Flower Fest! with Mixed Media Collage | Jennifer Keller | Skillshare

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

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Fussy Cuts


    • 4.

      Background Papers


    • 5.

      Background Painting


    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      Finishing Touches


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About This Class

Who doesn't love flowers? They're like nature's jewelry! They're bright, romantic, fun, and exist specifically to attract attention.  

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and instructor, but what I really do is help people gain creative confidence. Over the years, I've come to love mixed media collage because it allows students to achieve beautiful results without painting everything from scratch.  

Plus, there's something about flowers that turns art into a party. So in this class, Flower Fest, I thought I would share an easy process for creating a happy, bursting cluster of flowers that will be sure to make you smile.

In the lessons, you'll learn how to

  • Prepare a great assortment of paper flowers
  • Create a juicy, mixed media background
  • Arrange your floral bouquet so that it seems to pop off of the canvas
  • Convey a sense of depth in your flowers
  • And finally, tie it all together for a seamless appearance.

I'll also demonstrate easy color mixing, contrast, texture, brushwork, and layering techniques so you can have fun and get in the flow.

This class is right for you if you want to create floral pieces that are beautiful, colorful, and have great results without a lot of technical painting skills.  

So if you love playing with gorgeous papers or tearing pages out of magazines, now is your chance! There are so many beautiful floral papers in the world, both new and vintage, so why hold back? Perhaps you already have a stash of flowers waiting to see the light of day, or you love hunting for new supplies. Don't save the best of your collection for later. Use them now! Life is short! Be bold and remember, if you show up and practice with an open mind, you’ll learn something new every time.  I hope to see you in class.


Meet Your Teacher

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Jennifer Keller

Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!


I believe that art is magic.  By creating, we mix our inner souls with the outer world to make beauty.  

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller.  I’m an artist and an instructor, but what I really do is help people release their blocks and express themselves with creative confidence.  

I've worked in the arts for over 20 years as a frame designer, art gallery manager, vintage furniture and home decor dealer, art supply sales associate, and finally as an art instructor.

I love teaching so much.  Seeing students light up when they begin to gain confidence in their abilities is so incredibly rewarding and I'm so lucky to be a part of that process.  I'm really happy to be able to connect with people all over the world who love be... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Who doesn't love flowers? They're like nature's jewelry. They're bright, romantic, fun, and exist specifically to attract attention. My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and instructor, but what I really do is help people gain creative confidence. Over the years, I've come to love mixed media collage because it allows students to achieve beautiful results without painting everything from scratch. Plus, there's something about flowers that turns art into a party. In this class, flower fest, I thought I would share an easy process for creating a happy bursting cluster of flowers that will be sure to make you smile. In the lessons, you'll learn how to prepare a great assortment of paper flowers, create a juicy mixed media background, arrange your floral bouquets so that it seems to pop off of the canvas, and finally, tie it all together for a seamless appearance. I'll also demonstrate easy color mixing, contrast, texture, brushwork, and layering techniques so that you can have fun and get in the flow. This class is right for you if you want to create floral pieces that are beautiful, colorful, and have great results without a lot of technical paintings skills. If you love playing with gorgeous papers or tearing pages out of magazines, now is your chance. There are so many beautiful floral papers in the world, both new and vintage. Why hold back? Perhaps you already have a stash of flowers waiting to see the light of day or you love hunting for new supplies. Don't save the best for your collection for later, use them now. Life is short, be bold. Remember, if you show up in practice with an open mind, you'll learn something new every time. I hope to see you in class. 2. Materials: Hello and welcome to the materials lesson. In this lesson, we're going to go through everything you need. The first thing I have are 12 by 12 inch canvases. I have three because I'm going to be working on three classes for this floral series, but you only need one for this class. Square is a really nice orientation, but you can also do vertical or horizontal as well. Now, I have synthetic bristle brushes, and I just use a variety of flat brushes or bright brushes, they're very similar. I also have a small round brush for small details and signing the piece. But you can use whatever you like that feels right to you. Next, I have my acrylic paint. I'm using golden fluid acrylics. You're definitely going to want a white paint, this is going to make everything lighter if you want to lighten things up. I also have teal, cadmium, yellow medium hue, cadmium red medium hue is on my table, but I actually didn't end up using that. I have chromium oxide green, Paynes gray, which is more like a navy blue, and quinacridone magenta. All of the colors are optional though, so use whatever colors float your boat and make sure you have a white. Next you're going to want 1-2 pints of water for washing your brush and creating drips. Next, I have a palette. I use a glass palette with the edges taped off, and I use a razor blade to clean up the paint once it's dry. I have a hairdryer or a heat gun for speeding up my drying time, this is optional. You'll want to paint rag. It's a great way to use old kitchen dish towels and they're great for cleaning up any drips. Next, you're going to want acrylic medium. You can use matte medium which is more fluid, more like heavy cream. Or you can use regular gel matte medium, which is more like the consistency of peanut butter. I use the gel medium more. But if you use matte medium, you're going to want a little bit more of it for your heavy papers. I recommend putting it in a squeeze bottle for easy pallet management, you're going to want a sharp pair of scissors for cutting everything out, and a pencil for plotting out your composition. You might want to take some notes with that as well as you watch the glass. Now for papers, let's start with the background papers. All of these are optional, and I just got out lots of things so that I could show you some examples. I only use a few of these in the class, so I have some pattern papers. You can get these from scrapbooking books. I have some technical diagrams from a flight manual, and that I got at an antique picking warehouse barn place, but look at those airplanes, aren't those cute? I use those later on down the road in the third class in this series. I have some sheet music, and I have a ledger, which has some handwriting in it. It looks like somebody was tracking some payments and it's from the '50s, which is really neat. Again, you can find these things at garage sales and anywhere you can find vintage items. Tissues are great. I didn't use those exact tissues in this class, but if you want some crinkly textures, tissues are really wonderful. They end up being a little bit transparent if you add them. Maps are wonderful, and I was thinking even that the green area in these maps, you could cut some leaves for the bouquet out from those areas. But depending on which part of the painting you're working on, you could use any of the color areas within a map, and I love all of the roads and details in that. Next, you can use some book pages, this I got at a thrift store and it's in Korean, which is fun. Those are always nice for a little bit of visual texture. Doilies and lace add lovely fancies, growly texture as well, and they pick up acrylic paint really nicely. If you want some really thick texture in your background, you could use some corrugated cardboard, just peel the first layer off of a box. Also embossed papers are really fun. This one is very thick and adds amazing texture. Also handmade decorative papers, I have all of these swatches from an old catalog of papers from the old art supply store that I used to work at. All of these have really interesting different designs, some have metallic elements, some are shiny, those are a lot of fun. You can use quotes or phrases, this is a little book of quotes, all kind of soulful quotes from philosophers. It's just a nice little touch to put in the background, and let some of those words show through. All right, and now for the flowers. Where can we find flowers? We can find them in magazines, you can cut out some flowers from magazines. They're all over the place, all you have to do is flip through a magazine and you're going to find lots of flowers. You want to find flowers in different sizes as well. This is from a scrapbook paper pad. You can also use your old sketches. If you like to draw, you can do some pen and ink drawings of flowers. You can also use old wrapping papers. Again, it's nice to find different sizes of flowers. We're going to be using small flowers, big flowers, and flowers in between, as well as leaves, so don't overlook foliage. Here are some more ornate papers. Even if something doesn't have a flower exactly, you can use some scrolling design in say some wallpaper or this is, again, some scrapbooking stuff. You can add those as well for more of a designed look. You can use illustrations and photos. I'm using a lot of scrapbooking paper for this class, I will admit. You can use your own photos as well and have them printed to make it more personal. I'm looking for lots of colors. But if you just use one color palette and used a lot of pink flowers or a lot of white flowers, that would be fine. Here we have a cocktail napkin that I have cut into, but originally that was a cocktail napkin, and that has some wonderful flowers in it. You can find flowers on postcards or ads. The more you look, the more they just reveal themselves out in the world. I recommend gathering up all of the flowers you can. Then when you need them, you'll have them handy. Here's some more wrapping paper. I use these tulips quite a bit in this project, and they have some nice leaves. More scraps, just digging through my pile at this point. These are really nice and bright, so I have a mix of bright and neutrals. Then you can also use some elements that aren't necessarily flowers, this is an old scrap of wrapping paper, and you see it's got flowers in it, but also some pearls. There's some jewelry, there's a dove in it. You could even put birds or butterflies in your bouquet, whatever you want to use is wonderful. Feel free to think outside of the box. Of course, you could use stencils if you have those. I don't demonstrate that in this class, but I did get them out just to show you that that is a possibility. You never know when the mood might strike to do some stenciling. Then you can also use fabrics, you can cut up old clothes. I look for fabrics at thrift stores quite a bit. This is some gauze that has some embroidery of some botanicals and flowers in it. I actually bought a dress online, and the dress was horrible, but I loved the fabrics, so I have a lifetime supply of this fabric. Then I have some swatches of fabric that have roses. You can even use beaded or embroidered fabric, and those are a flower shape, so I thought I would have those handy. Here is another piece of fabric that has some sequence and beads in it. Those shapes would make a lovely leaf shapes, so I have those out as well. Up next, we're going to do our fussy cuts, which is a fun way of saying we're going to cut out some flowers. Join me in the next lesson and we'll get going. 3. Fussy Cuts: Welcome to the Fussy Cuts lesson. I love that word. Yes, it is an industry term and it's just a way of saying we're going to cut things out. It takes a little bit of patience, it is busywork, so if you want to put on the TV or a podcast and listen to some music, feel free to just relax and unwind with your scissors and some papers and cut out some flowers. First off, I just want to show you just a few little tips for cutting out your flowers. Here I have a page with lots of hydrangeas on it. I just want you to know that you don't have to be perfect, you don't have to cut right on the line; I tend to cut inside of the outline of the flower, and sometimes I just make up the outside of a flower if I don't want the whole thing in it. I just hold my scissors fairly still and wiggle the paper around with my other hand. A lot of these flowers are going to get overlapped by other flowers in the composition. If you have a weird side of a flower, you can just cover it up. Then I want you to see here that even though these hydrangeas are rather large flowers, you can cut into them and make smaller flowers, and you can do this with other flowers as well that have a lot of petals. You can trim off some of the outer petals to make smaller flowers, which can be really helpful when you just want to fill in a small area. While you're cutting and looking for your flowers, make sure you find some flowers that are smaller. Like in this page, I don't need all of this, I'm just looking for these little tiny bouquets, and so I'll snip the amount and then I, again, wiggle the paper around. I'm not trying to get perfect outlines, if a little bit of the margin shows, it's not the end of the world, these bouquets are going to be really busy. It's not dire if you show some of that margin. Let's talk about trimming fabric. This one has a beaded design, so I'm just going to do a rough cut first, cut it away from the other fabric, and then I'm going to come back and cut away the excess. But I did have to cut through some of the thread that is holding the beads in place. If you have something like this, I encourage you to use it, but just know that with the acrylic gel medium, that's going to glue all of these little beads back down in place so you don't have to worry too much about cutting through some of those threads. Now, what if something has a straight line in it? Like you can see here, the leaf on the right and the petals up top are cropped. You can just fix that by making a new outline of the flower, you can put a point on that leaf. I know this isn't going to be in your kit because I sketched this myself. But see how I'm trimming away from that cropped straight line, I'm just using the interior petals. I'm going to just completely cut off that leaf, I might decide to use it somewhere else in the composition; I don't think I actually do, but I could. Right now I'm just preparing all of my flowers for the project. I don't know when I'm going to use and some things get left behind and that's okay, I'll use them in a future project. Then creating another point on that leaf. You see now it looks like it's its own flower and it's not cropped. Here's another flower that has two sides that are cropped, it was from a corner of some paper. I'm cutting way in on that outline. I'm just wiggling that paper around and trimming off quite a bit of the margin of the flower, and then I can come way in and just make up a new outline so those petals now seem shorter. That's all done with scissor work. Then, of course, make sure you get some medium-size flowers. Just going round and round, just preparing anything that looks fun. I love how this flower is blue, just adding to my color palette. You can get a lot of flowers out of one piece of paper sometimes with lots of different colors. Make sure you get some leaves, I love this sprig of leaves. If something's damaged, that's totally fine because you can just cover it up. Also, if something is bent like this leaf here, you can just reverse fold it and it'll straighten out, especially with the acrylic medium, it'll just flatten that right out. You might see some of the creases, but that's okay, it's all part of the human touch to these projects. Then you can trim leaves away from flowers to get some good greenery. As you see there, I just cut away from the tulip. You can also cut the heads off of flowers if they have really thin stems because it's tricky to trim around a long stem. I think you're better off just cutting it off and tucking it into the bouquet. If you have two flowers that are next to each other, you can just cut them out together and they can live next to each other in the piece. Now, let's talk about leaves a little bit. here I have a fern and that fern would be very tricky to cut out all of those individual little fingers on the fern. I'm just winging it and making some leaf shapes out of this fern. I'm just going to come around, I'm using the spine of the fern in the middle of my cutouts so it resembles a leaf. But I like how I've bent reality with this. I'm not going for really realistic stuff, this is artwork and I can do it anyway I want. Then don't forget teeny tiny flowers, they're going to add a lot of charm as finishing touches to your bouquet. Don't forget the little guys. You don't have to be perfect, it's okay if a little bit of the white is showing. Here's everything. I have about 40 cutouts here, which I'm going to use in the bouquet. You can see I've got a lot of variation, a lot of colors. But like I was saying, you could have one palette of flowers, you could have all white flowers, white roses, white tulips, white daisies, or you can have the whole rainbow, but don't forget leaves. Just spend a nice evening cutting out some flowers, talking with your roommates or whoever you live with, or just enjoy some alone time, make some tea, and have fun cutting these out. Up next, we're going to talk about the background papers and we'll start our canvas. I will see you there. 4. Background Papers: Welcome back to the background papers lesson. As you can see, this is what we end up at the end of this lesson. I want you to notice we have a circle. It's a rough circle, it's not a perfect circle. I've added some neutral papers to the canvas, which we're eventually going to paint over. But for this lesson, we're just selecting some neutral papers with texture and pattern in it and applying it down. I have my pencil and I have my canvas. The bouquet is going to cover the majority of the center of the canvas. I'm going to lightly sketch out a rough circle. The rest we're going to fill in with some collage. I'm going to make that a little bit darker so you can see it. Again, it's not a lot, there's about an inch or an inch and a half from the edges, more on the corners. Here I have this doily and it had corners already built into it, so I thought how perfect. Now I'm going to grab a book page and some sheet music. I'm just looking for some sheet music where I like the words because you will see some of the words in the sheet music if it has lyrics. Some of the time, there will be acrylic paint over the top of this. We're not trying to make this perfect. You have to find stuff that you like, but then be willing to let go of it because we're going to cover it up with a semi-transparent layer. I start to rip into my doily and all of those line up perfectly with the corners. If you had a round doily, you can also just cut that in quarters and flip them so that the corner lined up with the corner of the canvas. But I love those for the raised texture. Next I have my book pages. I'm going to tear those up into smaller swatches of paper. I tear off the margins and get right up nice and tight next to all of those Korean characters on the page. Then work my way around the circle. It's okay if you go over the line. No big deal, unless you're using something that is extremely thick, like corrugated cardboard or a heavy lace or something like that because the bouquet flowers have to go over the top of this, there will be some overlap. Here I am just picking the better side of that page of sheet music, trimming off the margin, ripping it down to size, and filling in my background. Doing the same again. That looks pretty good. Notice all of these papers are pretty neutral. That's just what I wanted to do. If you want something more colorful or busy, feel free to use anything that your heart desires. I'm just going to show you my way and you can make any adjustments that you want. I'm just going to glue this down and maybe fill in some more printed papers after I'm done with that. I have my gel medium and I'm just stirring that up a little bit. Sometimes it separates it. It's good to stirred up if you could see any clear liquid resting on top. Then I just roll my brush out. You want a nice liberal application. You don't want too much or too little. Just get a nice even coat and then spread it out from the center outwards and get all the edges nicely down. There is just a few moments where if you don't have it in the right place, you can peel it up or scooch it over. I'm just going to continue around the canvas with my gel medium, getting a nice even coat again, rolling the brush so that it's all coming off of the brush. Then smoothing it out with the excess gel medium that I pick up from around the sides because not only is this an adhesive, it's also a sealant. Gel medium is essentially acrylic paint without the pigment. It's going to dry quickly, just like acrylic paint, depending on where you live or how dry it is. It could be a few minutes or it could be a half an hour. That just depends on how dry the air is and how much you apply. I always grab a little bit more than I think I need, but you can always go back for more. If you have way too much on your brush, you can just use the end of the brush and then when you need more gel medium, you can push harder on the bristles and more of it will squeeze out of those bristles and go out onto the canvas. You can always make adjustments as you go around. Just because you set something down somewhere doesn't mean you can't change your mind. I like for the most part, lines in the paper to be straight. Sometimes I put things on diagonals, but I think it's pleasing to see straight lines in the sheet music and so forth. I try to make things as straight as I can, but of course, sometimes I just choose to break my own rules or I'm unable to make things straight. See there I scooched that over because the brush moved it. You do have a little bit of time, little bit of wiggle room to scoot things around and get them where you want them to be. Last quadrant here, I'm lining up the straighter line of that paper with the edge of the canvas. But I want you to know that even if something does not have a straight line, you're going to be fine. It's okay if some of the canvas shows through. I wouldn't concern yourself too much about that because we are going to cover this up with paint and fill those areas in with color. Just make sure that all of your edges are down nice and securely so that nothing tears or comes up in the future, but this acrylic gel medium dries so securely, it is very strong. It's going to treat you right, once it dries. Just filling in some of the bigger gaps there. Then I decided that I wanted more printed paper going around the circle. I'm going to layer some of the sheet music around, those corners over the doily just so that I have a little bit more of that black and white coming through. The texture is going to be great, this is going to look lovely. I'm very pleased with it. We're almost there, just getting those final little pieces down. You want to put your brush in your water so that it doesn't dry out and then let that canvas dry. Up next, we're going to be painting over this collage. I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Background Painting: Hello and welcome to the background painting lesson. This is what our canvas is going to look like at the end of this lesson. There's a circle in the middle. It goes from lighter blue around the edge, and then it gets darker incrementally as we get towards the center. The reason that we're going to do this is we want a shadow color under the bouquet, because I don't want any of the white of the canvas showing through. This is going to give it more of a finished look and support our collage moving forward. Let's have a look at this process. I have my background papers collaged onto the canvas, and I have my palette, I have my paint rag, and I'm going to grab a medium to large size flat bright brush. I'm applying my paint down to the canvas, I have white in the middle. Then I'm going to use some green, some teal, and some Payne's gray. Payne's gray is a dark blue. If you only have ultramarine blue or phthalo blue or any kind of dark blue, it's going to work. Don't worry, you don't have to have the exact same colors as me. I must say I love this teal color. It's very opaque, it is a beautiful pop of color. I mixed it with some of the white, and I didn't apply much to my brush. I'm using what's called a dry brush technique where I'm not using much paint, and I'm not using much pressure. Now I've got some Payne's gray in the mix. I got teal, Payne's gray, and titanium white in my brush now mixed up. I'm very lightly with very little pressure putting a small amount of paint over my collage. This is going to allow all of those notes in the sheet music and a lot of the writing in the book paper to show through. I want to retain that, but I do want to add some mystery by covering up some of it. Allow some of it to be thicker in some places and lighter in other places. We just want to do a light application here. Then as we go over the doily, you're going to see all of that texture in the doily pop, and it's going to be lovely. I recommend using a lot of white towards the outside, and then as you move in, using less white in the mix. I'm not extremely consistent here. It's okay to have some variation. But if things get too thick, you can wet your rag and smooth it out if you move quickly enough, especially where I am right now, we're approaching summer in California and things are getting rather dry. It's warm out, the air conditioning is on and the air is just sucking up all that moisture in the paint. I have to be very quick about using a wet rag on this. But now as you can see, we've got color and I can see a lot of the print in my papers. Let's move inward. I'm going to add some more teal and some more Payne's gray to my mix. I'm not adding any more white, but there is already some white in my brush and on the palette that I mixed into. I'm just doing a quick circle. Most of this is going to get covered up so you don't have to worry all that much about your brushstrokes, but if you want a smooth transition, you can use less pressure in the brush as you move towards that outline of your darker circle. You can also use the wet rag to blur that edge a little bit and make it more seamless, which in the art world, we call a gradient when a color or any element transitions smoothly from one area to the other on the canvas. I'm just working on getting somewhat nice gradient. But again, this is not a painting where I'm doing a gradient that's going to be seen outright. It's going to be masked by a lot of our papers in the bouquet. Now I've added more Payne's gray and green to my mix, and we're getting pretty dark at this point. I'm just going for a shadow color. You can mix on the palette or you can mix on the canvas. Sometimes you've got enough paint on your canvas that you can just tap into one color or another and get a nice mix on the canvas. I did tap my brush into the water, just then picked up a small amount of water, and that's also helping me with blending on the canvas and increasing the flow of the paint. Now I've added some Payne's gray and I'm mixing on the canvas once again. Payne's gray is very dark, but I also have green and white and teal on my brush. All of the colors are present in the center in that mix. I'm just going to smooth it out rather roughly, and that's just so it will dry quicker, because none of this is going to show more than a quarter inch picking through the bouquet, it's just a base coat. Now I rinsed my brush and I'm going to bring just a little bit of teal, just correct any areas that I want to work over again for color or transition, you can rework an area. Again, it's just pretty much going to be covered up. A little bit of the outline of that teal outer circle is going to show up in the finished bouquet. Here we have our acrylic work for the background. I am going to let that dry so that we can come back over it with our papers. If you want to speed it up, you can always use a hairdryer to speed things along if you just want to jump right into the next layer of collage. I noticed that I left my brush resting on the palette. Don't forget your brush. It's got to go back in the water or be rinsed completely so that all of that acrylic paint doesn't dry in the bristles, which I do off-camera very shortly, so I didn't ruin my brush, but just make sure you take care of your brushes. Up next we're going to work on the leaves. I'm excited. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Leaves: Hello and welcome to the leaves lesson. I love this lesson because it's really simple but it's very important. It's going to give our bouquet a lot of personalities, so let's get into it. I'm bringing over my flower cutouts that I fussy cutted and I'm going to begin with the greenery. I'm grabbing all of my leaves and we're going to arrange these around the outermost part of the circle and we're going to extend out into the outer background. I want you to bridge the gap between what is collaged and what just has acrylic paint down on the background. Notice, I am also arranging my leaves so they're all on a diagonal. I'm looking for flow. I'm imagining stems, I got these leaves are attached to and how they might branch out from the center of the bouquet. When you look at a bouquet, not all of the leaves are going to come out 90 degrees from the center. They're always a little bit on a diagonal, so I wouldn't point every leaf right towards the smack dab middle of the canvas. We want to make them seem like they have a little bit of spring to them, a little bit of gravity working here and then at the top, they're going to be a little bit smaller. I'm using my biggest leaves around the midpoint and then smaller leaves coming out of the top and the bottom. I rinsed my brush and then wrung it out with my rag so that there's no excess water dripping off of the brush. Just like we did in the last two lessons ago when we did our collage, we're going to use the same technique with our acrylic gel medium, but I'm memorizing how big the leaf is and how much of the canvas it's covering. I just eyeball it and then lay it back down. I extend the acrylic medium around the leaf a little bit larger than the leaf is, and then pick up the excess and use it over the top. It's really fun to have some of the leaves and little clusters so those two are touching. Maybe because just of the way the perspective is, or they could be connected by the same stem, so it's okay to have some of the leaves touching and overlapping. You just want them to be extending out into the background area a little bit because we want them to seem as if they are exceeding out past the flowers. It's going to give the outline of the bouquet a little bit more movement, it is going to give it more personality, and personally, I like a little bit more of a wild bouquet. Some people like a nice tidy, more organized bouquet, but I like my bouquets to be a little bit reaching and wild. I encourage you to have them even touch the edge of the canvas. It's okay to actually have the paper connect with the very edge of the canvas or even exceed past it. You can always cut off the excess paper if it goes past the edge. That's my first pass at the leaves, but I think I want a little bit more greenery around the edge. I'm just going to come back and add a little bit more. Right now I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 leaves and I think I'm ready for my flowers so that's going to be in the next lesson. I'm excited. I will see you there. 7. Flowers: Hello. Welcome to the flowers lesson. This is where all the magic is going to happen. I want you to just have a look at this canvas for a moment. First off, we see our leaves from the prior lesson sticking out from behind the flower, so that is checked off, we've done that. Next, I want you to notice that there are more smaller flowers around the outside and the bigger flowers are towards the center. With a few exceptions, there are some larger flowers at the bottom as well. That's because when you make a bouquet, you really want the heavier stuff towards the center, or else it'll get top-heavy. The lighter flowers are going to be towards the outside, bigger flowers towards the bottom and the center. Then I have a couple of larger flowers towards the top. Then also, let's see, we've got some balance of colors happening as well. Some of the white flowers are at the top and the bottom. You want to spread out your colors a little bit so that the piece seems balanced and we'll get more into that in the lesson. Also notice that there's a lot of overlapping elements here. When you see a really big, full-packed bouquet, there's going to be a lot of overlapping, and that's just because some are tucked behind other flowers. We're really going to layer quite a bit here. Let's have a look. I have my canvas with the leaves on it, and I'm going to begin applying some smaller flowers around the edge. These are lining up for the most part with the outermost part of that circle, the teal portion of the circle. I can go in and out around the outside and apply some of the smaller flowers around the edges. Now, if you have a teeny-tiny flower like this one, sometimes I like to just have them floating way out of the bouquet. Sometimes I put a stem on them and sometimes I don't, and it's fun seeing them just float around. It gives it a buoyant floaty look, which I think is fun. Just finding all of my smaller flowers, here's a rosebud and I just want to trim that up a little bit. We can have these extending out of the circle a bit. Moving in a little bit, sometimes you'll just grab a flower and you know exactly where to put it in. That was the case with these tulips, they just tucked right into that area perfectly. Sometimes it's a little bit more challenging, but that's okay. I've got some darker purple going in towards the bottom. Sometimes it makes sense to put darker colors further down in the canvas because there's more shadow down there. Here's a lighter purple that we can balance out our canvas with a little bit. See how those two purple flowers are down at the bottom. I thought I would cross over and put something purple up at the top to give our bouquet a little bit of balance. I'm overlapping quite a bit. We're going to lose a lot of the surface of some of these cutouts, which is to be expected. Here I have a daisy going in up at the top, that's a pretty big flower, but it's light. You don't have to have everything be light at the top and everything be dark at the bottom. But I think it's nice to put a couple of lighter elements up at the top because that's where the light in the sky or in the room will hit the bouquet. Naturally, there's going to be more light up at the top and you can do that with color. Now I'm looking at this area and I had this lily, but it was getting lost in the two white flowers around it, so I put a leaf down to separate that light area and give it some contrast. That's another trick that you can use if something is getting lost in what's around it. You can use something that's darker or lighter to create some contrast so it stands out more. Here's another medium size flower along the edge. I'm going to put this big hydrangea down right next to that and overlapping a little bit. But now you can see some of the blue coming in between some of those flowers, and it's going to look a lot better than if there was the white of the canvas. I always like to do a base coat. Then we can fill in any gaps later. Now I'm moving into more of medium and larger flowers as I move down, we're starting to get things filled in. Then we're going to do lots more overlapping over the top with more layers, even still. Covering less and less of the background as things get full and allowing for that overlap. Keep in mind balance of color, balance of texture, and adding, and maybe a few more leaves as you go inward. Some of the leaves might be connected to the flowers like this big rose right here, and this is that damaged rose, I think I showed you in the materials lesson, but it's okay if something has a flaw on it, you can always overlap over the top. I think I need to smooth that out pretty well because there is also a fold in the leaves, so you can see there it just smooth right out. No one will ever know that leaf was bent. I'm just trying different options. There is some creasing in the rose just because the paper crinkled up a little bit and some paper is more prone to wrinkling and crinkling than others. The thinner paper is the more it's going to ripple up. Here I'm trimming that rose back a little bit. If you can just accept that sometimes you're going to get some rippling, it makes the experience a lot better than stressing over that because it's collage and people know that. You're not trying to fool them that it's not a collage. Do your best to avoid rippling, but when it happens, don't sweat it too much. There's another daisy and I love how it's diagonally across the bouquet from that other big daisy. I love how those pop against the colors, I think the white is really picking up the feeling of having a lot of light hitting this bouquet. I'm just trying a couple different things out. I like how I've introduced a little bit more yellow there, I think it was lacking and a little bit of yellow since I'm going for more of a bright colorful variation, lots of color here. Just layering, layering, overlapping, overlapping. Now we're pretty much filled in, but I'm going to take it even further. I have the rose that's damaged. There's a tear in it so I'm going to cover that up with this pansy. I think that'll work great. I'm just going to go straight over the top of that. Cover that, rip up and we're good. There wasn't much blue in the actual bouquet either before that, so I like the addition of a violet, lavender, blue. Now is the part where I'm going to come back in with more small flowers to fill in the gaps. I started with small flowers, went up in size as we filled in the center, and now I'm going back in with a few more small flowers to just decorate the outside and add a little bit more variation like putting the sprinkles on a cupcake. You can have them floating out away from the edge of the bouquet. Here I have some of those beaded fabric elements which I'm adding a little bit more of the gel medium on those. I love how they pop out from the canvas, I love how they have some reflection in them. There's a little bit of blending happening now. They're really pretty so I just spend a little bit more time on those with the gel medium to make sure that all of those beads are going to stay in place. I work it in between and then clean up around that element. Here I'm putting down the gel medium, I put a little bit more down because it's fabric, smooth it out so that the fabric is stuck down, and then I dab in some gel medium around the beaded elements and then clean it up. Now I'm just going for a lot more jubilant, expressive sprigs sticking out from the bouquet, pretending they're coming out from behind things. But it doesn't matter if they're not fully connected because the eye of the viewer will put that together and you barely notice. There's so much going on here, it's fine if you don't see everything connected. People are going to know it's a bouquet or a cluster of flowers. What else do we have here? This little guy? Should we do that? No, I don't do that. Let's see. I've got this orange flower. I'm really going to bring that out. It's just floating in space, which I think is fun. It's like a pop. Up next we're going to do some finishing touches to make this pop even more. I will see you in that lesson. 8. Finishing Touches: Hello and welcome to the Finishing Touches lesson. We're almost to the end, so let's have a look at how this is going to look after this lesson. Number 1, we're working with acrylic paint here. I've added a few sprigs of maybe branches or grasses, little thin, little sprigs coming out from behind the bouquet. I've also added some darker darks and lighter lights and a little bit of color into the middle of the bouquet just to bring out the contrast and the vibrancy. Let's have a look. I'm adding some white to my palette and I'm going to use a small brush here. You could use a round brush or bright brush, but just a small brush is great. I'm using a bright brush. I popped some green off of the palette and I'm going to tuck some of that dark green right in some of the recessed areas of the bouquet to bring out some of the shadows. I had green on my brush. I added a little bit of teal and I'm going to put that blue in some very unexpected areas of my bouquet. You might be thinking, "This is nuts. I don't want to do it." You don't have to, but I like to and so I'm going to show you what I do here. I bring the blue into areas that have a similar value of light. The teal is a mid tone color. It's not really light, it's not really dark. I'm bringing it into those mid light areas. What that's going to do is it's going to pull a painting together because I have the blue from background and it's going to make it seem like some of that blue light is bouncing off of the bouquet. I think it looks really cute. It's just an unexpected pop of teal within all of these other colors. I washed my brush and now I've got some white on there and I'm going to brighten the highlights. I just go over with little crescent shaped dashes and I'm going to lighten the lightest part of my blooms just a little bit more. You don't want to use too much, just a brushstroke here and there to make it pop. I want you to imagine where the light is hitting all of these flowers the most and be reserved about how much you use, if you decide to do this step. A lot of the white areas in your cutouts aren't going to be a really bright white, so you can go over light white areas on the flowers and you can usually lighten them up a little bit more. Same with the shadows, I picked up some Payne's gray on my brush and I'm just going to tuck that in between to deepen some of the shadows a little bit more. You don't want to go overboard with anything in this lesson. It's really just finishing touches. We're not doing a whole painting. We're just popping in some contrast. Here. I'm adding that dark, dark blue to the middle of the flowers to deepen the center of those dark centered flowers. That's looking pretty good. I washed my brush, now I've got green and white. Then I'm mixing together to make a light green. I can go over again. I can go around some of those highlights and shadows that I just added to smooth them out a little bit. Even if they're over an area that's purple, you can add green and it just makes it seem a little bit more fresh and green. if your shadows are looking a little bit too harsh of brushstrokes, you can come back over with this green and smooth them out a little bit. To get a thinner line with the bright brushes you want to use the narrow way. This is why I love bright brushes or some people use flat brushes. They're so similar. Because you can get a broad brush stroke and you can get a thin brush stroke depending on which way you hold the brush. If you aren't sure about how to get the right type of brushstroke, you can always have a piece of paper handy nearby and do some test brushstrokes. Here I'm using it the narrow way and I've pivoted the brush so that I'm painting the narrow direction, and I'm adding some stems just to show you what that could look like if you decide to put some stems down. Now, I don't usually put stems on these little bitty flowers that are around the outside because I do like how they seem to be floating in space. But I thought I'd show you for the sake of showing you. Now, I'm adding some little vines or branches or little pieces of grass and just sticking them out, they're forking out from behind. This is going to give it a little bit more reach on the canvas and a little bit more variation in the scale of my brushstrokes. I've got big leaves, small leaves, and then thinner grasses. You want them to be branching out a bit from the center. I did one on the bottom left-hand corner that I'm not so crazy about and I fixed set up in a moment. It seemed to be a little bit too angled. These, you actually do want them to be nice and slowly, but also coming out from the center. Then I added some white to that green and I'm doing some highlights and also fixing this one that I didn't like so much. I've got a lighter green on my brush and I'm just going to go over some of these areas to give them a little bit of a highlight. You're not covering the whole thing up. You're letting some of that darker green show through, but it just is going to indicate a lighter area of the green. There we have it. Thank you so much for joining me for this class. How fun was that? I had an absolute blast making this mix media collage with you. I would love to see your pieces and hear about your experience. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask. I checked the discussion section often and it might just help other students learn as well. I'd love to see you again in another class. If you enjoyed this, please be sure and follow me. I'll be coming out with related floral classes soon so you won't want to miss out on those. Or by the time you watch this, they might already be available. I also have dozens of other acrylic in mixed media classes ready to take now, and you Can find them on my teacher profile or my website. That's a wrap. Once again, thank you so much. Remember, if you show up and practice with an open mind, you'll learn something new every time. Happy creating, much love.