in when a push that around. So play with even different supplies in the same color. Because if you do something like this where you're pushing it around water or pushing it around with just so they'll they'll kind of come out a little different depending on which material it was that you were using. So this is exactly the way that I like to start. Just get the paper dirty, just get started. And then you might work gloves if you're working with different paints and stuff that could be toxic. Your work in with some of the acrylic paints like the Artesia, they say not toxic on most of these non-toxic. So if I wanted, you know, play in my, my paints with my fingers, I can feel pretty good about doing that. And I've picked out a color palette today because I find it easier if you'll just start off with a limited number of colors, no matter how many different materials that you're using, whether it be pencils are crayons, acrylic paint. I love postcard pins. But no matter how many different types of supplies I'm using a still wanna kinda have them in eye color palette. And just to show you my inspiration for this color palette, here is a piece that I did quite a while back and I had it framed and hangs up on the wall here in my art room. And I really love the army green, kinda moss green kinda color there and this pink and the white. It really, really appeals to me. This is one of my favorite said I have a set of three of these that I did in different color waves. This one just always draws me back to it. So I'm pulling my color inspiration from this piece that I have done quite a while back. So in keeping that in mind, I have pulled a Black and I'm using the Artesia, this pretty rose matter, this is lamp black. I have several blacks, but I'm using this one because it's the one I happen to pull out. It's not specific. There's not like some specific reason I did that. I'm also using the whole bean, brilliant pink because it just happens to be a brighter pink. That's pretty. I'm using the Sharman olive green, the sharp and green gold, which you can tell one of my favorites that you can see how much I'm using there. And the Sharman, Caribbean pink. Now, don't feel like you need to go out and buy all the colors that you see somebody using in a project like this. I want you to experiment and play with the art materials that you have. You know, pick a color way that appeals to you. And, you know, I like to look on Pinterest for different color wise, you know, when I'm getting started to see, are any of them appealing? Is there something I might want to experiment with? And, you know, this is several different grades of acrylic paints that I'm playing in. These are nicer artist paints and so there'll be more expensive and they're heavier in their pigment. These Artesia are very nice. They're better than student grade, but I wouldn't say quite up to the sharpen quality. But what I like about these is you get a whole box of room of like 60 colors for like 60 bucks or something crazy like that on Amazon. So you then get tons and tons of colors in this size tube, which is a really nice size tube. You can do a lot of painting with this size. And you get all the colors to kind of experiment with. And while I have been in the EU, have gotten into the trap of wanting all the colors with all the supplies. I do find that having too many choices is overwhelming. And that's why here at the beginning, I like to limit my color choices and just pick a color palette and go with it. You might not like it when you're done and that's okay. You can just paint over it because really how are you going to know unless you try and experiment with it. And then sometimes you can get these Artesia's on Amazon for $30 for the whole box of 60, which I did manage to get around the holidays because sometimes they run it on sale and if you ever see that, definitely grab it just to have these as some supplemental colors if you wanted some other things to play with. So this is kind of the color palette I've picked an keeping. If I use any of the little neo colors, I have pulled those out in those same type color ways. I've really loved green, gold. And so, you know, you might just pick some colors that you really love to start with. And when you're going into purchased. Some acrylic paints. If you want to go with the better quality, you know, pick a few colors that you love, you don't need them all. And that's a good way to start. So I'm going to go ahead and just put some of these out here on my palette. And this is a ceramic palette. And there's a couple of goods ceramic companies that you can get ceramic pallets from. I've gotten some from Silva and clay works and Sugar House company. And what I like about him, this is the silver clay works and this is the Sugar House company. And they have different finishes. And out of the two different finishes, which I like both of them quite a bit. They're really well made and they're really pretty for doing a demo like this. But I do prefer this Silva and clay works one because the paint cleans off of it a little easier. So I do love that. And to clean paint off of these, you'll start. If you do it right when you're done, you can wash it off with water. Otherwise, you'll take a little scraper if you let it dry day and you can just scrape the paint off. And if you let it dry too long, which I did on this one. Before I got started, I let it dry for several weeks before I came back to using it. Then you can just soak it in water for a little bit. And the the acrylic paint a lift back off and then you can wipe it off. So I do really love using these little ceramic pallets because they're beautiful and they're eco-friendly. You're not throwing away paper and stuff every time you're using your paints. But you can use disposable palette paper two either way. And I'm just getting started here with a little bit of paint of each of the colors that I've chosen. And then I can always add some more paint to it. And I don't usually want to have like a gigantic glob when I start because I don't want to waste it. You know, I'm going to be mixing color and stuff, but I don't want to waste it completely. And then I'm also going to be using Jesu. So I'm using acrylic paint and I'm then I'm going to be adding just so into it. You know, acrylic paint is basically plastic. And so, you know, if you want to put stuff that was white, this is clear. I like using white and clear and I use it in my mixing. And that's what I'm going to read. You know, the acrylic paints very shiny, it's very plasticky. And then if you want to put more layers on top of it, if you're just using the acrylic paint itself, it's very difficult to then layer more stuff on top of it because things don't stick to it. So usually when I'm painting layers of acrylic paint on here, after I've scribbled on my page, I will mix in some gesso to that mixture. And if I want to make it lighter, sometimes I use the, the white Jesu asthma white paint because it's less expensive. Then using the acrylic paint that you can use the acrylic paint too. But I use the white as my white paint and as a mixture added into the colors on mixing and the clear, I like using it too. And it makes, makes it kinda gritty where you can layer things on top of it. And then another benefit too is, you know, I don't necessarily like it to be shiny. I like Matt things in like it to be that Matt kinda look or it's not all shiny. And you can see on these, it's not, they're not shiny it all. And I love that. That's my favorite kinda look. So if I want to add sharing at the end, maybe I can finish it with a lacquer or a, you know, a finishing spray that's got shine in it. But for the paint part itself, I like it not to have shine and to be able to layer things on top, I need to have that grit in there so that other stuff will stick to it. And so at this point, I might use a great big cheap paintbrush, maybe two ohm, depending on how many colors I've got going. I've got several paint brushes here. And this is like a $3 paintbrush from Michael's. It's not expensive. This one actually has some glue stuck in it. So maybe I'll pick another one. But I beat these up. So I have several level and I've got some water over here to the side just to kinda soften those up. Also have overhear some shop rags which you can use shop rags are towels. I like these because they don't have the paper towel texture on them and they're real thick and they're heavy and they stand up good to different art things that I want to do. And so we'll have one of these to the side because I might need to use it for something. I also have a spray bottle back here if you want to spray things and let him drip and stuff. So that's kinda fun. And I'm just going to start laying stuff in here. And I'm going to start off with this green goal, just kinda mixing it here with my gesso. And I may have to put more on my palette, but I'm going to, I'm going to start there. And with these, i'm not, at this point. I'm not thinking of composition. I'm not thinking of where I'm going with this in the end. My goal here is simply to lay paint on my paper. And then as we build up the layers, because this is one of those things where I'm going to layer on top of here with several different materials possibly. Then I'll start thinking about other colors and do I like the way I've laid those down? Maybe, maybe I'll put some of this darker green. And you can see I'm not even changing my paint brush on some of these now if I change over to the other color way, the pinks here, then yeah, I'll probably use this other paintbrush that's in my hand. And I'm just mixing here on the palette and there's no rhyme and reason to what I'm doing other than, do I like this color I'm putting down, this is the perfect way to really experiment with colors and mark making and materials. And when you're all done, you know, if you like the great big composition that you created, then you can keep it just like it is. You don't have to cut it up like I'm gonna do a boy, like how like cutting them up. Sigma favorite part. And I like to get with this that I'm not having to overthink it. I'm not having to worry about where am I putting this down to a like it is it making a good composition? I've already ruined it. And you can get your fingers in there to go. And if you think all of us more of this over here, and I don't like necessarily the texture it's creating with the brush. If you're using the non-toxic colors, then go ahead and put your fingers in there if you want. And then I also have other tools besides paintbrushes. Like some of these catalyst wedges kind of things. And we could use that to create some other texture and marks in our piece if we're not completely happy with where the paintbrush thing is going. And another thing I like about this too, is if you kinda drag it, you really get some interesting texture in here that you're not gonna get any other way. And the paper is going to buckle, like it's started to kinda raise up a little bit here. I don't care about that because as this dries, it will flatten itself back out and we will be good. So the thicker your paper is, the less likely it is to do any of this buckling. I'm going to switch paint brushes here for the pink. And just go ahead. No, my sharpen Caribbean pink ears getting kind of thick. So I may need to replace that tube of paint because I don't want it to be really gloppy, but it's my favorite color. I'm, I just talked to order a new tube of fat, but it's going down ok. And again, I'm just mixing that with the white just so right there so that that pain has a lot of grids since this is my first layer that I'm laying down and I want to be able to paint on top of this. And because I'm laying it down with the green paint is still wet, it's really blending in that pink quite a bit. It's kind of meshing it into that color, blending those colors, maybe even more so than alike. So if you're starting to mix color and you're thinking, oh, and a life that it's mixing with the other color that I put noun. Let that dry in-between your layers. You don't have to immediately go from layer to layer. So I could have stopped, let that draw for a few minutes, gone to take a little break. Maybe you got something to drink and I could have come back to it. And then when I started laying color on top of it, they would not have blended in to that point. And again, I'm not thinking of any specific composition at this point. I'm just getting color nail. You know, in the end I'm going to definitely take it around and say, you know, do I like a specific area? And another really good thing about doing that is you then start to develop your eye for composition that you like. Because even though at this point I'm not thinking of any composition at all. In the end, when I go back and start searching for something that I like when I cut out, I'm gonna want some kind of composition there. And so this is a really nice way to build up your own little library of pieces of compositions that you like. And then were you to go to create like a bigger piece? Like if we wanted something bigger but like this, I can then focus on different areas and where I have put stuff and drawn things and, and added more things to. And I could use that as my guide for a composition that I might like. And you know, I want there to be a nice mix of lights and darks. Maybe a pop of color. You know, when you're looking at your color wheel and you're thinking, oh, what colors do I want? You might have some stick on one side of the color wheel like the blues and the greens, but then have a pop of orange or you know, the reds and the, and the yellows and the pinks, but then have a pop of something from the other side in there. You know, I do like to use the color wheel quite often in experimenting with my different compositions and colors and things. When I'm picking a palette and clean off one of these paint brushes, maybe I'll go back to the green here. I want some more of that. The name here, the game is layer. We want layers to add interests. So I'm just going to continue to layer up some of the acrylic before I move on to some other materials that I want to play in. And those materials could be aka drawl on top of this with the neo color crayons. I could draw on top of this with the stability pencil. I could draw on top of it with a lead pencil. I could use my white postcard pin for some little white spots. I'm just trying to get as much texture and color and interest down before I start. Then really defining some of those elements that are like and want to emphasize. And this is a good point to, to stop for a second and maybe use a pencil or something with a sharp point and start making some remarks. And here while this is still wet, you don't want to do all your marks when it's completely dry, I want to dig down into this paint. So I'm going to set these paint brushes for a second and start making some arcs. And, and it's really nice if you could maybe do some of that with your non-dominant hand because there are less likely to be completely uniform, they're going to be a little bit more organic. I think if you use thing and that you don't normally draw with. This is why keep little towel, windy sock, and wipe off the different things I'm using. D. And, you know, I'm doing some nice long lines right here. But we could also do different shapes. I could do little hatch marks. And I'm just digging through that top layer. This works best when you have a couple layers and then you can dig through the top layer for stuff. Maybe I want to make this into maybe a ladder shape because sometimes I like that ladder look. Maybe I want to do some circles, maybe I want to do some little cross hatches. Those would be fawn over here. And you'll notice that at this point, I'm still not thinking of composition. I'm not thinking of where I'm putting things and being very random about it. Because these will be little elements that are like little surprises on our final piece when we get to it, I did a piece one time where my little random circle, things like this, ended up looking like an abstract flower on the composition that I pulled out of it. I loved that. Alright, so love that. And I'm gonna go back with paint brush. And some of these layers are really starting to draw. And I also, I can then come on top of those without it picking up that color underneath it. So that might be fun. You know, every time I do one of these, I get something completely different than I ever got before. So even though I'm using the same color y that I may have picked before, what I end up with is going to look nothing like what I got the last time I did it. And I love that these are so organic and almost serendipitous. And what you end up getting, it's part of the fun of it. It's like a little present at the end, like what I get. You could use a smaller paintbrush to do some of this too, because, you know, a big paint brush on the whole thing might be too much of something somewhere where if you used a little brush, you might end up with something. You like a little better. Let's get some more of this. This is the all of green noun. They're mixing it with a little bit of black and a little bit of gesso. And that's the white just so I could have mixed it with the clear jess. So if I wanted and got that little darker because the white's going to lighten it. And another thing that you can mix acrylic paint with, especially if you liked working in this kind of way, were the paints not so thick because it does kind of make the pain a little more translucent with some layers there. What you're going to put some more of this green gold down. Well, you can do too is play with the mediums. You can use math median and mix it with it, but the medium is acrylic also. And it's not giving it any grid. So if you're using the medium just to kind of create a man, Look, it's not gonna give you the grit to layer things on top of it. So keep that in mind. That quite a bit of paint on this nail. So I think what I'm gonna do is let this dry a little bit so that I can then start coming back on top of it with some of my other supplies. Like I've got the stuff below pin. And I can start drawing on here with the stability opinion, a pencil, some marks all. And I can get some good looks. But if I wait till it's dry, then it's less likely to blend in or move the paint around. So if I wanted to move the paint around to it when it's wet, if I want to have some areas where it's not digging into the paint so much wait til it's a little bit dry and then you can start do and other marks on top. So I'm just going to actually, while I'm doing it, well, this is kind of it's okay. I'm gonna go ahead and do it actually now that I've got started. And then vary your marks up, don't make them all the same. What would be a little different here and there. So maybe some hatches like I'm doing nail then because it's still wet. I'm trying to keep my hand up off the paint. And then when we cut our little compositions out of this, we within, maybe even again, add a few more marks are colors depending on what we decide we need. So I could go back on here with must build, and this is the neo color too. And I would, if you'll notice that doesn't really show up at the moment, I'm moving paint around. I really would like this to be a little more vivid or might even use a different material. Alright, so I'm going to let this dry for a second and then we'll come back and add some more on top of it. 4. Project - Adding paint and marks: So as I'm sitting here looking at this while it's drying and thinking about it. I think I want to come in here and add some layers of white because almost feel like I don't have enough contrast in some of these areas or enough lightness or something that I think I might like. This just to give you an idea. This is one of the things that I have created out of just some watercolor paper strips to make kind of a window of what I might like to cut out. This is kind of how I view it around and we'll call this a viewfinder. And this is what I use as I'm kinda going and thinking about stuff and, and moving it around, thinking, Is there anything in here I think I'm going to like, and this is what I use at the end, actually cut these out. And like here's another example that I've done in the past. And I've mounted these on little boards to hang on the wall. But I'm gonna kind of move some color around because I feel like I've made it all too choppy and not enough rest space in-between some of this, I guess maybe you could say like these are some bigger areas almost of color that I've laid down. So I'm gonna go through and lay some white noun. And I may continue adding stuff as I go. Just thinking, you know, what, what might I like this to look like? Like if I'm actually in the end thinking, oh, I love this area right here. Then our might look in there and think, well, what can I add right now that's going to really pull that together for me. So we're gonna be using a viewfinder that we make in a shape that you want. You can make these elongated. You can make it square like I've made it here. You can make it smaller because there's several things that I've done that are like four by 45 by 56 by 64 by six different shapes and stuff. They're just trying to decide, you know, what, what have we like and what are we going to cut out in this? And what do I need to do still after I've laid color noun, that's going to pull that together for me. And then even as I'm laying more color on top, is still thinking, you know, what kind of mark cannot put onto my paper with my non-dominant hand so that hopefully I get something really cool and organic that I love. And this something foreign to you. I just spotted that down and got splattered. So I loves bladders and that might be another thing where we add some bladders. And here, maybe I'm just going to add some water and a little bit of just so and then see what we can get splatter wise. Just keep in mind in your splatter and stuff. You might be splattered on your wall and stuff too. So be careful. How enthusiastic you get with your splatter. And you can splat or in different colors like that was white but we could splatter in maybe this red, reddish color here. Yes, I love that in our water. Now I'm going to let this dry a little bit because I think the next layer that I want to do is going to be with some pastels. This is a little bit drier. I'm going to come in and I think I'm going to use my rubber catalyst paint piece and call it a catalyst. This is actually the catalyst, but this is by master's touch and it's just a rubbery paintbrush look and thing, but it's made of rubber. And I'm just going to come through here and add some marks with this. That'll give me some yummy texture like that right there. That's exactly what I love and, and kinda hope that I can highlight in a finished piece that we end up with. And I'm being careful of wherever my paper is kinda doing this number, it'll flatten out when it's dry. But as you're adding stuff like this onto it, when it's kind of doing as little funky thing. You'll end up with a glob somewhere you didn't intend to, if you're not real careful about how you're laying this on with one of these. And you could use scrapers to do this with. There's all kinds of stuff. I could use that bigger thing to do it with the bigger catalyst piece if I wanted, I kinda like this size which is maybe an inch and a half, it's a little bigger than an inch. That's I like that little bit of texture right there that you get with something like this if you're just very lightly pulling it along. And also like you know, that we can use the edge to create some pattern. I want to create some fun lines like that. Really fun that I can do with this. So now I'm just kinda starting into detail work like I just want to add in details. I want to get interesting texture and pattern. It's still too wet to use the pastels, which I'm going to be pulling out in a minute after I really let this dry. But it's not too wet to do stuff like this. And to just start adding in some texture and stuff with different tools. You could do stint selling here if you wanted to add some stencil into your pattern, you could use different shaped items like bubble wrap, maybe an eraser. Oh, you know what, this is my catalyst. Rubbery 12 different brands, same type of thing. I like that This one's angled. That's kinda fun. I like different tools to experiment with. You just kinda have to try some stuff out before we decide here's what my favorite is. And a lot of people ask, how do I find my style? That's kinda like everybody's goal and they're working on stuff. They getting frustrated. You're doing stuff. You're not seeing what your style is and you're like, how do I find my style? How do I get to my style? And, you know, my my regular business is photography. And I did a blog post on my main site, photography, talking about imperfect biographers. Finding your style is simply a process of deciding what you love and using those items or elements are tools so frequently that it becomes known as like your thing. Basically, it's just a process of determining what you like and what you don't like and using what you like. And then your, your paintings are your photos or whatever, you know, art medium is that you're doing, eventually becomes so recognizable from the things that you're choosing to do, that that becomes your style. It's just a process of deciding what you love and what do you not love. And those are the elements that you're using and you know how you figure that out. You do the work. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to getting around that. I'm going to pull out my posts pin, which is just a white paint pin. And these don't last super long, but we'll see if this one is still good enough to at least do some dots. And I use this dots. Um, but that's basically the way you find your style. It's just deciding, you know, what is it that you love and then doing more of that. And then the things that you create, you know, begin to really distinguish, be distinguished and look like you every time you make it and post it. And so, you know, it could still TE to this day, you know, I don't have a style, but other people can disagree with you. I have plenty of people that say, every time you post a photo, I instantly recognize it because you know, I like the photo to be more processed with Matt processing. So it looks more like vintage film. And I like certain subjects. So, you know, if I like to photograph still lifes or flowers, you know, you can usually tell that it's mine because of the lenses that I like to use and the subject matter that I enjoy. And I've been doing it for a long time. So, you know, if I'm shooting with a camera, I'm using my favorite lens and I'm using my setup over here in my studio and I'm just kinda working the whole area and the things that I like. And then when I'm done, you know, it kinda has a recognizable to it that people tell me, oh, I instantly knew that was yours. And so. I'm always trying to change things up because I have a little business and I want to show, you know, dots and lots of little different styles, elements and, and things that, that people might be interested in. So I don't want everything I do to look the same. But people will still tell you they recognize something that I did. So I have a style. It just happens to be the choices of things that I've made that I love. So you're just gonna have to do the work. And eventually, if you do a painting practice, say every day, like if I do a little abstract practice every single day, you get better at it. You decide what colors that you love because that's a good question too. How do you pick a color palette? Well, you know, pick your favorite colors is what people always say. Pick the colors you want to use. But I'll, I'll tell you that I've actually kinda find that a little bit frustrating because what if you don't know the colours you want to use yet? You're kinda just getting started. Year one to develop into what colors that you love. Maybe I loved the same colors another artist is using. And so whenever I create looks like what they're creating because I used everything that they told me to. And that's OK. When you're starting out, use the things that you've got to start out with. You know, experiment with different things that you see other people trying. And eventually you'll try enough stuff out that you're like, oh, I really love this, but I don't love that. And you'll stop using whatever that was and start using more of what you did love. And it does get easier. And then you get to the point where you're like, maybe I wanna do a whole series in this one color because I love it so much or this one color way. And so you'll get there. Just know that finding your style is a process and it's not going to happen in a month or two, you know, you might think a month down the road off AMA style. And if you're just getting started, probably haven't you probably still heavily influenced by things that you're seeing out there and other people are doing. Not really pulling from your depth of yourself. And I do that too. I like see something that somebody's painting and I think we don't wanna do that. And then I'll try, I'll dabble in that a little bit. And then I'll think, okay, I did that. I'm going to move onto the next thing. It really wasn't my thing and that's how we learn and do things. You know, you take some classes, you practice with those people are doing and then you kind of more for those skills into something that works for you. I'm just putting this stuff everywhere. I didn't think it's dry enough for my pastels. And so I have a bunch of pastels cuz I'm, I had bought a pack of civilly, a pastels, which I really like. It is a more expensive brand, a pastel. So you might go to the art store and look at the different pastel varieties if you think you want to play in the pastels for a little bit. Because if you go to say like the blink, they have some pastels that are there that are their own brand. I had gotten a whole set of these off of, I think Amazon because I was just want to bring it to me and everything was locked down with the coronavirus and I wanted new art supplies to play with. So I ordered them. Then I do happen to really, really liked them. So at some point I went to the art store and I have added more to my collection of the colors that I love. Because some of these, if you get the CLEA half pan set, I've got a big half pan set. I thought, well, I'm going to use this color until it's gone and then I'll never be able to get it again because who knows what that color is. And I love this color. And so what I decided to do was take a few of the ones after I've played with them long enough because I love this color. I love that color in this color way. And so I decided to take some of these to the art store and match them up to a full stick and come home with some full sticks so that I then had these for later. You can also use, these are the chalky pastels. So you can see they get on your finger very easy. They're very pigment heavy. This is a good reason why I like to use JSON with my paint. And you know what you could do if you wanted to paint at all and not add the Jesu up front, you could coat to painting with clear just so you know, after the fact. But I like the way that adding that layer in there makes the paint almost translucent. Also, it gives it kind of a different depth of different quality. It makes it Matt. So I like all those things. And so that's why I do it the way that I do it. So I'm going to pick out some of these chunky past deals. You can also use oil pastels. I do have some oil pastels in and you can use pastel pencils. You know, if you've got pencils that are passed daily, use those. And I have these two randomly, a white and black because they came with a sketchbook box, sketch box, monthly subscription. They came in those boxes. And what I really loved about getting that sketch pox was that I got tools that I never would have bought to experiment with. But after you get the box for a whole year, you got like an obnoxious amount of onesies and twosies that may be a good color and may not, and you may use them and you may not. And so even though I loved getting it after a whole year of them, I did go ahead and put that on hold because I don't have time to use all the things they already sent me and I didn't want to hold another year of stuff that I was just going to again, though in a box and be like, well, I don't know what this is. I'm not going to use it or not doing the art stuff right now and doing the photography stuff. So who knows when I'll get back to this, that kind of thing. And I just didn't want to have a whole nother year random things that I may or may not use. But I did enjoy that for the year that I got it. This stuff too because it's so pigment and, and chalky. When you're all done with your piece, we're going to have to finish that with something like the summarily a finishing spray for the pastels because the stuff will keep on, you know, you'll keep getting it marks on it and it'll get on your fingers and it doesn't cure to any point. It's just pigment on top. So we do have to finish that at some point. Oh, here we go. This isn't oil pastel. So the oil pastels, This is some LEA I've got some other cheaper ones. This happened to be one that came in the sketch mocks also. These are very creamy, but you don't want to use them on the bottom because you want to use these on the top. So if you get the oil pastels, not that chalky ones, these are four very top details only for something like this. Because if you paint this on the bottom where we're scribbling on your acrylic paints, not really going to stick to that like it should. So these would be for detail items at the top, maybe Marx, maybe lines, just any kind of interesting little section that you wanna do. Those would be great for the top. And the thing about these, the creamy oil pastels is they actually never really dry. So if you're thinking, you know, I've done this three months ago and it's still a little bit wet. Well, if you're using those creamy oil pastels, they don't really truly dry. I had found out. So something that I like about using these. Now that I've started kinda put them in here is I can do lines. I can make marks. I can do different texture. I can do little dots. I can do all kinds of different mark making and also color block a whole area and then blend that in with my finger. And because I have got that Jeff also in what that acrylic paint that it'll let it grab that and really add to whatever area that I've just put that pastel on. So this is my pastel box. I'm going to be pulling out a bit and I'm going to set it over here to the side. And I'm just going to randomly continue with adding some details and stuff like we've already been doing. Before I decide to then see if there's anything left in here that I love. Because usually with a, you know, an abstract, when we get around to thinking about composition, it's really nice if there's some light and dark and you have that contrast in there to really emphasize the composition and stuff. So you could do the darkest really at the end too. Like if I needed to add some at the end and I think, well, I've got a little bit dark there, but it's not really in this. I need some more somewhere else. You know, we could continue adding some of these details on at the end when we're done. And if you get enough of these on your fingers, you might get to the point where you can scribble any color in. And so I actually have that I keep at my desk some wet wipes. Somebody who went whites at the store and I use a little bit dry, but I use these to kind of get some of this stuff off my fingers in-between using different materials for this exact reason. So that if I've got too much of say this green on my finger that i'm not being able to smudge in pink or something. I can very quickly and easily clean off my fingers as I'm going. So I do love having some baby wipes here at my table. And I just wanted to be just interesting stuff going on in here. Maybe some lines on top that contrast might pick a color that doesn't quite match sometimes, and that's okay. You can have a little pop of some other color in there. If you end up picking on that, you're like, oh, that wasn't doing what I thought it would do. Have done that. And then once I lay it down and think, oh, that's different than I thought, then I will maybe put it one or two other areas just as a pop of color, but I won't put it everywhere like I do some of these others. And then if you just told me Michael, mistake, take a baby wipe and maybe just see if you can get that off if you don't think you like it at all. But the more, the more interesting color and marks and dots and mark making and different things that we add in here. The more of that we do in the end when we get our final composition going. I think the more interesting the piece will be. Like look at that. I'm kind of dig in on that right there. And dig in on this here, like all had different color and pattern and texture that's in there. And sometimes if you're too close to it, you're thinking, oh, I don't love any of it. Stand back a little bit because this is abstract. And the further back that you get, the more you can maybe see the composition in the piece in there that you intended. 5. Project - Cutting out abstracts: And let's just real quick review. This right here was our inspiration piece. You know, this is the where I thought the colors were coming from, the Maya piece that I was inspired by. And when I said every single time that I create a piece, it's so dramatically different than the last piece I created, even if I'm using the same colors. Nothing on here looks like my inspiration piece. And I love that. It's very serendipitous in the way that create with this type of thing. But I do like having that inspiration of something that I was like, oh, I love these colors. Actually think that we're at a good point to maybe cut out one or two of these compositions and then finish it up. Because I love this. And I think I love this right here. And so I'm actually going to pull my tape up and get out my cutting board. And I'll be right now. So I'm actually pulling my tape and I wanted to I was going to pull it off and then just have it off. But I want to talk about the tape. I'm using painter's tape, which is the blue painters tape that comes from the hardware store. You can also use like that Artist's tape that you can get at the art store. And depending on your paper, it may pull off really easily and it may not. And the secret on the ones that it doesn't want to pull off as easily I find is if you'll pull it at an angle very steadily, kinda slow. And then usually this paper is a lot easier than some of the others. But pull it out the angle or pull it really slow, like right back and then you're less likely to rip your papers. And if your paper is saturated with water, then you will definitely be ripping the paper possibly see you want to be real careful that the paper's not saturated, that you've let that kinda dry before you try to appeal the paper off because if it's part wet like right here, it would have peeled off some of the paper. But you also want to be real careful, kinda pull it at an angle or, or straight back but real slow. So I have a cutting board. And then I'm going to put down, I'm going to use an exact a knife to cut pieces out. And this is just a piece that I have made That's the same size as some of the boards that I use. Like it's the same size as this board, which I believe this is a five by five c under root and it's got some sizing on it. Yeah, this is a five by five. I also do quite a bit for these in a four by four size. And so what you can do, there's a couple of different ways you could do this, but We're just going to now start to kinda look around and see is there a composition that we love? And if we do, we can take a pencil and kinda mark that out. Or we could actually draw the whole score if we wanted to. And then you can take a ruler or something straight and hard along with an exact TO NIH for a, or a utility knife. And then we're gonna cut this out. Now what I have decided is easier is to pick some of these finished pieces that I use that amount things on. This is a cradle board that I got from the art store that painted and then glued my piece of artwork on. What I'm gonna do is just kind of have one of each size that I might like to use and just chalk it up to trash for what we're doing. I'm not going to use these for anything other than cutting these out. And select this as this size right here. So if I decide that I really love that right there, then I will put this down and cut around this thing. So I'll do that in a moment, but I just want to make sure that's really the piece that I love. And don't be afraid to turn these other directions too. Like we don't have to look at it the way that we painted. I could come around this way and think, well, is there a composition that I love? Moved this way? I could put it upside down. And we could see if there's anything that jumped out at us in this direction. And then if you think that it needs a little more of something, you know, you can always add a little extra touches after you cut it out. I didn't for some reason, when I look up in the camera screen, like this composition, even though like when I'm looking at a real close up, I'm like, I don't know if I love that or not, but I do love it from a little further back. So I'm definitely going to cut this piece out. So let's, let's just decide this is where this is going. You make sure the, I like this little pink at the bottom. I just kinda like that. Alright, so I'm just gonna put that right there. That's exact. It's not, it's not a big deal. This is little play pieces and then you might end up using it for something. And you could draw around this and cut it with scissors. Use a nice exact DO knife and cut it out with that. And I just let this little piece be my guide and try to cut a straight line. And I think I cut into the wood piece. I wouldn't was talking and gotten at the same time, but just as close as I can. And I just kinda around until I get all the sides cut out. And sometimes I don't get all the paint dry before I start cutting out, which is how all these little paint pieces ended up bone here. That's why I'm considering these. Just for that. I'm not going to use them for anything other than my cutouts. But now, here we go. We've got our first piece cut-out. And from a little bit further back, I think it's really beautiful. And then at this 0.2, I could go ahead and see any other compositions that we like. And I don't have to have them all in the larger size. If I like it. A little bit smaller size, I can I can have several of these forma for five-by-five. And maybe I like the smaller size out of here also. So we're just going to see what else do we loved. We love a really like this here. I think I like this 12. And I might add some other elements after I get it cut out. Ha ha, love it. And then what's really fun about this? Once you cut out the pieces that you know you love and you're still kind of questioning, Do I love any any other spots? Maybe we do. Like we love that. Will cut this one out too. I do like this. Oh yeah, see leisure. So pretty once they get cut out. Alright, so once you kinda get all of that that you think you like, what you might consider doing is then creating smaller pieces out of what's left. I don't throw pieces away. I save all the little pieces like this. Let me show you. When I do. Here is see I have little different pieces of ones that I have done before. And I save all those pieces. These are now going to be something that I can use for collage papers or other projects later. I really like having the leftover paint bits to be able to do other things with. And another thing that we could do, if you don't want to just save the pieces for collage, is we can cut these into smaller squares and use them for something like bookmarks. Or we could use them for tags for gifts. Let me just cut some of these out. Show you. I'm just going to take some scissors here. Yes, the biggest curves scissors I can find how funny. And just cut off some of the edges and the edges away. Either, I may end up using them like this piece right here. I actually love that piece that is really beautiful. Like that could be a really pretty bookmark or a nice collaged piece like, look how pretty that piece is. I love that piece. So love that. And then what we could do is we could make some pretty tags or something out of the rest of this. I'm just going to get it. We're OK in maybe cut the street here. That might not be straight. Leslie. Cut that off. And then like this right here, look how pretty that is. We'll see what, what is this 12345. So at like 2.5, we could cut that into a square. And then look at these pre tags that we've got that we can use for collage pieces or we could add these to a package. Maybe I could staple, you know, do a little hole here in the corner and that can be a gift tag. So that's really fun. I love this little piece that can be some kind of gift tag. Perhaps. I can save these pieces at the edge even though it's got the white on it. Because look at this right here. I could use that for something that's really beautiful. And sack and keep the whole piece, I can cut another piece out of here if we look at it again and think, Is there anything else that we love out of that? We can do that. Where does set my color? Here we go, my picker just to double check before I call this one. None. Love that. I do like that. Maybe we'll cut this fourth one out of here. I didn't like that. Kinda like that to I don't know our choices. But I think I like this enough to maybe cut it out. And then we could have four or five by five pieces. I could have got a whole bunch of four by four pieces out of here. I'm using the five-by-five size for this project. But I like hanging Marta. So I do like being able to get several pieces out that kinda match to make a little series. And then hanging them in my art room and enjoying them. And I've put them up here on my idea board like the ones I pulled down and showed you earlier. Yeah. Like that. I'll have some framed like the framed one I showed you. I like lots of different things to do with these capri that is just for like a little strip on a collage piece. Wouldn't that be pretty And this I might make some other little tags out. Since we have a couple tags, I can make some more tags. I'm going to size it out here. So the same size or something close. I mean, they're not to be exact, but is kinda fun. Just to have these to use and show off and have for stuff for later. You could frame these as little micro pieces of art like that can be framed, That's a really pretty little piece of art and it can be a little two by 2.5 or so size. And you can have a whole little set of those that you frame. Get creative with what you do with some of these. And you know, I didn't like the great big piece when I was done with it, but I sure do like all the pieces that come that have come out of it. So much so that I get excited every time I start one of these. And I can't wait to do the next one because then I'll experiment with other colors. I'll experiment with other supplies. I just love it. And you know, I used to get so mad when I worked at my table and I wouldn't make anything I liked. And I just be angry for the rest of the day because I'd be so frustrated because I wanted to make some masterpiece and I'd sit down and I'd be paralyzed by the blank piece of paper. And I would not create anything at all that I liked and I'd be very, very frustrated about it and nail everything that I create with this method. I'll come out every single time for something that I like. I just got paint all over the place running that through my PayPal it accidentally. But they all end up with stuff I like every time. And it kinda doesn't matter if it's colors that I love or not. Because on one said I was really inspired by some colors on my paintbrush. And when I painted them, I thought, I don't think I'm going to like this. And then I'm going to show you that real quick. This color set right here. I thought I was on a paintbrush and our thought, oh my goodness, I love that so much. And I don't even know if that paint we're seeing over here where I can show you and I'll see it. And it was just paint all over the handle and I thought, oh, I love that. And then I got the painting it and I'm like, I hate this. Kinda cut these out and I'm like, oh, I love it actually. So don't worry too much about colors and stuff. Pick a color way to work with, but then don't get too stressed out about what it's going to turn out to be because that big piece, I didn't like it at all. But these little pieces, I and just loving every one of these look how pretty those are. So it's at this point now that I might then look a little further at each piece and think, Could I do a little bit more to this one? And I do a little bit more to that one. And I will add my finishing touches to these pieces at this point. Alright, so I'm gonna get my postcard pen back out because I actually think I really like this one. So I don't think I'm going to make any changes to that one. And I even like that direction. And one thing too about getting stuff framed, you know, I'm talking about direction they are. Decide what direction you like. But when you take these to the framer or you frame them yourself, kinda maybe mark on the back side which way you intended up to B because let's say you liked it like this. And the frame reframed it like this. Perfect example. To me, this is the way that I intended it to go. But you can see by the framing on the back, this is the way that the frame reframed it. So now I feel like it's upside down on my wall. So just wanted to point out a little lesson there that I learned the hard way. Don't let your framer pick the orientation. You don't. You tell the framer, draw with a pencil on the back or something if you have two, which way is up? So they're not making that decision for you because I had three pieces framed at the same time as that one. And all three pieces are upside down from what I imagined in my mind, it should have been some, just gonna take my post Japan. Maybe add some fun little white details here on this one. I really like. And you see on all three of these pieces that we have got a little bit of that super dark color. So almost feel like if this were going to be a set of four, then I need some of that dark color on this fourth one also, perhaps. That's your own kind of personal decision. I don't feel like I need a lot of it, but I do feel like it's missing that color. If this were going to be a set that I was, you know, kind of doing together. And I don't want a whole lot on. They're just a touch kinda looking up at the camera screen because it's almost easier to see the composition up there, went a little further away than it is right here. Where I'm looking at it. As I drop this on here. Maybe some pretty dots. Just some subtle Well like that. Oh, yeah, like that. Okay. I'm actually super thrilled with how these came out. And so got dark color all over my finger and I want to be touching them with all this on there and have little green fingerprints. So at this point, I'm going to stop this video because I'd I am going to show you how I might mail these to a board if I can find a board that I have. But look how pretty or little collection is that we've just created out of one piece of paper. And I am in love and thrilled with this little set. So I'm going to show you a couple of other little things that I do before we wrap up this class. So that's why I'm going to stop right here and let these really completely dry and then show you some couple things that I do. 6. Finishing your piece: Let's talk about finishing our pieces. So I have tried lots of different surfaces. You can, you can frame the piece just like it is in a frame. And this could be sent me get framed at the framer with a mad in it or something you give say at the Hobby Lobby or the Michaels, Are you frame it yourself? That's one way you can finish off with these. Another way that we can finish it off is we can mount it to a wood board, which I really love to do. I have several of these hanging in a gallery wall in a room downstairs that I did excel loved him so much. So the wood pieces come in a lot of different options. You've got the flat ones that are ready to hang. They've got like little cutouts on the back that you could hygienists. And then, you know, that could be your finished piece. Thing about these is you need to be real aware of where the cutouts are so that you glue it to the right orientation. Because if you minute to go this way and you wanted to hang it and there's no spot there to hang it. Well, you just did hung it upside down. So make sure that you're getting at the same direction as where your little cutouts are. If you're wanting to do something like this and hang it, and then you'll notice on this one that the edge is black. So I have painted the edge of this before. I had glued my piece to the board. So you would keep that in mind too. Few glue it down and you think, Oh no, the edges aren't finished and then you go to paint that. You want to be real careful not to paint on top of your piece. Um, I have even though I painted it before I blew down, when I glued the piece down, I did go back and touch up the edge of the paper because the paper was white and I didn't want that white paper to shine next to that black side. So I did take my little craft paint and you can use craft paint, you use acrylic paint, you can use anything you have handy really. And I just touched that apro careful and made sure I didn't get none on the top of my art piece. So be careful when you're painting the sides of your piece. And this is the one option that's a flat panel. It's usually the most expensive would least expensive option for wood boards because it's just one piece of wood. You can also go to the hardware store and have him cut you out panels of wood like this. Stuff here that I'm using is a melamine or the particle board stuff. You could use that from the hardware store and cut them yourself. I mean, be as creative as you want to be. I don't have all those tools to be doing woodwork, so I don't wanna do that. I go ahead and buy the panel's already the sizes. I'd like to have them. This is the next way. It's a cradled panel with a side. This is a three quarter inch to one inch side. They also come in to lunch sides and three insides which I really love. I love the deep sides. It makes the piece look more expensive. And this just has the Gesso Primer on it. Because if you're using these unfinished boards. They're not primed, so you need to prime it with the Gesso first. And then you can let that dry and then you can mount your piece to the primed piece of wood. Because the wood is not. If you do it straight to the unprimed would stuffs soaks into the wood and then it may not stick. Your glue may not stick depending on what kind of glue you use. So your peace may come up later. And you just want to go ahead and seal the whole panel painting underneath here, paint the sides and then your sides are ready for paint. And this piece was already pretty with the white side. So that's the color I did for the white. And that's how I finished that one. So flat panel, cradled panel and the cradle comes in different sizes and I do like the two inch cradle. I think it looks rich. It makes your piece look expensive. So I love that. And this is what those look like. Unfinished with nothing on it. Well, with paint, I also have some other panels here because I got lots of panels in my little closet for different things that I want to make. And this was a six by six three-eighths panel. You can see it's a little thicker than the panel I was using over here. Because this is more like an eighth, maybe a quarter, that might be a quarter inch. So this is thicker flat panel still, and it has only one mounting thing on the back. So you need to make sure for real you get it. Go in the right direction of where you're going to hang it because you don't get to choices there. You only get the one. And this one you'll notice is white, so it's already a prime surface ready for you to put something on it. And then you, again, you'd paint the side to finish it off. And I'm going to use one of these since I don't have an unfinished five-by-five, That isn't my junk piece because this one's got paint all over it. So it's going to use one of these, but I don't have another one. I'll have to get some more from the art store. I'm going to use the panel. I have this already primed, which is kinda fun. That'll make it easier anyway. And depending on where you get it, I think this came from the art store. This happens to be an artist panel value series by ampersand. Ampersand and so on. That makes most of the panels that we get. And you'll see I've got the finished piece right here. So this is how it needs to be mounted. And to male thes, i use a cheap plastic utility knife, which can also be something you paint with on your painting when you were painting? And I used yes. Paste. A love, yes. Paced. It's very thick. It's very easy to use. It comes out kind of buttery. And because this is already primed, I'm going to put the yes pace directly on here to then adhere my painting too. So use whatever glue you want to try out. But I do happen to love the yes pace for this particular project because it's thick, spreads on like butter. And man, your piece is not coming off a here when you're done. And then I will just take a shop, shop rag or something in wiped the edge is after I smear this stuff all over. But you could use spray adhesive. You could use the roll to tease him that lets you stick it to one surface and stick the other surface down. I've got lots of different glues that I've used. Just test it out and see if it's really going to hold your peace art the way you thought you don't want to do all this work and then glue it down and then say take it to a gallery and then your PSB coming off. When you didn't intend it or semi take it home and it's coming off. So I'm just going to get a really nice thick layer. I'm gonna make sure everys Beckett covered. Then you're gonna take a baby White and get that off before it sticks on. They're really good and you've got a minute to play with here. It's not going to draw so super fast and you can't manage here. And then I'm going to decide which one do I want to mount? I should have decided that already, but that's okay. Let's see, we want to map this one. I do love this one. And we want to look on make sure we'll pick it up here with my wife. Sure. I've got all the edge is clean because I'm going to squeeze glue out two and I'm just going to use the baby white to get any extra off while I'm at it here. I just tried to be as neat and clean as possible if this is a piece that I'm going to give away or sell, you know, I want it to look like it was professionally done. Not like I was slap and things around. All right. And I'm gonna make sure that my AP is up. Guy feet. Tell you how frustrating that is to not get it up correctly. Alright, and I'm just going to place this on here. And it has some wax paper. I have a whole thing of and I'm just going to lightly tap it down because at this point I can still move it. I just want to make sure that it's on the board completely. See. I can still kind of judge it. Move it a little bit and it may not be perfect to the size of the panel. And that's okay. I'm going to show you what we have to do for that. And if you have a Breyer, You know, it's not one of those rollers which I have randomly somewhere hiding from me. I could go look him Art cabinet. You can just roll this on here if you wanted to. Um, just because this piece is smaller, I'm just It's rubbing it out to the edges and then you and I like wax paper because we're not all, this is not stuck down like we haven't finished the top of this. And so I don't want to put some paper. They're like a paper towel that will then pick up all my art material that I haven't adhered down. So wax paper, it'll pick some of them at the art stuff up. Like you can see a little bit of it on here, especially that Pascal. But it'll do less damage if I'm not moving it around, I'm just smoothing it out and then picking it up, then I'm not damaging from a piece of art towards a paper towel might actually do some damage. And you can still squeeze it a little bit and move it a little bit if you have to, because when we did that it moved a little bit. And then I'm gonna take a baby wipe. And again, I'm just being real careful here and getting anything that is squeezed out the side. And then we want to let this dry. And then if you think, well, it's hanging over here, are there like in a space or two. Then we can take our cutting board and we can flip it over. And any spot that it's overhanging, like over here, I can let it dry before you do this, but I'm going to do it. Well, I'm still filming any place that's really overhanging you can now trim so that it's perfect to your board. And I would go around and do that on all four sides. If it was just a slightly hanging over anywhere at all. And the reason you do it when it's dry is because you don't want to cut it and then it's slip on you because this stuff still slips wallets wet. And then once you've got it where you want it, we're gonna let it completely dry and finish. Okay. And then we would let that completely dry. And I might come back in with my piece of wax paper and just make sure because lines not to paint and draw, I want to make sure all your stuff now. So let us stick down, let it completely dry, and then flip it over and cut off anything you've got overhanging funny on your board. And then that will take care of that. Now to finish it, finish it pink decides and let those dry. And then you're going to have to put something over the top of this. If you're not framing it in a frame of glass over it, there's nothing protecting the surface. So the easiest way to do that is with some type of archival clear coat. So you can use like min wax satin code. You can use this crime on UK, UV archival, Matt varnish. I've used the Kumar cry on varnish. That one I believe is shiny. I've used folium matte finish, clear protective finish. For the ones who have pastel on it. I actually use the similiarly fixative, which comes from the art store. Some of these come from the art store and some of them come from the hardware store. And you gotta be careful with the ones that come from the hardware store, that they're archival, which means that they're less likely to yellow. I've never had that problem with the similiarly finish. And this is for soft pastels very specifically, which we did on the top of this. So we'd want to take this outside code it let that dry a little code. It let that dry a little and put, you know, maybe four coats of this on there so that that finishes then going to be permanent for later. And it doesn't really change the look of the piece. I've not had it. Discover the piece. This one has the summarily AAA. I'll finish on it and you can still move some of the product. Maybe this maybe I didn't finish this. And with this affiliate now that I just did that, but you can see this piece I've done probably six months ago. And you can see they're still art stuff that'll come off. And even though you put the clear fixative on it, if you go smear it, it's possible you could smear something on top of that. So do the fixative, maybe three or four layers. And then you could come back with a clear finish if you wanted to, then clear coat the whole thing, you could do that. I like Matt, Matt or satin finishes. I don't like the shiny finishes personally. You just going to try it out and see what you like. So that is how we mount or finish our different pieces. So I can't wait to see, you know, how you decide to finish your piece when you're done. 7. Saving your color palette: One of the things that I do before I move any further, before I finish out anything and before my paint completely dries and I may have waited even longer than I've tended with the paint here, is that I will make color swatch salvo, my color swatch samples for myself. And so I do this in a couple of different ways, and this will then give me later different color palettes to go back to that I can refer to and then think, oh, I really loved that. And here's a little sample of the painting that I did and the colors and the materials that I used. And when you're doing this, you could also write down the name of each paint in pastel if you're really on the ball with this. So you can do it in a couple of different ways. I've done this one in just sketchbook, which I've got paint on, but doesn't matter, it's just my paint color swatch book. I got paint everywhere. The other thing that I have decided that I'm obsessed with and doing nail is C baby wipes just clean everything off, but I've got paint all over my fingers. The, the other thing I'm obsessed with is an old book and making this my color palette book. I absolutely love it. And this is an old hymn book, and I did not spend very much money on it at all. And I love it so much that I have used it many times. And I'll create myself a color palette with the piece next to it so that I could then maybe later come back and have some inspiration for that book. And I've just stapling this painted piece in here. So if the pages are too thin or they're about to fall apart, then I'll staple two pages together just to give me enough strength to keep that and will to do this lookup. Read this one is, I love that bright, yummy set of colors for some reason that I played with this several times. But basically what I'll do is you don't want to paint on the pages just like they are. You want to start off with a page and JSON, so I will get it clean paint brush here. Well, here we go. I'm going to take the clear gesso and I want the white jess. So I actually want whatever's on here to kind of shine through. And I'm just going to just so this page with clear gesso. And I'm going to let that dry for just a little bit so that I have something for the paint is stick to prep the page. The paint doesn't soak down into the page. This is page prep. It's your primer. And I use the gesso because that's usually what primer, that's usually what you use for the primer. So I'm gonna let that dry for a moment. And basically. I'm gonna take a little piece that we have leftovers. Always want a little piece left over. And that's what I'm going to use as the piece that I staple in here. So this one that I was like this and I can beautiful bookmark. This will make a beautiful color swatch in my color book. So I do encourage you, and then that'll be a big piece. It could have been a little piece. I just wanted to kind of represent all the colors that I'm putting on the book. So that when I go back and look at it and go I, I can think, oh yeah, I remember that. So I do like creating my own color book. And I like it to be in an old book. So if you go to the thrift store or the antique store and you can find just a great old book for a couple dollars. Spikes the best color swatch book. It's so much more interesting than just having a swatch, a white paper or colors on it. And then you can I can also use both sides. So once I've done the one side all the way through, I can come back just so this side and start my color samples on the other side so that there are two pages or two, they're double thick here. But because this is one that I've just started doing these color wise, I'm for this moment, I'm doing all in more than one side and then I'll come back and do all the other side. And how beautiful Do you think this book would be to flip through, to remember all that wonderful art that you created. Okay, so this is actually doing really good. So now what I'm gonna do is just pick up each of my colors on here that's hopefully not completely dry. And it just paint that right on there. And I'm like just grabbed some other paint brushes To get the pure color. And if it is too dry, I actually, I'll actually put some more of that color out because I'm actually dedicated enough to this idea that I really want to see each color on here. So I'll just dab a little out of the tube of paint. If my paint dry or I forgot to do it until tomorrow. I'm like, I don't wanna go. Yes, I do. Hang on. Here's that green. Just having this one I'm done. And I got one more paint brush here because I did have a little bit of Bach. So we'll put that there. And we had a little bit of white and not a big deal. And you can squish these on with your fingers. I could have done a lot with my fingers instead of a paintbrush. I didn't think of it. Instead I just dirty dot tin paint brushes. You know what, this is? The one which I was just telling you about then I couldn't see which paintbrush it was. But that one I just told you about that I didn't think I was going to like it. This is the paintbrush that inspired that. Let me just pull that back out. This is the paintbrush that inspired that color palette. And I loved it so much here on the handle nouns like him, I love that. And then I went, I was painting and I was like, I don't know about this. And then when I cut them out and I'm like, all my goodness, I love it. So you just have to Spearman and play and trust that when you're done, you're going to like it. Okay, and then I'll also have used several little, little things like the pencil I use. So I might put pencil on there. I've used this to below. I have used some of this yummy pigmented pastel. So might draw some of those in there. Got some of this pink just to kinda give myself a reminder of the different tools that we used to play in with this. And then I've got the postcard pins and maybe we'll put some dots in here. Because it's kinda fun to, to think of your color swatch book or your other pieces that go along with your art. I mean, how much more would you enjoy it looking at it like this, and then with the piece stuck on here, and you could even write what each of these colors was. If you don't think you'd remember, take a black pen and write with those are perhaps or even on this side, you could have a white piece of paper staple to this side or glued to this side maybe with the colors on it. And you can get just as creative with your color swatch book as you do with the pieces of art you are creating. So glad I got to show you that before I completely forgot about all my paint on here. And then I will staple this in here. And then that will be good. For an example of some colors that I used that I loved for the next project or something where I need some inspiration or if I just want to flip through and look at it, or if I just want to show it to other people that you now see how beautiful a color swatch book is and what different color waves did for me. And this is also a way for you to remember if you hate a set of colors. So if you did something and you're like, oh my goodness, I hate that. Save that color swatch set two. And notate, Why did you not like it? What did you not like about it and you'll remember later? Oh, yeah, that's the one I didn't like. Another thing I used in here too wears these Neo colors. So might draw on here with some of those. Just to remind myself, we had some neo color pin in there too. Oh, I love it. How beautiful is that? So hope you enjoy making a swatch book. I do recommend you get an old book or a sketch book that you can keep and carry around with you either way. I've done both ways and I do think that the old book is my favorite and it's the one I'm going to continue using. And then when I'm done with this, I'll have, you know, 200 different color palettes that I can refer back to, to create beautiful things, but do something like this if you've just got the white sketchbook in, that works great too.