Mixed Media for Beginners | Erin O'Barr | Skillshare

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Mixed Media for Beginners

teacher avatar Erin O'Barr

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

6 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Lesson 1 - Prepping Your Materials

    • 3. Lesson 2 - Layers!

    • 4. Lesson 3 - Stamps & Stencils

    • 5. Lesson 4 - Final Touches

    • 6. Your Project

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About This Class


Jump into mixed media art with this adorable mini heart canvas.  In this class we will play with acrylic paints, different mediums such as gesso, matte medium, Mod Podge, and sculpting paste, scrapbook paper, stencils, and stamping.

It's a great way to get familiar with all these tools.  And the canvas is a great little gift for someone you love!

Meet Your Teacher

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Erin O'Barr


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1. Intro: Hi. I'm Erin O VAR. Welcome to mixed media for beginners in this class. We're gonna make this really cute little mini heart canvas. It's a great we'll get for someone you love. We're gonna play around with acrylic paints. We're gonna play with stamps and stencils we're gonna use and kind of compare different mediums like Jess. Oh, Matt, medium mod podge and even some molding paste. So if you kind of wanted to play around with mixed media but weren't sure where to start, this is a great place to jump in. So enroll now and we'll get started. 2. Lesson 1 - Prepping Your Materials: Hi. Welcome to the lesson. One of mixed media for beginners. In this lesson, we're gonna prep our materials. I've got this cute little four by four mini canvas. It's gallery style. So it's nice and chunky, which is my favorite style campus. I've got some white Jess. Oh, and I have this cadmium yellow light. It's heavy body acrylic. We'll start with our Jess. Oh, that, Jess. Oh is a primer for acrylic paints, and I was very excited when I discovered it because I like to use a lot of thicker paint and I was really struggling. I was struggling. Teoh make it last on the campus. I was struggling to get enough paint on my brush, and that is exactly what Jess O is for. It bends out your paint. It makes it go further on your canvas. It makes it easier to work with. Now, the white Jess oh will change the color of your paint. It will lighten it. That's actually what I'm using it for. I'm using it as a light because I want a pale yellow on my my base color for my canvas. But you can buy clear Jess. Oh, and that won't mess with the color of your paints at all. I'm putting on a really thick, goopy coat here cause we're gonna really swirl are paints into that. So all right, I only need just a little bit of yellow cause it's gonna go a long way with the Jets. So And as I said, I want a very pale yellow. I like to paint with my fingers as just a personal preference. I just like the feel of it. I feel like I have better control that way. I like the variations in shade the darker and light that I can get. Um, you can totally do this with a brush. And I actually think you should experiment if you've never really played with paints and see which you like to use and, you know, brush versus finger There, there better for different things that you're trying to accomplish. So I would definitely recommend just playing around and see what you like. You see, I'm getting a nice pale yellow here, a little bit of variation in color. It's gonna be a nice base coat there, and oddly enough, it. So I just would like to paint with my fingers. I don't like to be dirty, so always have baby wipes. They're great for crafts and arts. Got some card stuck here, and we're gonna make our heart template. I'm gonna confess. I forgot I had to do this step. So this canvas that I have the same size as the one we're using, but it's already covered in Jess. Oh, from another take. So it's little bit sticky, and I don't have the right kind of pin, so I'm using charcoal pencil, which is fine. It totally worked for this, But I would recommend that you use a pin or a number two pencil cause the chart pencil could smear. Um, so I'm gonna cut it out. I've got the size of the canvas now, and that way we'll know of what size to make her heart template to look right on campus. What I'm gonna do is fold the card stock in half and cut out a heart just like you did in grade school. Now I'm gonna freehand it. If that's a little intimidating to you, you've got some other options at the craft store. You could buy a stencil or even a sticker if you found one that was the right size and something you could kind of peel back up or maybe do on the back of what you're using. To get the right size, you can also download something off the Internet. Or if you've got plenty of card stock, just play around with it till you get what you want. Now I'm gonna use the outside of the template because I want to be able to see what the heart is going to look like. That's an old sheet music that I really like to use an art. I'm gonna find a place that just looks best to me. And again. I've got my charcoal pencil, which can smear. So I would recommend that you use a number two pencil or a pin when you're doing your outline of your heart. I love the idea of the music having music in your heart or a song in your heart. That's one of the reasons I picked it for things. Project. All right, now that I have my heart cut out, I'm going to use dilutions craft paint. It's an acrylic craft paint, and it's a fantastic line. They have really awesome colors I'm using bubble gum pink. It's a little bit more saturated and intense in person than it's showing up on campus and really, most of their paints or like this, they just have funnest colors. It's nice and thin. So when I put it on the paper, I get a lot of good color, but you can still see the pattern through it. So I'm just gonna completely cover up my heart, all right? And then I will set that aside to dry. We'll cut out the heart later, and finally, I've got some scrap paper. I'm gonna use this to stamp my message. You are loved, and I wanted to be the same color as the base color of my campus. I'm gonna use the same process. I'm gonna start with Jess. Oh, now the thing with Jessa on the scrap paper, it will not respond the same way as on the campus. The paper will just soak it up so it takes a lot more. Jess. Oh, it kind of grabs the paper a little bit. It's just not a smooth and not quite a satisfying a mixing experiences. It is doing this on the campus. You can see, I start getting a little bit yellow here, and I now I want it. I want some of that pattern. Some of the words to show through the paint may cover it up, but I'm trying to build pattern on pattern on pattern. We'll talk about that a little bit. The next video you can see here, I even have to kind of go back and add a little bit more, just so to get the color as light as I want it to be. So some of those words may not show through, and that's that's totally fine. All right, so we are finished getting all our materials on a set that aside and let it dry so I can stand it later and I'll meet you in the next lesson. 3. Lesson 2 - Layers!: I welcome to lessen two of mixed media for beginners and this lesson we're going to start building up our layers. Our nice little yellow mini canvas is dry. Now I've got my map medium here got handy, flat brush and then I've got lots of paper. Got this whole thrift store book and I've got some scrapbooking paper and we're going to build a collage layer. So the main thing I'm looking for in the paper is a variation in pattern. Just gonna start picking out pretty pieces and start ripping them up and gluing them down. I'm going to use my Matt medium in my brush to glue down the pieces of paper. I prefer Matt medium over my pods. You know, a lot of people like to use montage for collage. You see a lot on Pinterest. I feel like my punches basically just watered down white glue. And when it dries, it always feels tacky to me. And they also feel like, no matter what, finish up by whether it's Matt or gloss, that it always ends up looking very glossy and I just don't like the finish of it. A medium for shaken by and Matt lost, eaten by a gel and jail is great for gluing down heavier dimensional objects. So, yeah, Matt, me new is my go to for doing so. What we want to do is create layers of color, pattern and texture. And, of course, we started our first color layer with the yellow, and the paper will have color as well. But papers definitely gonna have both pattern and texture. And then we will cover all of this up with another layer of color that will do another layer of paint here in a little bit. Um and so in mixed media, that's what she want. All those layers will start to get covered up, but pieces of interest will show through in your final piece on. And that's what will make it really all the different things that are going on, but in a cohesive kind of way. One thing you wanna watch just so it doesn't get too chaotic. All my different pieces, of course, the kind of very in shape. But for the most part, I am blowing them down either horizontally or vertically. I don't really want to go diagonally. Um, it just gets a little bit too chaotic for the I. So just kind of rain in the chaos just a little bit and pretty much only glue things down horizontally. You can see here I am adding things to the side of the campus as well. That's one of the things I love about a gallery style campuses there so thick that the sides of the campus really become a part of the piece of art as well, and you consent it up, you don't have to hang it on a wall, which I think it's pretty fun as well. So I'm just making sure that every little piece has something fun on it. And one thing you have to keep in mind is that the heart that we traced earlier will cover a lot of this. So you want to make sure that you have a lot of interesting things around the edge because that's really what's gonna show in the end, you can see me checking here to see what is going to show around the edge. I I was very excited cause I had found two pieces of music that both have the word allegro on them, and I wanted to see if they would both show. And they do, I think one last little final piece here to make sure that every side has something interesting on it. And when we're done with this will put it aside and we'll let it dry, and then we'll do a layer. All right. Our canvas is drying out nice. And Matt not sticky. We're gonna do a layer of paint. We're gonna do the white Jessel again. I've got this craft smart, Robin's Egg blue. It's another craft acrylic paint and another delusions paint in vibrant turquoise. So I'm going to start with the white Jess Oh, and the Robin's egg blue. And you're gonna find out in a minute that Jessica was not the best choice for this. I love these colors. They're really beautiful. I wish you could hear me live, because when I start to put this turquoise on the canvas, I literally cackled with joy. It's so beautiful. I love this turquoise, and I love the way that it mixes with these other two colors. It just brings out so much depth of color, and that is what I want for you and your art. I want whatever you're doing to bring you joy, and these colors definitely bring me joy. They're so lovely now. Start to spread things on, and I'm starting to realize that because both of the other paints are very thin, Jess Oh has made them too thin, and there is just too much paint and boob on the canvas. It's It's nothing's gonna show through. It's just too much. So I take a paper trail and I kind of block off some of the extra paint. Unfortunately, we lose a little bit of the pattern that was in the paint, but it's still really, really beautiful. There's there's a lot of beautiful variation and color there, and now some of our pattern from our collage layer can show through. So what I would recommend is just using a white craft acrylic paint instead of the white just all right, so we are put our finishing touches here. We will let this dry and in our next lesson will play with stamps and stencils 4. Lesson 3 - Stamps & Stencils: I welcome to lessen three of mixed media for beginners. And this lesson we're gonna play with stamps and stencils. Our campus is dry. Its got some beautiful blue color to it. It's got some of our texture and pattern beginning to show through, and we're gonna add even more layers. Now, we're gonna start with stamps. Got this fun, uh, old fashioned letter writing stamp, and I'm gonna use white EQ. This is actually a trick I learned here on skill share. I took an art general class from Kristin McGee and she likes to use white lettering on vintage photographs and it's really beautiful. So sometimes as an alternative to blacking, I will use Whiting instead. And it's really, really fun. So I recommend playing around with it on other projects as well. So I'm just gonna go around the campus, of course, keeping in mind that the heart is gonna cover up the middle of the canvas. But I want to make sure there's lots of interesting things poking around, and I don't need it to be perfect. I don't need it to be illegible. This isn't French anybody, so I don't really know what it says. but I'm just gonna move around the canvas here and hit all the sides, Not just the front. When I'm happy with what I have, I'm gonna set to decide to dry for a few minutes and we'll come back. All right. So are a scrap of paper is dry. I've got my out of its stance here. I've had these allow, so I don't know what brand they are. I don't remember what they are. I really like them because they kind of look like a typewriter. Old newsprint is very fun. I'm gonna use archival ain't in black now. It's very important here that you get water proofs. Think, um, the white ink that we used earlier says it's permanent, but it does smear a little bit. And I've used other inks that say they're permanent. The mat medium will smear what you've stamped if you don't use waterproof ink. So make sure it says I'm just gonna start stamping away. I don't need it to be perfectly straight. Sometimes the edges of the stamps were going to come down and make a little dirty mark on the edge. And I actually like that. I like that kind of added texture to it. It just makes it look a little freaky. It's very fun. So don't sweat it too much that you get this perfect. Now that I haven't stamped, I'm gonna cut it out and I'm gonna cut it down pretty tight because of the size of our canvas. I don't want a lot of paper taking up too much, so I'm gonna cut it down pretty slam. It does not have to be perfectly square again. Of course. Don't worry about it. You don't want it to wonky, though, because you don't want that to distract from your message to see some of those old dirty ages or even getting cut off. So really doesn't matter. All right, we'll put those aside all right. Our ink is dry, I'm here and we're going to use molding paste. I love working with this, and I almost always use it when I stencil. I really prefer it to paint because the molding paste will build up a little bit of texture . It's super fun. So grab your palette knife and get a little bit out there Now, um, molding paste tends to dry a little bit translucent to me so often. When I use it, I'll just makes a tiny bit of white paint with it so that it's not completely see through. In this case, though, I'm actually adding a couple of drops of our robin's egg blue that way. We've already got the white of the ink, so I don't really want another white thing on there. And the blue. It's already on the canvas, so it won't be too chaotic. But it will give us another pattern and another texture and a little bit of variation in color. I don't have to be completely mixed. You can have it. Why you can have a darker in other areas. Now when you choose a stencil, I would go with a simpler pattern just because there's already so much going on. And obviously you want something that's small, so small and simple. It's kind of what you're and I like to use, um, things like credit cards and this shuttle passes you see here. Uh, that's just what works best for me. You can use a palette knife as well. I would play around with it and find out what you like to use. I'm going to begin by just starting to make various marks around the campus again, remembering that the heart is gonna be in the middle. So it's just most important to get things around the edge. Now, when you're doing the sides of the canvas, the thing is, you have to wait for it to dry. Before you can do the office, it's side, or it will swish your work. So we're gonna dio a couple of the sides and then we'll let it dry and then come back into the office, make play around on the top. First I even get a little bit of that flower here and there. That's underneath the circle. Um, you know what? It totally works. I do that a couple of times on the side, on our campuses dry so we can do the opposite sides. That's machine, all right, and that's gonna do it here. When we come back, we will put on our focal pieces and finish things off 5. Lesson 4 - Final Touches: Hi. Welcome to lessen four of mixed media for beginners. And this lesson we're gonna put on our final focal pieces. So our Inc and are molding paste is all dry. I went back in and I added one little circle here. I felt like it needed just one little more there. Everything's drying. Good to go. That's where I got some of the flower on the air in it. It looks great. So we're gonna go ahead and get her heart on there. It's dry, and I'm gonna cut it out here. Really? Now what you'll know Hit noticed here is that I have almost really accidentally created a triad IQ color scheme, which means that our three main colors here form a triangle on the color wheel and that was not on purpose. I just picked the colors because I like them. But that's how would they came out. So I'm using my Matt medium again. Teoh glue the heart down Now that we've done so many layers, When we did our first collage layer with Matt Medium, all we had was the campus and little bit of pain. But now we have all those pieces of paper we had the molding paste. We've got several layers of paint to the canvases and is even so you really need to make sure you get your heart food down. Really? Well, it's not too hard, but just make sure it's I've got it on. I was thinking about putting the letters on, but I've decided to let it dry so that I could completely outline the heart. So now that it's dry, I am going to take my charcoal pencil. And this time it is the appropriate tool. That is what I want to use here. I love using charcoal pencil toe outline, focal points in the next media. It just creates a little shadow that is so beautiful. So I just start tracing the heart and smudging as I go along love. Look, charcoal pencils come in soft, medium and hard soft me the lead breaks too much. And I don't think hard, hard lead smudges like I wanted to. So medium for me is just right. So just call me Goldie Blocks. Uh, I love that look. I love how it just makes that heart pop immediately. It's so nice. Eso And now that we've got our heart outlined. We're gonna put our words on now. They don't have to be completely straight and even. But again, you don't want them to diagonal. You don't want it to Katica. Obviously you wouldn't be able to read him. You also want to make sure that I mean, it's pretty obvious that it's a heart. But you want to make sure that the implication of the shape of the heart still shows through and that the words don't cover up the important cues of the heart. Now that those air dry, we're gonna outline those as well using the same see here as we smudge. I mean those edges of those stamps when we were stamping the words, it just becomes a part of the school grading. Look here and it really works. It just blends in even more now that we have the charcoal Now, our focal pieces pop, these look great. I hope you love it. I love this piece. I can't wait to see yours. I'll meet you back here for one more lesson. 6. Your Project: I hope you had fun following along taking this class. I hope you're excited about putting together your own little project that can't wait to see what you do. If you're feeling a little bit intimidated about having Teoh maybe create something of your own, I think following along and making something exactly like this is perfectly fine. All supplies are listed below. Copying someone else's work can be a good way to learn. Obviously, you don't want to pass the work off as your own. But that way it takes the pressure off of trying to come up with something new, and you can get your hands on the material and see how they feel to you. Find out what colors you like, that kind of thing. Now, if you're feeling a little bit more adventurous, go for it. Change whatever you want. I can't wait to see what ideas you have, how you change some of the things that we've done, and I want to see your projects below. So thanks for taking my class, and I hope to see you soon