Creativity Experiments: Mixed Media Abstract Painting | Kate Cooke | Skillshare

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Creativity Experiments: Mixed Media Abstract Painting

teacher avatar Kate Cooke, Textile Designer and Illustrator

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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

13 Lessons (1h 45m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. What Is Abstract Art

    • 4. Materials

    • 5. Colour Choices

    • 6. Experiments : The Fluids

    • 7. Experiments :The Heavies

    • 8. Experiments : The Top Layer

    • 9. Experiments: Resist

    • 10. Painting No 1

    • 11. Painting No 2: Colour Plan

    • 12. Painting No 2

    • 13. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

About this class

In this class, we’ll be focusing on how to create an abstract painting using mixed media.

Painting an abstract composition is a very liberating and inspiring experience and when you combine it with using a variety of different paints, pastels, inks and pens it gets even more exciting.

We will start with looking at what abstract art is before moving on to do lots of exercises with mediums, techniques and colour

The class will cover:

  • What materials you can use
  • What is abstract art
  • How to make a colour plan
  • Different techniques to combine your various mediums
  • How I split my mediums into 3 categories so they are easier to use.
  • Experiments with various resist mediums and tools
  • Two different approaches to making an abstract painting 



I’ll show you how I instigate lots of different techniques and tools to get interesting marks and reactions with the various mediums I use. Through out the class, there will be exercise, top tips and recaps to keep you involved and on track to create your class project.

This class is for you if you’ve:

  • Always wanted to try mixed media but have been nervous about how to approach it
  • Have been interested in abstract art but not had the nerve to give it a go.
  • Tried both of the above, but got a bit lost with how to develop your creative project
  • Done lots of abstract painting and mixed media compositions, but are always looking for new techniques and ideas.

So join me as I take you on a journey through the wonders of mixed media and abstract creativity and by the end of the class, you’ll have:

  • A much better understanding or how to combine different mediums
  • Confidence to experiment with techniques and tools
  • An understanding of how to control your colour scheme
  • A plan for creating your own abstract painting using a mixture of mediums

See you in class- happy painting!

You can check out my other Skillshare classes here:

Adventures in Gouache: Painting and Pattern Making Techniques 

Gouache 101: How to Produce a Bold and Decorative Design

Expressive Gouache Landscapes: Exploring a Limited Color Palette

There are lots of brilliant painting classes on Skillshare, check out the Fine Art pages here for more inspiration. You can also follow me on:




Meet Your Teacher

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Kate Cooke

Textile Designer and Illustrator

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Kate, I live on the south coast of England near Southampton.

For many years I lived and worked in London as a textile designer working in the UK fashion industry, but the call of the sea was strong and about 15 years ago I settled in a little village on the banks of The Solent where I live with my husband, daughter and various dogs.

I've designed for lots of different companies including Marks and Spencer, Topshop, Debenhams, Boden and The RNLI.

Along with a friend I set up a company in 2012 designing home ware, stationary and gifts all with a nautical theme and that's where I turned from textile design to illustration.

More recently I've gone back to working freelance, so I can indulge my passion for hand painting and creating new things every day.See full profile

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] This class is about how to use mixed media to paint an abstract painting. Join me as I take you on a journey of experimentation and play with a variety of different paints, inks, pastels, pencils and pens. I'm using an array of equipment. Some specifically for making art like brushes and dip pens and other things that you'll just have around your home. We're going to explore the fun you can have making exercises using all these paints and tools, and find ways of making interesting marks and effects to use in your artwork. Hi, my name's Kate Cooke, artist and designer, and educator. I've spent years working in the design industry wearing various different hats as a textile designer, illustrator, and now as a Skillshare teacher. I love creating, especially with pattern and color. I really enjoy sharing my creative adventures with you and the Skillshare community. I'll show you how I like to keep a reference of all the techniques and color palettes I try out. It's a great way to start a little design library in your sketch book to refer back to every time you need some inspiration. We're also going to talk about what abstract art is and how achievable it is for you. If you follow my exercise steps and color tips, you'll have the confidence and tools to make your own abstract art. I've broken down the way to do it into three steps. Starting with the fluids, moving on to using heavies. Finally, I'll show you the top layer of detail. I'm going to explain and demonstrate all these layers as we go through the class. This class is for everyone that enjoys some level of creativity and has a few art materials available to play with and who wants to have fun with a mixture of mediums and likes abstract art. I would explain all the materials I use, but you really don't need to have all of them. Just use what you have to hand and I'll explain the best ones to get if you want to add to your own. The project typeset is a great way to break into using mixed media to paint abstract art. By the end of it, you'll have a really good knowledge of the different materials you can use. A library of experiments and techniques, a way of tackling a color plan and your very own piece of mixed media abstract art to put on your wall. Let's get started and make some art. Join me next when I talk about the class project. See you in the first lesson. 2. Class Project: [MUSIC] For the class project, I'd like you to come up with your own color scheme using my tips and ideas from the lessons on color choices. I'll help you think about the colors that you like, maybe you didn't even know you like them, and then you'll choose some complementary colors to create your own balanced color scheme for using in your project. I'd then like you to use and try out all the methods and tips I give you in my three lessons on experiments, and try your own with as many different mediums as you have. Making them in a small sketchbook would be the perfect idea, because then you'll have a little book of reference to look at when you're making your mixed media art. But you can do this on pieces of watercolor paper too, if you'd rather. Finally, I'd like you to come up with your own piece of abstract art using the variety of media and thinking about the three layers of different mediums: fluids, heavies, and the top layer. I'll explain all this in my material section. It's just as a way of suggesting how and when to use the different types of medium when making your abstract painting. Throughout the class, I'll be showing you how I approach making a mixed media picture, and my thoughts and strategies for tackling an abstract composition. I will give you the tools and confidence to try lots of different paints, inks, pastels, pencils, and pens, using equipment some of which is for art, and some is just things you find around the house. I'll be making two different paintings, and I'll show you two different ways I approach making abstract painting. There's no right or wrong way about how to make abstract art with lots of different mixed media. I don't want you to fret about it. It's really easy to just get stuck in and be creative. Don't worry about technical ability, all you're going to do is have fun with paint, paper, water, and other stuff. This project is all about getting in tune with your creative instincts. I want you to just let go and have fun. To recap. Choose a color scheme, experiment with paints and techniques, create your own mixed media abstract painting, and don't forget to post in the gallery. Let's get started [MUSIC] with some experimental adventures. See you in the next lesson. 3. What Is Abstract Art: What is abstract art? Well, according to Internet, it's art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of reality, instead it uses shapes, colors, forms, and marks to achieve its effect. Basically, it's a picture that's done where you abstract the thing that you don't require anymore. In this case, I suppose, you take out reality. So it's all about a moment of time, a sense, a feeling. Basically, I think it's a fun way with paint as you don't really have to explain what the painting is about, you can just go with the flow. I have a bit of a confession to make. I've painted many things in my time, wildlife, portrait's, patterns, landscapes, haven't done an awful lot of abstract painting, but I absolutely love it. How hard can it be? I think over the last few months, I've researched this class and I have really come to appreciate abstract art and how liberating it can be. It frees your mind and gives you a one-way ticket to do anything you like. There's no rules, no parameters, and the bit I like the most, you don't have to plan, you just go with the flow of the paint and create. Having said that, I do like to have a bit of a color plan, otherwise, I think it can end up looking quite messy and confused. I think it's best to put down your colors first and go from there. Hence, I've done the lesson on color. Next, I'm going to make two paintings. The first one is going to be off the top of my head painting, neat tree. I'll just make up instinctive marks and go wherever the paint takes me. The second painting is going to be a little more contrived because I'm going to choose some objects to help inspire my composition. I think it's going to be quite an interesting way of comparing how you feel about abstract painting. Now I'm going to talk about the materials and tools we'll be using. See you in the next lesson. 4. Materials : [MUSIC] Materials, as is mixed media, there's quite an extensive list of materials that I like to use, but I don't want you to think that you have to have them all or the same makes or the whole diversity that I have. Just as long as you've got a few different materials then you too can do mixed media and you can do the project. Please, don't go out and spend a fortune on materials. Just listen to what I have and make your own mind up about what you want to use. This first group, I'm calling the fluids. These are basically the more liquid paintings. The ones I'll be using are watercolor paints and sets, and tubes and bottles. I've two makes of watercolor, Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith, both are great. I also sometimes use these Dr. Ph Martin bottles of concentrated watercolor. They're pretty vibrant colors, so great if you want to paint big areas but just one of these watercolor is fine. I'm also using acrylic inks and the ones I have are by Daler-Rowney but I think Liquitex is good too. These aren't essential by any means. I just happen to really like using them as they come in some lovely vibrant colors and are slightly opaque more than watercolor is. If you only buy one, then I'd say buy the white as this is useful. You can mix it with watercolor, even acrylic and gouache. You can use it to lighten up colors and I sometimes use a dip pen with it when I want to get some fine lines. There are also water-based inks that you could use. I don't happen to have any, but I know that Winsor & Newton do some good ones. I'm just going to stick with my acrylic inks. The one other ink I do have is Indian ink, and this is a Winsor & Newton. It's quite useful when I want to use a dip pen or if I just want a really intense black is far blacker than watercolor. That's the fluid paints I'm using and they tend to be part of the first stage of my painting as the rest of the materials I use work best on top of them. The second group is called the heavies. This group is the thicker paint that I'll be using. First of all, acrylic paint, I have a few different mixed. To be honest, I'm not massively fussy and tend to buy whatever is on offer in the art shop. My range includes everything from these relatively cheap bottles of fluid acrylic to buy art studio to these heavier bodied acrylics by pebeo and Daler-Rowney but use whatever you can get or afford. I'm also going to be using some gouache and although this isn't essential if you have acrylics. I just love gouache so I can't resist including it. It is like acrylic paint, but it's water-based, creamy, and opaque, and gives a lovely flat style of paint. The white gouache is useful to mix with watercolor if you want to lighten a color a bit like the white acrylic ink, really. My third group is called my top layer. This group is what I turn to in the more final stages of my painting although, this isn't always true. Sometimes I might use a pastel or a crayon first when I'm starting a piece that mostly it's the group I use for the smaller details and textures. The materials I'll be using are good quality coloring crayons. These are by Berol and Karismacolor pencils. I've had them for years and they were expensive and I got them but they last a long time. I think with crayons, you get what you pay for. Cheaper ones won't make such good marks, but I wouldn't go out and buy expensive ones just for this. Make do with what you have. I've recently got into using pastels and there are several different types. My favorite now are these neo color dissolvable wax oil pastels by Caran d'Ache. They're great for drawing out or working on top of other mediums and they dissolve in water, almost like watercolor so they're great fun to experiment with. I've also got some fairly standard oil pastels and some chalk pastels, which are great to play around with and any make is probably going to be fine. Finally, I have various pens, some fine liners and paint pens. Both are useful for getting some fine details in at the end. The fine liners I have are by Unipin, and I also have some paint pens by Posca. You could also use things like charcoal, chalk, felt tips, lead pencils and wax crayons, whatever you have at home. My advice would be that if you have something from each group, then you're good to get on with some mixed media. There are a few other things you'll need and another group that I want to suggest which are the resist materials. Not essential, but useful tools to get interesting marks. The first is masking fluid this is a rubber solution that you can paint onto the paper. Then when it's dry, you can use fluid paint like watercolor, over the top and it resists the paint. When it's dry, you just rub the masking fluid off. It comes in bottles which I tend to prefer, or pens, and I'll be showing you how to use this in a later class. Next is wax. You could use wax crayons, but I'm going to use an old candle in this class as this works just as well at resisting the paint. You could also use oil pastels for this job too. I'll also be using some stencils. I bought a few online. They're pretty cheap and easy to find either online or in art stores and great fun to play around with. You could also make your own or use some things like a bit of lace or doily. We are also going to use a small amount of table salt and a small amount of bleach mixed with some water. Equipment, brushes. I like using a selection, some bigger brushes for use with the fluid paints such as this filbert brush or you could use a mop brush and I've also got some Chinese brushes which are great as they hold lots of paint, but also have a fine tip. Use whatever you prefer. For the heavy base paint, I tend to use round brushes and flat edge brushes. I've got a variety of sizes, everything from 10 down to a two and a round brush and the flat edge brush I'm favoring is one size is a 12 millimeter and the other size is size 10. I'm not particularly fussy about the make. There are lots of different ones to suit your budget. All I would say is just look after them. Don't leave them to stand for ages in your water jar and keep them upright in a container so the bristles stay nice and straight. I've also got a fan brush, which is quite fun to experiment with, and we'll be using that later. I love using a stick of some sort to scratch into the paint and move quite water inky paint around. I have a wooden kitchen skewer that works well for this but you could use a cocktail stick or the end of an old paintbrush. I'll also be using a dip pen. This one is very ancient and just came from an art shop but if you don't have one of these, you could just use the stick or even old fashioned, I know but a feather for the same job. I also have various tools that I've collected over the years that are useful for pushing paint around or printing with such as an old toothbrush, cup or tube, the end of an old paintbrush, a kid's craft stem, some clay tools, palette knife, even an old comb. Anything like this is great for experimenting with marks so just use whatever you can find. You're going to need some sheets of good quality paper. I tend to buy it in a pad form, quite a big A3 size and I use the heavy duty watercolor paper, at least 300 gsm as that will take the amount of liquid paint we're going to use. At the moment, I quite like using the Daler-Rowney aquafine smooth watercolor paper but I've also got a pad of Cass Art watercolor paper, which is a UK based supplier. I'm also going to suggest that you get a small sketchbook to make your experiments in before you move on to doing your paintings. You could also use watercolor paper scraps, but it's quite nice to have everything in a sketchbook. I've a real fiend for finding sketchbooks and I have used so many different types but the ones I'm liking at the moment are by the Moleskin, Handbook, and there's also a UK make called Pith. You will also need some low tack masking tape, some kitchen paper, a jar of water, and a palette, either just a plastic one or a plate or I like using a pad like this one from Winsor & Newton. That's about all you are going to need to get you started. I know there's a lot of materials, but you don't need to get them all. In fact, if you've just got some watercolor paints, a few acrylics, some crayons and brushes, and paper. Then you're all set. I've listed all the materials and equipment I use in the class notes below. You can pick and choose what you use for making your class project. Next, I'm going to talk about color choices and keeping your palette to a limited number. [MUSIC] See you in the next lesson. 5. Colour Choices : In this lesson, I'm going to talk about how I choose a range of colors to use in my artwork. I like to keep it simple and limit my range so that my paintings have a more cohesive look. I think if you don't do this, you're in danger of using lots of different colors and it can make an abstract painting just look a mess with no intentional aim. The way I choose a palette tends to be quite instinctive. I look around at sorts of colors I'm drawn to, maybe in the decor of my home or the colors I find in my wardrobe. It tends to give you a good indication of what floats your boat. If you paint with colors you love, you're halfway on the road to success. I'm going to paint squares of the different mediums in my sketchbook. I have a reference of everything I can use in my artwork. I find this really useful when I sometimes get stuck in the middle of making a painting and I can't think what to do next. Obviously, you don't have to use quite so many different types of medium, I just have a lot. Recently, I've been drawn to a particular color palette, and I find myself using these colors repeatedly. This class, I'm going to use this range and talk about why I've chosen them. To start with, I want this dark indigo gray. It's the color of my sitting room walls. There is a water color shade called, Payne's gray. I absolutely love this color, and the tones that waters down in. I think it's quite similar to my walls so this is definitely in my palette. To find something similar in an acrylic paint, I've actually gone slightly bluer. I love Prussian blue and it pops up quite a bit in my wardrobe. It's an intense blue but not too bright, so I think it would be useful. I've also got a crayon in a similar color and a soft pastel. I'll reference them too. I would write down whatever thing is so when you look back at it, you know what you used. Next, I want to contrasting color that works on the same level as the blue. I've chosen burnt sienna, which comes as a water color shade, as well as an acrylic color. I've also got an oil pastel in a similar shade. Then I'm going to choose a useful, more neutral color. I think the one I want is raw umber. Again, it comes as a watercolor and acrylic. In that same sort of color, I want to include a brown acrylic ink called sepia, also a Grecian sepia, an oil pastel, and a crayon too, so plenty to choose from. Finally, I'm going to choose a color that gives me what I call a pop option; a color that really stands out and makes things a bit interesting. I could choose it, a lovely bright neon yellow. In fact, I'm going to put that in my palette just in case as I love this, the lemon yellow acrylic ink, and the yellow posca pen. But my main pop color is going to be red. It's not necessarily a color I'm drawn to, but I think it works well with all the others and I like the fact that it washes down to a dusky pale pink, which I do really like. I've got a flame red gouache, a scholar acrylic ink, and a cadmium red watercolor, a red crayon, and a soft red pastel. Finally, I'm going to include an ivory posca pen and a white one, and some white acrylic ink. I might add in a black posca pen too just to cover all bases. That's the color palette I've chosen. It's not set in stone. I might well end up adding some more tones in there, but they will be tones and not completely different colors. Next I'm going to look at all the different qualities they have, and do some experimenting to see what interesting marks I can make. See you in the next lesson. 6. Experiments : The Fluids : To make these experiments with mixed media a little more straightforward, I've split the mediums I'm using into three categories. This first lesson is based around what I'm calling the fluids. By that I mean the mediums that flow like watercolors and inks. I tend to start my paintings using this paints. I'm labeling it the first layer. They are easy to paint and draw on top of. They don't leave much texture or residue, and they're probably the most easy of all the mediums to experiment with and manipulate in different ways. I like to build up a good library of marks and techniques. The best place for these is in my sketchbook. That way, it's always easily to hand, and if I need a bit of inspiration when I'm creating a picture, I can always refer to it for ideas. I would really encourage you to do the same. For the first part of your project, this is what I'd like you to do as it will prove really useful when you come to make your abstract painting. For these experiments, I'm looking for interesting marks made with different brushes and the reactions between the mediums and colors. I'm not bothered about composition and I use lots of different brushes and tools to see what I can create. I'm going to do these experiments just on sheets of watercolor papers as it's easier to film. I've gathered all my different materials together and all the colors I've decided on using. I've got two jars of clean water, so I'm getting started with the patch of the Payne's gray, and I'm making sure I've got plenty of water mixed with the paint so it's nice and liquid. Then I'm going to clean my brush and paint an area of water next to it and just touch that patch of blue and see how it bleeds into the water. The paint will only go where I've put the water. It's quite a nice way to start just to see how the paint reacts and how it bleeds. Add a few dots. Next, I'm going to another area with the Payne's gray, making sure I've got plenty of paint on the paper. This time, I'm going to try something different. I'm going to paint an area of the burnt sienna next to it and see how those two react together and bleed together. It's quite fun to go through all your colors that you're using in your palette and just see how they blend together and what kind of color they mix. You can see that bluey gray flowing into the rust color. Now I'm going to do another area of Payne's gray, but this time, I'm going to do something different. I'm going to use some of that white acrylic ink, so here it is. I'll give it a good shake. It seems to settle of it. I'm just going to literally use one drop of the white ink, and it disperses beautifully into the watercolor and gives quite a nice effect, so it'll be interesting to see how that dries. Next, I'm going to do a bit more with the burnt sienna. I'm just going to make sure I've got plenty of paint there, do an area of that, keep it quite watery. This time, I'm going to use the acrylic ink again, but I'm going to use sepia, so it's quite a dark color. I just want to see how it reacts on top of that rusty red. I might do couple of drops this time. It doesn't seem to disperse quite as much as that white did. I'll put a bit of that on the paper as well and just add a little bit of water and see how that looks. Now you can tell with the acrylic inks, they tend to be a bit more opaque. I'm going to push it into the burnt sienna and see how those two react together. This gives a bit of a bleed going on there. Now I'm going to take my wooden skewer and just have a play. See what ways I can push the paint around. If you don't have a skewer, you could use a cocktail stick, the end of a paintbrush, whenever you've got. It quite a nice way to move the paint around. But obviously, it has to be fairly watery on the paper to be able to do this. Now I've got a bit of a pool of paint going on there, so I'm going to see if I can make it drip. I'll give it a bit of encouragement with the skewer. It doesn't seem to want to do much for drip, so I'm going to add a bit more paint and water to see if I can get it to dribble down the paper. Come on, drip. More paint. It's quite nice to use drips in your artwork, although it's fairly uncontrollable method. There we go. Now I use that wooden skewer again. See what happens when I push that paint around. Next, I am going to go back to my white acrylic ink. It's great stuff this because you can add it, so most things like Goshen watercolor, and it's a good way of making a difference lighter tone, so that's quite nice peachy color. I'm just going to do a few brush marks on the page, and then add a bit more water. See what happens when I push it into that area of rusty colored watercolor. It's bleeding quite nicely into that. Next, I think I'll add a bit of the white ink to the Payne's gray, and that should mix up to quite a nice pale blue-gray to see how that reacts and bleeds into the peachy color. I'll try on top, just dabbing it, a nice dabbled effect quite like that. I might try just flicking it onto the page as well. Let's see what it looks like. It's a stipple. I'm going to go back to my burnt sienna and just paint a lozenge area for change of shape. Make sure you've got plenty of water and paint. This time, I'm going to take a smaller brush and try a bit of the Payne's gray and just make some brush marks on top of it and see what happens. That's quite nice effect. I might use the skewer and push the paint around a little bit more to see what linear marks I can make. Now this is the end of an old paint brushes that fell apart. It's quite useful because it just prints a circular shape. You need to make sure we got plenty of paint on it. It's quite nice to do it in areas that are still wet, so the paint bleeds. I'm going to mix a bit more paint, I think. There is not quite enough there for it to pick up nicely. You could use anything. You could use the end of a pencil with an eraser on it. You could use a ruler, a bottle top. Anything that you can get nice marks. I have decided to replicate that mark. Just using my paintbrush and some of them red paint. It's still quite wet in that area, so it's bleeding quite nicely. I'm going to do another area of Payne's gray, and this time, I make sure I've got plenty of water and paint in there. Then I'm going to wash my brush and try flicking some water onto the area. Water tends to have the effect just making a paint disperse. It's quite a good affect, quite a good interesting technique to use. I'm not sure, is if you lift up, it does tend to move the paint around it. Then you lose the nice marks that you've just made. Anyway, I might try again. I could use my small brush. Just touch the droplets of water onto the paint and you can see it's dispersing quite nicely. This time, I'm not going to move it. Next, I'm just going to have a go with some tissue. I quite like using this effect. I just paint some areas of watercolor onto the paper, and then I'll dab the paint off, and I literally just dabbed once. Try not to do it too many times. Otherwise, you just lose all the paint. But it gives quite an interesting texture. I quite like using that just when you end up with an area, perhaps, where your painting that might be looking a little bit heavy or boring. If you pull off some of the paint with some tissue, you quite often get some quite nice marks. I'm just going to take advantage of that area of Payne's gray that's quite watery, and I'll paint some burnt sienna next to it and just let those two areas bleed together, and then perhaps try dabbing that off to see what effect I get there. Now I'm going to make sure I write down all the different paints and techniques I've used. It's a good reference to come back to when I'm looking for an idea for a painting. Now I'm going to try some experiments with bleach and salt. I've got some liquid water color here and in an indigo color. I'm just going to paint some down on paper. I'm going to start one and then quite dark and then lighten it up towards the end to more watery consistency. I'm going to take some ordinary table salt and sprinkle that on top and see what happens. It seems to disperse the paint quite nicely and give rather an interesting effect. Now, I'm going to try it with some paint out of my paint box from one of the pans. This is the Payne's gray. Again, I'm going to paint one end quite dark and then leave it watery towards the other end. I'll take some salts to see what happens. Again, it's making some fantastic textures and interesting marks on the paint. Now, these two areas I've painted are just the same, so the liquid watercolor and the pan. I'm going to try it with bleach. The bleach have slightly watered down and the paint is still wet, so it's wet on wet, and it's dispersing out quite beautifully, really, making some lovely marks. Slightly different, on liquid watercolor. It seems to have turned is slightly pinky tone where the bleach is. Now I'm going to rub off that salt because there is still a layer of salt on top of the paint. You can do that with a tissue or a brush. It's quite beautiful the effect you get. What an interesting thing to do. I quite like those bleach marks. It's all dry now, so I'm going to use the bleach again actually and a smaller brush, again an old brush, and just paint some lines on. That's on top of the liquid watercolor, and that's working quite well. Bleaching it out quite nicely. I'm going to try it on top of the watercolor paint now from the pan. That's a bit hard work ready to make it work. It was quite good when it was wet, but now it's dry. I'm having to put quite a lot of bleach on. Maybe I shouldn't washed down the beach quite so much. But still, it's working, giving quite an interesting effect. I love those marks that the salt does, though. There is still a bit of salt left on the paper, so it sparkles. That's some experiments done with the fluid mediums for my first layer of mixed media. I'd like you to try some now and see what you can create as part 1 of your project. Don't forget to share them in the gallery. Next, I'm going to use the mediums I call the heavy for my second round of experiments. See you in the next lesson. 7. Experiments :The Heavies : [MUSIC] In this lesson, I'm going to show you my second layer using the heavies. These are paints that have a heavier body and don't flow so well, such as acrylic and gouache. I'm just using acrylic paint in these experiments, but you can use whatever heavy body paint you have. I have a sheet of watercolor paper and a selection of brushes and tools that I'm going to use for my acrylic paint. I've got some burnt sienna acrylic paint that I've just mixed a bit on my palette. I've started off with it quite thick and then I've started to add a little bit of water to it to make it a bit more fluid. I'm just using some tissue, first of all, to wipe it and smudge it, see what effect I can get, quite like that ombre effect. Now I've got some of the paint again, this time I'm going to use a palette knife and I quite like using that. You can see the texture of the watercolor paper coming through the paint as it's going on quite thin. Now I'm just using the tip of the palette knife to dab some paint on the watercolor paper, not as effective really. I think I want more control over it. I've got a paint-brush here. It's actually, you can't really say a round paintbrush but with a quite flat end rather not a pointed end. I'm just using the tip of it and stubbing the end of it onto the paper. I think you could probably get a better effect with this pencil and the eraser on the end of it. I'm just using that to dip into my paint and then print, makes quite nice round shapes. If you want an area or versatile medium spot. Next, I have added some white acrylic to my burnt sienna just to get a lighter tone. It goes quite a nice rusty, peachy color. I'm going to leave that area and work on top of it in a bit and now I'm using a flat edge brush, just a medium flat edge brush, and making some nice marks with that. All these shapes and marks I'll probably come back to with a different color in a minute. I'm going to paint another area and make sure it's quite thick paint here because I want to use my wood skewer and just scrape into it, because it's quite thick paint you get that texture going. This is just a clay tool, a tool for making pottery with and it works quite well you could use forecast bows and it's quite nice cross-hatch area. I'm going to paint another area. This time it's a little bit darker but still trying to make it quite thick paint and I'm going to use, well, this is just like a lowly stick and I thought I'd try scratching into it with that, see how that works. You could use anything, the end of a paintbrush. This is another tool that is used for clay. But you could use an old credit card or a piece of card and I've just scraped across the paper. I'm going to more paint in this area again trying to make it quite thick. I've got an old comb, I wanted to see what sort of effect I'd get with that, and actually, it does quite a nice effect. It's quite hairy so that could be useful. Now I've just got that flat edge brush again and doing some splotches of paint and I've got my tissue and I'm just going to smudge into it and see what kind of a texture I can produce there that could be quite useful. That's quite nice effect. Next, I think I'm going to use my blue and I've got a cardboard tube here, which I just quite like the idea of a round shape and printing with it. But you could use anything that you've got like a bottle top or the end of a pen cap or something like that, makes quite nice textured circles. Next, I'm going to use this blue paint over the top of that peachy pale area and I'm going to scratch into it with my skewer and because the paint underneath is dry. That's not lifting, but the blue is digging down below and showing that peachy color through. You can get some quite nice effects if you play around with it. I'm going to paint a bit more of the blue now. Think I'll do just some splotchy circles on top of this area of burnt sienna and go back with my wooden skewer and just do some circular shapes. I might use the end of the paintbrush here over the top of that textured area. It's just a case of playing around with all your brushes, so I've got that clay tool again, I'm just going to scratch through it to see if it pushes the paint across the underneath pain. That's quite nice. I'm going to do a circle of blue now, keep the paint quite nice and thick. This time, I'm going to leave that and go back with my flat edge brush and just use the tip of it to go across some of the areas that I've made, some paint and paint marks beforehand and that's quite a nice textural area to use. I've just use that paintbrush again that had the flat end to do some dots. But again, obviously, you could use the end of a pencil with an eraser on it. Up here, I think I'm just going to do splotchy paint and get my tissue again it and see what patterns and marks I can make just with the tissue, almost sort of using the original blob as a reservoir to get some prints off. I'm going to just use a little bit of paint in the middle of those smudged circles at the bottom and perhaps to scrape through them with my lolly stick. It's quite nice, quite likely effects, I'm getting, but to be careful to remember what I've done. I will write down off when everything is dry what I've used. I might try using that flat edge brush just with quite dry paint on it to see what textures I'm getting off the paper underneath because it's watercolor paper it's got a bit of texture anyway. Now I'm using a small round, I think it is a size two and I'm just going back over that textured area, I'm putting some dots in with the same color with my small brush. I might try over the top of that burnt sienna area using the brush in a thick and thin way. It's making some quite nice patterns and I might just outline those areas of burnt sienna that I did before. Quite a nice repetitive pattern area could be a useful mark. Finally, I think I'm just going to do some splotches of paint over the top of that blue circle. There's lots of ideas there. Hopefully, it's going to be a useful piece of paper to refer back to when I want some ideas in my final paintings. Now I'm just going to write in on my piece of paper the tools that I've used so that I've got no idea when I look at it again, how to achieve those marks that I've made. Now I would you to have a go with some heavy bodied paint and make your own experiments in your sketchbook or on loose sheets of paper as part of your class project. Don't forget to post them in the gallery. Next, I'm going to move on to the top layer and use a variety of mediums such as crayons, pestles, and pens. See you in the next lesson. 8. Experiments : The Top Layer : [MUSIC] Now we're going to use the final group of mediums that I call the top layer. You could also call them the final detail. We've used the fluids and the heavy mediums to stir our composition. This layer is about making this little interesting marks and patterns that so often other thing that makes a picture work. Of course, you can use them at any stage when you're creating a picture, but I tend to mostly use them at the end. My top layer of mediums include crayons and various pastels and pens. But use whatever you have even if you only have one type, like a marker pen. You can also revisit the fluid mediums and use ink or watercolor. This time using maybe a smaller brush or dip pen. Best I've painted some squares of paint. This ones are done in watercolors and inks, but you could use heavy paint too. This is an area I've painted in Payne's gray, and I've got an oil pastel in a rusty red that I've, just trying some lines on top of and this area is the burnt sienna watercolor. Again, I'm using the rusty red oil pastel, just doing some dots on top of it, and then I'm going to try it over this area. This is a square of sepia brown acrylic ink. I'm going to try the white oil pastel on top of it, which shows up quite nicely where it's dark. Not sure it works so well in the lighter colors. That's a red watercolor, I've tried it on there and now a indigo, dark blue chalk pastel. These are fairly intense colors. You just have to be a bit careful because they smudge easily. You can use that to advantage obviously. I'm just trying it out seeing what marks I can get. I've got a white one now, and I'm going to try that on top of an area of burnt sienna watercolor. Works quite nicely where it's darker. Now, I'm going to try a crayon and this is just a dark blue crayon. It's quite nice to just wander around with it, see what marks it can make. I'm not really thinking about what I'm doing, I'm just being quite instinctive with the marks I'm making. Just try coloring over that area of sienna and the marks I've made with the oil pastel. It's not going to work so well on top of that brown sepia, but it's okay where it's lighter. Pencils you will see you can either use them as lines or just coloring in. This is a paint pen by Posca. It's quite a fine one in white. I do like using this paint pens. They tend to show up quite well over most things. I'm just doing an area of dots, circle that I'm fitting in with some dots and that's often quite nice markings to use in a painting. There are lots of different colors of This Posca pens, but I tend to just stick with the white one. I've also got an ivory colored one as well and a black one. But obviously you could buy all colors, just trying out some patches of circles now on top of that brown and red area of watercolor. This is a slightly bigger paint pen and this is ivory. You see this is going to make some more subtle marks, where crystal stack is the white posca pen. There are pretty good for using for dots, but also if you want a good outline, they make good pens for that. Obviously they work well on dark colors. It's just nice to play around with them really. I wouldn't suggest you use them on top of pastel because they tend to get bound up with the pastel, and so I've just drawn around the pastel blobs. Now this is a fine black Posca pen, another one I like to use quite often makes lovely linear lines. I'm just going to do a bit of a trail around the edge of this area of pale Payne's gray watercolor and see what other marks I can do. Just the middle lines. You could also use a fine liner pen or a felt tip. Anything, that's got a nice fine nib, even a biro should think might work quite well. Try it out. Next, I am going to go back to using some of those fluid mediums and I've got some brown, that dark brown sepia acrylic ink, and I'm just going to use a small paint brushes size 2 and just do some dots. One over the area that I've got some red watercolor. That's quite handy. I mean, you could either do this with a paint pen or with a paintbrush. Just goes to show you don't have to have everything. Thing with the brush of course, it can make thick and thin marks that's quite useful for areas where you want to be a bit more versatile. I'm going to try some with that white acrylic ink as well. So we see this. You could use white gouache or you could use a white marker pen, or you can use this acrylic ink. There are plenty of choices and options for making white marks in your final layer. But it is quite good for flicking. As you can see, you get some nice spluttery marks. As I mentioned, using gouache I thought I'd use some white gouache to show you, it's pretty similar to using a white acrylic or a paint pen. I've got a flat edge brush, think it's a size six. I'm just going to use a little bit of gouache and water and try some brickwork pattern on top of the brown sepia and it works quite well. Just remember it's not like the acrylic though it is water reactive, so it will wash out. I'm also going to try it with a small fan brush. I love these sort of brushes, they are quite fun to cover quite big areas and two interesting lines, get all interesting details just by using the tips of it over and over you can get quite a nice area of texture. That's my exercises with the top layer mediums. Now it's your turn to have a go and don't forget to post it in the gallery. Next, I'm going to show you some tricks and tips for getting [MUSIC] interesting textures using some resist methods. See you in the next lesson. 9. Experiments: Resist : [MUSIC] In this lesson, we're going to take a look at methods of resist, in other words blocking out paint, which is quite a useful technique to use when you're doing any source of mixed media. There are a few different products and techniques we can use and I'm going to start with masking fluid. If you've never used it before, it's a rubber solution which you can paint onto paper and it prevents any paint you put on top reaching the paper. You can then just rub it off when it's dry and reveal the white paper underneath. It's best used with a more fluid paint like watercolor or ink and can achieve some great effects with it. I have a bottle of it here, but it also comes in pens which are quite handy for lines and detail. I'm just using an old paint brush here to put it on the paper. I've dipped it in a mixture of washing up liquid and water first, to try and protect it a bit. Now I'm going to put a bit of the masking fluid in a cup and take a piece of sponge and just dab it gently in there and see what effect I can get by just sponging onto the paper, and I think I will try some marks with the pen next. They're quite good these pens for definitely for detailed areas, dots and lines. But they don't tend to come out as thick as if you were using masking fluid, so you do have to be bit careful when you paint over them. Everything is dried now and I'm just using some watercolor paint and a big brush to paint over the top. I've used the colored masking fluid so I can't see where it is on the paper. But it's only when you really paint over it that you get an idea of what marks you've made and how they've worked. Once it's completely dry, just with my finger, I'm rubbing off and then pulling off the masking fluid to reveal the paper underneath that hasn't been painted. You can use this in lots of ways, but I like using it in layers. I'll paint some masking fluid lines down, and then I'll do a wash of paint and then I'll do more masking fluid, more paint, and just build up the layers until you finally get to the darkest color. Then you can rub it off and you end up with quite a nice layered effect of different shades and shapes. Next on we're going to have a go with some stencil ideas. I've got a proper stencil and then something that I've just cut out with a star cutter to see how that works. The other thing I thought I might try is some lace, but you could use a doily or anything else that's going to go cutout parts to it. I've mixed up some gouache, I need to use probably thick paint because I'm going to sponge it on over the stencil. You could use acrylic but I'm using gouache. I'm just loading up my bit of sponge and I'm going to try just the corner of that stencil, to see how that works. Obviously, you have to be quite careful that you don't move the stencil and that you just sponge directly down on top and try not to get it underneath the stencil. Could be quite an interesting effect to use, now you turn in the painting. Not sure. I'll just try that little star that I've cut out. We could cut with a scalpel or scissors some designs out of paper and try using those. But I'm just going with the star at the moment. Finally, that bit of lace, not totally convinced this is going to work, but we'll have a go. Again, try and get plenty of paint on the sponge. I think I'm going to have some issues with it moving around. We'll see, I think probably try and get as much paint on it as possible. Let's have a look. Interesting, could work. Maybe I'll try it on a darker color. I'm going to mix up some background watercolor and let that dry. Now I'm going to use it with some white gouache. Well, it might show up a bit better. I'm going to load it up as much as possible, go over and over it, see what happens. How's that? Yeah, bit better. Interesting. Now, I'm going to try some other methods of resist and I'm going to use some pencils and some pastels. This is just a crayon and a pale yellowy color and then I've got one that's red, just making a few marks, put those down on the paper. Next I'm going to try white oil pastel. I could use wax crayons for this or this is just a pale blue oil pastel. I wouldn't recommend using soft pastels because they're just choke you and probably make a right mess. Finally, because I don't have any wax crayons, I'm going to try the end of an old candle. Not so easy to draw with, but still you can get quite good effect with it. I'm now going to paint over what I've drawn using some liquid watercolor and ink to go, doesn't seem to work that well where the crayon is maybe, but over that oil pastel looks quite interesting painting on top of the different color as well. It blocks the paint quite nicely and of course the wax does an even better job. Quite lightly effect it's given it. Now it's dry. Crayon was okay in the darker color. I'll definitely use wax. That's a few different methods of resist, including masking fluid, stenciling, crayons, wax crayons, candles, all sorts of things that you could try using. What I'd love you to do, is have a look through your art materials and see what you've got that might work like this and try out some exercises in your sketch book. Take a few pictures, post them in my gallery below. I'd love to see what you can produce and it's all going to help you towards doing my project. Now, I'm going to start creating my first painting. I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Painting No 1: I've gathered together my paints, my pens and pencils, and some inks, brushes, soaked, all sorts of things that I might think I'll use, and my sketchbook with my color planning. I'm going to take down my piece of papers, A4 piece of watercolor paper. I just like that border around the edge. I'm going to start with that clear wax crayon, which is quite a good way to start, because sometimes it's quite difficult to know what to do. If you can't even see it, well, anything could happen. I'm just doing a big doodle. Then I'm going to get my watercolor paints and start with some burnt sienna. I've got quite a big oval wash brush. But I'm just holding quite loosely. Really I'm just going to paint quite instinctively, not really think about it too much, and go with the flow, really. Perhaps try and follow roughly where I think I put that wax crayon, and just see what marks appear really. Using it in quite a watery way at the moment, I can always add more pigment in, just to get some difference in tone and variation. Keep going down the page. There's some quite nice marks in the wax underneath it. So they're coming through quite nicely. Adding plenty of water and a bit more pigment. Yeah, quite like that so far. I'm trying too hard with my composition. I try something else now. I think I'm going to use this white acrylic ink. I'm just going to take the pipette and do one blob. That's a good blob, isn't it? The lump of paint dried in the middle of it. That can sometimes happen with acrylic ink. You do need to shake it up well. But I'm just going to get rid of that with the paintbrush. Maybe I'll have a think again. Perhaps go back to my paintbrush and push some of that watercolor paint around still. What should I do next? Maybe I'll go back to the ink, but I shall use some sepia. Again, I'm just using straight from the bottle, and just one dot from the pipette. Yeah, it makes quite a good mark. I'm going to now use that wooden skewer to push the paint around a bit and see what kind of marks I can make. Quite interesting. Obviously, you do need to have quite a bit of paint and water on the paper to be able to do this. But you can get some quite interesting things going on as you just play around. I'm going to do a bit more of that sepia ink. But this time I'm just going to dip my skewer in the pot, get quite nice fine line in areas, and other areas it splurges out, where it's more watery. Try bit of a circular thing there. Now I'm going to use my Neocolor pastels, that are the soluble pastels. It's quite interesting using them on top of wet watercolor, because they're dissolvable. Sometimes they show up and sometimes they just melt into the watercolor. That was a brown one. I'm going to try the white one, which I don't think is going to be quite so successful now. Yeah, quite useful to use to get some interesting lines. I'm going to return to using my watercolor now and use that Payne's gray, that's bluey gray color. Using it in quite a watery. Where at the moment quite pale. But I can always add some more once I know where I want to put the paint. I can then add some more of the pigment to make some stronger areas. I really like the contrast of this gray with the burnt sienna. I'm just going to go in with a bit more of that pigment color, see if I can darken up some of the areas, and contrast it a bit, go around that waxy circle area, could be quite an interesting effect there. Then I'm going to use my wooden skewer just to see if I can push that paint around a bit, see if I get some interesting marks. Dip it into the paint, see if I can pick some paint up with it. Now, next I'm going to do a little bit more of the watercolor, I think. Just get some dark areas going on. Right in the middle I'm going to do circle of the Payne's gray, try and make it quite intense area. I think the whole idea of painting like this is to have areas of darkness and intensity. Then other areas that are calm and subtle and pale. I'm just playing around with that idea, using my skewer, again, to see if I can drag some of that paint across. It's all trial and error, really, lots of experimentation, but that's the whole point of playing around with mixed media in an abstract way. I'm going to go back to my sepia acrylic ink, put some on my paper palette. I'm going to take a brush. I think I'll go for area, maybe another round areas some ways. I'll just go around this bit here, see if it will bleed into that gray. That's quite an intense dark area. Perhaps do another circle up here. Try and keep that balance of dark and light. It's bled quite nicely into the watercolor. Now I'm going to try bit of this blue. Quite a nice sky blue, mid blue color. I'm just thinking if I water it down quite a bit, it might make nice pale blue. See if I can bleed it into the other watercolors and show a bit more up of that wax. Works quite well. I'm going to put more up here just to balance it out. I usually like to echo things around my composition, just to keep that balance of the things unless something is completely central on. Sometimes I don't. I add a bit more intensity of that blue. I don't know what it is about this blue. I can never really leave it out of a painting. I'm going to try some acrylic now. This is my Prussian blue. I'm actually going to add a bit of gesso, which is just because I happen to have it. It's very much adding some white acrylic. I wouldn't get to hung up on that, really you don't need gesso, it's just that I happened to have some. Just gets a slightly nicer consistency than just that straight blue paint out the tube. Add a bit more gesso. Just playing around with it really to see what the smooth flatness looks like against watercolor. I'm going to scratch into it with my skewer, to see what comes up really. Sometimes if you've got a brighter color underneath that shows through, or just that white paper really is showing through a bit. I'm going to try with the flat edge brush, just playing around with some more of that blue acrylic. I like the idea of it. Joining up with that circle of blue somehow. I'm going to try palette knife, just scraping it. Interesting effect. Nice texture and it's all about contrast and how things play against one another when they're next to each other on the paper. Now I think I need an area of maybe just align around to echo that circle in the middle. Just try to intensify the area just a little bit more, maybe delete the eye off by doing some line, slightly textured line with the tip of that flat brush. I'm going to off the page with it. Then maybe join that end of the colic area up into the circle. Quite like the shape it's making, I'm going to use obscure again, can't resist it. Just quite good set of mixing things together. This is a round size six brush and I've got some of the flame red clash and I'm going to add a little bit of the white acrylic ink that's quite good for mixing in with things like gouache and watercolor. Because I've really fancy as to pale peachy pink. I'm just adding a little bit of water and I'm just playing around with the brushing what marks I can make some things, some slightly fatter and bidding it off the piece of paper, maybe try some dots. Quite like a few dots. Look at that it's bleeding in a little bit. Maybe I echo some of those marks but in a slightly bigger way down towards the bottom of the painting. Now this stuff, if it goes over the wax I'm pretty sure will not show the wax because it's too opaque. Might be slightly not quite as good as pure water color. Still quite interesting. It doesn't show up so well on top of some of the watercolor. Think well I might try is just some splatters of that red. Quite nice to have that contrast of tiny dots on top. I'm just echoing it again off the edge of the paper, and I'm going back to those neo color pastels do love these. I've got two written, quite sure which one's going to work better. I'm thinking the slightly pinky red I like. I've just scribble a bit on a scrap of paper to test them out. I'm just going to MOOC my past all across the page. Follow the rough direction of some of the marks I've made before. Interesting to see how it works on top of other colors in other areas. Not holding it too tightly just letting it do it the same thing. My echo, some of the circles that I like actually down here. I feel this area needs something quite like them. Migrate these pastels, you can just take watery brush and they will dissolve into the water like motorcar I'm going to use the blue one now and to a set of scalar P type shape on top of that brown area shows up it's just a subtle thing where they maybe a few dots up the top amongst the other pink dots that I made before, and this is a paint pen this one's a Posca pen. Quite a fine white one. I'm just going to add some tiny dots. I think I want to do something in this area that I've done darker blue acrylic and I want to break that up a bit so that it doesn't look quite so heavy. This is quite a good way to just diffuse a heavy shape is to go over it with some dots or lines or something in a lighter color. I might echo those dots somewhere else in the painting. I think I'll put a few up here on top of that dark sepia. It'll show up a bit better. Then I've got a rusty brown colored oil pesto. I just want to have a go with that I'm going to do some dots, but quite spaced out dots on top of this area of watercolor and then I'm going to go back to my acrylic and use a pencil that's got an eraser on the end of it. It's a bit of an old pencil and the rubber doesn't really work anymore, and I'm just using that to make some dots in that area. Not sure how successful there being. Quite fun to use the end of a pencil makes quite a nice shape. I'm going over the sepia there and finally, I think I'm just going to try a crayon. This is a dark blue crayon and I'm just want to emphasize that area of acrylic. I think I'm nearly done. Might have gone a bit too far with it, thrown everything at it. But sometimes it's good to just really let go and try all things and to take that tape off now so you can see what it looks like. The white border around the outside. It's quite effective. I think I like that. There's a fairly intense area in the center of it and then some nice subtle, lighter areas to contrast. I'm just checking my color plan and I pretty much she used everything apart from that yellow. I'm pretty pleased with the painting, I like the different effects and marks I found and I think there's some good contrast in texture and color. It makes for an interesting composition. This way of creating a painting can be a bit hit or miss. Which is why it's so important to build up a library of experiments to look at and help your decision-making during the process of making a picture. You can never quite predict what the paint will do, but that's the joy of creating an abstract composition with a mixture of mediums. You never know what you're going to get. For my second painting, I'm going to choose some objects to help my creative decisions. First, I'll show you how those objects helped me make some color choices. See you in the next lesson. 11. Painting No 2: Colour Plan : [MUSIC] I've chosen a few objects to influence my color and pattern choices, and I've got avers, a lemon, some hydrangea flowers, pink, now vanish on a green chili. I've had a look through my sketchbook at some other things I've been playing about with the ideas of patterns and colors. I'm going to do as I've done before, get a scrap of watercolor paper and play about with a bit of a color plan. First of all, I'm going to take influence from that lovely yellow lemon and I've got some acrylic ink and it's in lemon yellow, funnily enough. I'm going to just put a bit down on one end of the paper, and I start off with it quite intense and then water it down slightly to make sure it's quite wet. I'm going to move on now to an olive green acrylic ink. I've decided I'm not really going to worry too much about using watercolors in this painting. I think I'm just going to stick with some acrylic inks. I feel like I really want something quite bright and it's quite easy to use these inks. Straight out of the bottle and I'm going to just mix that yellow and green together to see how they blend and bleed together. It's quite a nice effect there. I'm going to now use the pink, I think it's magenta pink. Acrylic ink, and I've really loved the way a pink and the green mixed together, look quite interesting. I'm going to just put a bit down on the paper and then wash my brush and then go back with a bit more water on it and bleed them together and you can see it's quite a nice color combination. I really like the idea of using that in this next painting. Next, I think I'm going to maybe use that pink and my dipping pen, and I'm just going to see how it looks when I put a bit through the yellow and through the green, I quite yet not using these dipping pens, it got a quite nice line and obviously when it's wet on wet, they bleed quite nicely. I'm now going to use Payne's Gray acrylic ink and I think that would be quite a useful color just using that dipping pink ink. Oh, lovely big splotch. It's just to give me an idea of how it's going to work on top of different colors. A quite really dark intense color to go in with all my brights for this picture. I'll get a bit down on the paper and bleed that pink and gray together see what kind of a shade that makes. That's quite nice. What am I going to do next? Put a bit more water down in that gray acrylic ink and I think I'm going to try some proper acrylic thick paint. This one is a Prussian blue, I haven't got any blue in any of the objects that I've chosen. But I suppose that metal bars are not very far from India. That gray metal color, I suppose, could be slightly blue. I don't really care, I just really fancy putting some blue in my picture. I think as I combine the colors as I go along it's quite nice to just go with the flow wherever it takes you and I think I want more blue in this. I'm going to use, they call it coeruleum blue, I don't know if this is sky blue as far as I'm concerned. I'm going to mix those two, put it down and maybe get a bit of water. Just try and blend them together and see how that looks. It's quite a nice combination. What else would I use? I think, I'm just going to see how it looks as we water it down. Take out some of the paint by just washing my brush constantly. Next, I've got this gray, it's actually called Wedgewood. It's quite a handy gray, proper Wedgewood really. I quite like a nice neutral color in my palette just to tone things down slightly. I think that's all my solid colors. Just do a bit of blending there. Now I'm going to think about what to use on top. Actually I might try unless it's dried slightly [inaudible] and I've gone back with the Payne's gray just to see what that would look like on top of the green. I feel like I want another pink in there and I'm slightly obsessed with this fluorescent rose pink it's called. It's not a color I would have ever worn or have in my house, but I didn't know something about fluorescent pink, that is exciting me these days and so I feel the need to put it in this picture. It's quite an interesting acrylic pink because when you paint it on top of other colors is quite translucent and it makes up quite an interesting color combinations on top of the green, and then on top of that, which would the blue. These acrylics have dried now really, so I'm just going over the top with the watery fluorescent color. Ink still a bit wet. Quite interesting combinations going on there. Now I've got to let that dry. I'm going to start using my marker pens and pastels, so this is a second layer. I'm going to start off with one of those white posca pens. This is quite a chunky one. Do a few dots and circles on top of that blue. I might also use slightly thinner white pen as well. It's quite useful for putting some detail in areas, and it seems to be working quite well on all the colors. I also think that I'd like possibly some red, a car light red and pink. I want to see what that looks like on top of that pink and on top of the fluorescent pink. Doesn't work quite so well on the gray, it's nice on that Wedgewood and the green. I know it's not really an olive green, that's the only trouble with mark pens you don't always really get a choice of a tone. You have to go with the standard colors they have. These soluble pastels, I'm going to put a bit of the black in there. I might use that and I might use that green possibly. Yes, these are few ideas. That will be a quite useful little sheet of experiments to refer back to when I make my painting. I think I've incorporated everything. I really love this vase with a beaten pattern in it. I've managed to include these greeny and pinky tones from the flower, so that's quite good. Obviously the yellow of the lemon and that pink nail varnish, that's rather nice, isn't it? I've got the grain of the chili. To recap, choose some objects that appeal to you in shape and color. A combination of colors and textures is best. But just go for some fairly simple objects rather than anything too fussy and detailed. Using a scrap of paper or your sketchbook, start with a layer of fluid mediums, choosing them and colors that correspond with your objects, and blending the colors into each other to see what effects you get. For the next step, choose some of the heavier mediums and make some marks and paint areas over the top of your fluid paint. You can try this when it's all still wet and some of it when it's dry. Finally choose your top layer mediums and draw over your previous marks and see what looks good on top of each different color. Stick to the colors in the objects as much as possible. But if you really feel the need to add in another color, then be confident in your instincts. Now the color plan is sorted. [MUSIC] We can start the second painting. See you in the next lesson. 12. Painting No 2 : I'm going to start by just taping off the area that I'm going to paint and this time I've decided I'm going for a square composition. I've got my piece of paper that I was experimenting on with the colors so that they're ready for reference and my little objects I'm going to use. I'm going to start with the green ink. This is olive green and my plan, I think, it's I like the idea of an area of paint or ink. I'm going to wash out part of it and see if I can create a flower in the middle of it. I'm going to use one of those hydrangea flowers and I'm just making sure I've got plenty of paint and water down and I've gone off at the edge of it ready to blend into something else, but just for the moment I'm thinking that might be too much paint actually. I'm going to dab a bit off and then re-wet it just to make sure because my plan for this is I want to use the pen and ink to create a flower. I'm going to use my dipping pen and I'm going to use the magenta pink acrylic ink and I'm just dipping my pen in there and I'm using the shape of the flower as a guide. I'm literally going to do a line drawing, just of one of the flowers. Because it's wet on wet, obviously this ink is really going to bleed into the green but that's the whole point. That's the effect I'm after. Just using the the flowers as a guide really, I'm not going for any real detail, just a little center. Next, I think I'm going to use some of the Payne's gray credit ink. Again, I'm actually using that Chinese brush. You could have used a mop brush or anything but with the Chinese brush it's quite a nice brush shape and I'm using that shape to make the marks. The half on, half off the green, which means some of it bleeds and some of it doesn't and now I'm going for an area in the other corner. I'm going to paint it all out in dark Payne's gray but I should be going over that with something else. I just fancy got a dark area and I'm also going to echo it up the top here of the picture, just a slight semicircle. I think where this is, I'm going to try and get some effect that might represent that metal bars because I like the hammer work on it where they get this adopt. I've now got a round brush that's clean and I'm just dipping it in my water and I'm trying to use it to disperse the inks or the water drops, just disperse the gray ink. I don't know whether this is going to work, but I'm having a go and I quite like the effect that is at the moment, but it's a copy of that bars. Now I'm moving on to my favorite pink fluorescent paint and remembering this is, is quite translucent this acrylic paint is. You're never going to get it to be really solid so I am using it in a watery way and I'm just letting it bleed slightly into that green area to see what happens. I think I quite like the effect it gets there. I'm going to leave a white space. I'm just going to do another bit of pink. I'm channeling my pink nail varnish. I'm not sure I'm going to use the shape of the bottle, but I just like that color. Just fill that area and I should probably go over it with something in a bit and I might try just dabbing off the end of it and that green and let it fade into the white background. Now, I'm moving on to some more acrylic, this time in which we'd gray quite bluey gray and I'm going to use my filbert brush and spit water on my brush as well as paint. Although, I think actually I want to see what happens if I use quite a dry brush. I might just do a bit of an area of solid and then dab it off a bit and get some more paint on my brush. See what it looks like if I use it in quite a dry way, experimenting with those brushstrokes seeing what I can produce. Could even use a sponge here or something. But now I've moved on to using a round brush and I'm just painting out some loss in shapes on top of that dark gray. I think what I want to do is paint around them actually and leave the oval shapes as dark gray. Join it up with the gray from the top of the picture. I like those shapes, I might echo them again somewhere. What I might do is emphasize a bit by the muscular and scratch into that pale gray to see if the darker gray will come through. It's quite a nice texture. Yeah, I like that. I'll use that shape again somewhere. I'm just going to fill that area and I think sometimes you just have to get rid of the white and then think about what you're going to do. I'm using that gray acrylic in quite a watery way, painting over a bit of the pink as well. Next, I've let everything dry and I am going to use a lemon yellow. I'm actually going to paint that lemon shape. I think what I like the idea of is how the yellow ink works on top of the gray acrylic and I like that shape of the lemon. Not bothered about making it very realistic, but where that yellow crosses over the gray goes a bit- tinges it a bit green. I'm using my dipping pen again this time in the Payne's gray and just doing a very basic outline of the lemon and letting that bleed into the yellow ink but coated with the flower. I quite like that effect. Now I'm going to use some of the Prussian blue. I want to try better that, maybe it's quite dark so I might use some boy to critic as well and lighten it up slightly. Thinking I want to get rid of some of those white areas. I'm going to mix up a bit of blue and I'm using my filbert brush still. I like that contrast of the blue and the pink. That's quite nice. I 'm just going to dip it down around those shapes that I made earlier with the ink. Yeah, quite like that. What you could do is possibly try scratching into it because I'm hoping that we'll see the pink come through underneath. That's quite nice. I've got these circle shapes. I'm going to use them again somewhere probably. Let me go back to that pink somewhere. It's quite nice to echo shapes in dots of different ways in your composition just to give it a bit of cohesion. I'm going to use that blue again, this time I've switched to just a flat edge brush and I might just use the brush and actually I'm going to put a bit up here and that will echo the shape of that curve. I'm going to use it just to fit in this white area, I like the contrast of the white and the blue and I'm just going with the shape that the brush produces square shapes. Might do a few more of those smaller in that green, it looks quite nice on top of the green. Meanwhile, paint over them with something else as well later. I've put a little bit more white in my blue and I'm just going over those curvy shapes again. Now, back to my pink and I'm going to do some big spots in pink and as you see it's fairly translucent, showing through the underneath quite well. Adding a bit more white just to see if I can make it a bit more opaque. But I don't want to lose that pink too much. I'll probably use something to go around the outside of them just to emphasize them in a bit later. I'm going to put some dots in those black lawson shapes as well though, I think losing them a little bit. I have to do a bit more work on that area. I've got my round brush again, and Payne's gray ink, which is very good for painting on top of anything really say seems to paint quite well on top of the acrylic paint and I'm echoing another lozenge shape, this time a big one going off the page. I'm just going to fill in the area of Payne's gray again and make it darker. Again, it's like deposits dried. I'm perhaps going to emphasize those oval shapes again just to make that area a little bit more interesting. I quite like that. Oval shapes. I'm just going to look on my sheet again because I haven't used that blue, the Carolina blue or sky blue. I'm not advocating on that gray area at the top-left. I think I can take my flat brush. I'm just going to fill that area in a bit, get rid of some of that gray. Much prefer the blue. But I'll leave a bit of an edge around these shapes I've already painted. That looks good. I want to use it somewhere else actually that blue, and come out use it a bit on top of the blue squares I made. Just to give them a little bit more interest. That works quite nicely. A green chili, one I grew myself, I might add. I think I like the shape of that. I want to use the shape. I'm going to paint the chili. I'm going to use my green ink and a round brush and I'm going to paint my own green chili on top of that pink. I've got a bit of a thing about green and pink at the moment. I don't know why, it's just two colors that really excite me at the moment. I'm using quite a lot of ink on the brush. What I might do is just take some of it away with a bit of tissue. I'm wondering if I get quite an interesting texture if I do that. I'm going to dab off ink here but it looks quite nice as the pink just comes through slightly, I think I like that. Now I have got one of my stencils with quite a funky pattern on it. These brilliantly stencils, they're just made of plastics so they're very easy to use. I'm just going to use an area of it with a bit of sponge and some white acrylic, and I'm just going to dab it through the stencil quite lightly so that I get quite a subtle area of pattern making sure we don't go over the edges of the stencil, and just lightly dabbing, hopefully enough to make a good pattern on there. That's worked quite nicely. I quite like that. Let that dry now. I'm going to start using some of my paint pens. I think really that area that I was using to reiterate this vast pattern didn't really work very well. For all to just dispersed and didn't really show up. I'm going to go over it with my white POSCA pen and just use a suggestion of the patterns that are on the vase. I'm not really copying it, I'm just using some of the ideas that I can see on it, and making that area little bit more interesting with white spots. I quite like that. I might just go around those pink spots as well while I got my white pen and that will help them show up a bit better. Really these POSCA pens, they seem to work over the top of most mediums, apart from, you don't want to do it on top of any oil pastel or chalk pastel. That's not so good. Few dots in the lemon might put a little dot in the middle of that flower. Now maybe another color. I really do love red and pink. I think I might put some dots in the middle of the pink spots and then use it somewhere else. Maybe on top of that pink, down the bottom. Maybe another [inaudible] shape coming off the page, and a few dots to diffuse into that area that I did the pattern through the stent. It's quite nice to have that tiny detail as a contrast and I'm going to use a green POSCA pen as well. Unfortunately, you don't really get much choice in colors in these paint pens. They're fairly standard colors, but I quite like that green. I might just use it just to emphasize the shape of the chili. I think we're just about done now. I've let it all dry and I'm going to take the tape off and have a look and see how I feel about it. I could always do a bit more to it once the tape is off, if I need to. But I think I'm quite pleased with it. It's getting a nice sharp line. Don't appear to have got any paint escaped under the tape, which is always a bonus. I'm loving that really sharp line in contrast to the watery, inky areas. That looks pretty good actually. I like that. I think I've got a fairly balanced color in it and I've used all of the objects that I wanted to. My lemon, my chili, pink, not now varnish, that flower, and even the vase. Just got that in there. Let's recap. Some things to think about when making your painting. Limit your colors to keep your painting from looking messy and confusing. Use some simple objects to influence your painting and help your creative process. But don't get too hung up on painting them accurately. Take advantage of your paint when it's wet. Some of the most interesting marks are when two colors bleed together. Echo some of the shapes you use to give a consistent flow to your composition. Finally, have fun, be confident, and let go. Now I'm going to take a look at what we've covered. See you in the final class. 13. Final Thoughts : [MUSIC] I hope you've enjoyed our journey through mixed media abstract painting. I've certainly learned quite a lot in the process and I've really enjoyed sharing my adventures throughout with you. My final advice would be, the more you do, the better you get. Using so many different mediums together mean the combinations and effects you can find are endless. It's an exciting and surprising path through paint, color, and technique. Be brave, my lovely creatives, don't be scared of the unknown, jump in and embrace the freedom of abstract art. I've worked for many years in the art world and have plenty of confidence in my ability but I always think that making art is one percent technical ability and 99 percent decision-making. If you can make a decision, you can make art. In this class, I've shown you all the tools and paints I like to use but you don't need to own all that amount. A few different types will do. Use whatever you have at home or around you and get inventive. If you don't have any inks or watercolors, try using some tea. I've set you a project which involves lots of mixed media exercises and this will set you up nicely to create your own piece of abstract art. Have a go at the class project, I love seeing what all of you lovely people from around the world can produce, and as long as you share it in the gallery, I will always do my best to comment and give you feedback on your artwork. My lessons on exercise is, you can do with different paints and techniques should stand you in good state for understanding scope and variety of marks you can achieve. By splitting the mediums into three different categories, I hope to make your approach to mixed media much simpler and not quite so daunting. You can then build up a fantastic body of work in your sketchbook to use as a reference for future paintings. I've explained a little bit about what I think abstract art is and how to approach a concept of it. Then demonstrated two slightly different approaches to making an abstract painting. Just choose one and have a go. I really hope that I've inspired you to have a go at your own mixed media abstract painting. [MUSIC] Until next time, happy painting.