Introduction to Mixed Media: Paint Your Pet | Brittany Gabel | Skillshare

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Introduction to Mixed Media: Paint Your Pet

teacher avatar Brittany Gabel, Artist + Creative + Designer

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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

10 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies & Materials

    • 3. Adding Collage Elements

    • 4. Adding Color

    • 5. Sketching

    • 6. Transferring Image

    • 7. Painting Your Pet

    • 8. Adding Details

    • 9. Final Details & Finishing

    • 10. Thank You!

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About This Class

Hello and welcome!

In this class we will play with a variety of mediums such as acrylic paint, gesso, washi tape, scrapbooking paper and more! Your pet will be your muse and guide you to create a unique, illustrated portrait. This is a great project for beginners as well as those experienced in mixed media art. I look forward to having you in class and seeing your project!

Meet Your Teacher

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Brittany Gabel

Artist + Creative + Designer


When creating, Brittany brings happy, whimsical, and colorful pieces to life. With each, she hopes to take you on a journey to a joyous place in your imagination. Her style is precise and graphic, but it is her sense of color that sets her work apart. Brittany loves exploring new ideas and creates unique pieces with wool, paint, paper, inks, acrylics, polymer clay, copper, and resin.

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1. Introduction: Hi, everyone. I'm Britain Gable, a mixed media artist and graphic designer. In this class, we will play with a variety of mediums such as acrylic paint. Jess. Oh, thanks. Washi tape, scrap of paper and more. Your pet will be your muse and guide you to create a unique illustrated portrait. This a great project for beginners as well as those experience and mixed media art. I look forward to having you in class and seeing your project. 2. Supplies & Materials: before we get started, we're just gonna go over our supply list and we're gonna start with our canvas. This here is 11 by 14. Feel free to use any side of setting light. Here we have Jessa, which we're gonna use to prime or canvas. We'll also be using extra heavy gel mat medium, which is great for gluing down your collage items such as what? Scrapbooking paper and Washington. And then I've picked up these great little paint bottles from Target, and I really love the vibrancy of them and the consistency. But feel free to use any pain that you have at home. Here's just a few rolls of washing tape. We have our scrapbooking paper, but feel free to use any paper that you liked. If you have some from like a book or magazine, you can also use those. Or you could even print your own if you have a particular image that you would like to use . I also really like to use a heat gun, and that helps speed up the process between layers because we will be working with paint and sometimes it takes a little bit longer to dry. You can also use a hair dryer. This one here is just embossing powder, he ca. You'll also need something to put your pain sound so you can either use a tree like this one or plate. I'm really anything that you have around. Also be using some charcoal pencils for some detail ing. You want to select a few different brush sizes and then make sure that you also have a bucket of water and some paper towels. 3. Adding Collage Elements: and get started. We're going to apply. Just said to our canvas, and I usually just like to pour it on, and you're gonna want to use a bigger brush so that you are covering a larger area at a time. Sometimes when I'm working on my paintings, I like to leave a bit of texture throughout. If you don't want to add texture, make sure that all of your lines are smoothed out. But if you would like texture, feel free to leave that, and that just adds a little bit more character to your final pieces. So if you would like a textured look, you can kind of just create different little squiggles throughout with your brush. You can even take the back of a pencil or even a back of a paintbrush and kind of do something similar where you're adding little squiggly lines, really different shapes. So right now I'm adding some little hearts, and when you're working on adding some texture, make sure to rotate your canvas so that you have them going in different directions and to speed up the process. I'm just gonna use my heat gun, so the next step that we will do is we're gonna add some washi tape and some scrapbooking paper, and that's just kind of gives your painting a little bit of dimension and added little elements to the final piece. And even if you add paint over these, you'll still be able to see a little bit of thes designs, and sometimes even the metallic finishes to them. 4. Adding Color: the way that I typically like to work is I like to create my backgrounds first, and then I will work on my focal point towards the end. The next step will be to pick out your colors that you would like for your background. I have decided to work with some Thiel's and some purples and pinks for this project, and I'm going to start with this light pink and I'll start at the edges and you're also gonna want to go over your papers and your Washington. And the whole point of doing that is so that you're blending your pieces in together, and so they're not sticking out. And if you would want them to stick out, you can just go over them with a paper towel and just wait some of that paint back. And typically when I work, I like to water may paint down just a little bit so that I'm getting more of a wash effect , and it's not super payment it, and this is when you're gonna be able to see some of the textures that you made on your first layer with Jesse. So right now I'm just using a little bit of water and spreading out the paint a little bit more. - So right here. You can kind of see that a little bit of that metallic polka dot is showing through. And I really like that look. So I'm gonna try to maintain that throughout these pieces of paper and feel free to use a larger brush so that you are working out a little bit faster rate I took with, like to work with a smaller brush Prentice. Soon that I able to work around some of these edges here, make sure that they're getting covered. If you want to maintain some of these scrapbooking pages, you don't have to go over them with pain. Kind of do a little light, wash around the edges and maintain them that way. This part really is about exploring and seeing what you like. But do you keep in mind that as we continue to build up the layers, you can add more? You can change things as you see fit, sort of left the center of the area little bit light, because we will be adding color to our pets and or animals, so don't feel like you have to build up the center too much. Right now, we're just really focusing on the edges, and then we'll heat this up so that we can add the second color to it. Next, we'll add a second color, and I'm going to add this robin's egg color and just a house keeping tip. Just make sure that you're cleaning your brushes out really well before you go and use another paint so that you don't have cross contamination. And I'm gonna be really light with this color because I don't want necessarily to be the primary color that we're working with. So we'll start out fairly light like bad on kind of using it. Maura's like a frame color, and you could do that and you can do the same thing. You can water it down just a touch if you find it too pigmented. I really want to have a light touch when you're doing this. It's almost kind of like a sweeping motion back and four. Yeah, keep in mind that you're trying toe smooth out and blend the two layers together and feel free to practice on a different campus. If you want the beauty of mixed media's that there's always a way to fix any of your happy little mistakes. So if you don't like something or an elementary, you want to change it. You can always cover it up with Jess. Oh, or more color. I mean, there's really no right or wrong way to it. That's really just about working with materials, experimenting and finding what you like. And now you can really see a lot of the texture that we built up in the first layer. Pop through because you have your different colors now and you're still building up more layers as you're adding paint. If you want to tone down some of these elements here because they're a little bit too dark or you don't really like the contrast of them, you can do so by adding a little bit of just so on top of them. And that just helps tone it down a little bit so that it's not such a start contrast, and we'll still be adding more paint to this towards the end, so they kind of disappear a little bit more, but now they're kind of blended it a little bit more with your background. So I'm happy with this and we're going to get started on the next step 5. Sketching: Now we're going to start working on the sketch of your chose an animal, and I've chosen to use a reference of my dog Harley. And what we will do is figure out the scale that you would like your animal to be. And I would probably like to have her face about here and then her body on the lower portion of that. So that should be overall about the size of a sheep, which is 8.5 by 11 and then going to draw a straight line down for the center of her face. From then, what do you? A little bit of an oval shape, and when you're sketching, try to keep your hand and your wrist loose. Um, that just helps. You kind of get the continuous motion. Ears will be about there, and this really is just a rough draft to get an idea of scale. And then the eyes will always be kind of about center. Bulldogs kind of have a little bit of a droopy face, so the eyes will be about here. I'm trying to make these, you know, as whimsical as you can. They're not really meant to be that literal. Um, I think that the cork here they are cuter It iss the nose will be about there, and then bulldogs can have these long cheeks and then they have chin about there and then the shoulders kind of start here. Just add in there, I And then once we actually get this onto our canvas, we can Adam more details. Bulldogs have a lot of wrinkles. They kind of, you know, start at their nose like this and scheming above their nose. I will also add in little arms and then you have your your animal. 6. Transferring Image: Now I'm actually going to use more of a charcoal pencil because that will help, um, the transfer process go a little bit easier. And I'm really only going to be focusing on the outlines and the shapes that I want to include onto my canvas. - If you don't feel like you want to sketch from scratch, you can print out a picture and then just trace over that. The beauty of doing this is that you don't really. There's a lot of shortcuts that you can take. And so now we have our transfer money, and what we're going to do is we're actually going to flip this side on to our canvas and try to get it all centred. Take that same pencil and we're gonna go over those lines, and then you can find them peak over to see if it's transferring. Sometimes it's easier to use a little bit of a sharp pencil. So do you feel like it's not working in some areas? And then just keep, um, just hold it on one side and missed away, and then you'll be able to see if you have enough of charcoal for guidelines, and then there it. ISS Now that we have our guidelines of our Children animal. Now we can add in a little bit of more details on. We can just use a light pencil again. Bulldogs have a lot of wrinkles, so can kinda, and some of the stands for the eyes will be pretty dark. But what kind of keep a little center here for the highlight and then the ears, the ears sort of on Bulldogs. They kind of come up a little bit like that. And so you'll see a little bit of a darker color there when we start to go in ad and color , but we'll get into that a little bit more in terms of shading. 7. Painting Your Pet: for this part. I am going to be using different colors, and I want to be a little bit more realistic with the colors that I'm using for my animal. But you can definitely use any color that light I'm gonna be using, uh, golden mats, fluid, acrylic, yellow Oakar. And then I also have some burnt sienna and then some tight and buff and all kind of play around with he's a little bit and feel free to test out your colors on another piece of canvas or paper so that you can see what things will look like. Um, beauty is if you mess up, we can always go over it with some just so kind of fix things. Right now, I have the tight and buff and the yellow Joker. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna mix these together, and you could do a lot. You can do most of your mixing on your palette, or you can go right on to your canvas. Harley kind of has a little bit of a darker spot under her or over her right face. And as your charcoal lines get a little bit wet, what kind of activate a little bit, but that's fine. And so right now we're just trying to do color blocking and getting our are shaped down her patch here so it stops right in the center of her forehead. And then we'll come over with more of the Titan buff, and we're just trying to get rid of that sort of pinky and and teal background that we started with. You can see it's a little bit. You wanna kind of blend these together. You can see there that the charcoal kind of blood a little bit, but that's that's fine. That's gonna add dimension and some of the shadows that we want to create in those folds. Yes, I want to keep in mind the way that the shapes are moving. So right now we have this oval shape, so we kind of want to move in a sort of rounded direction when we're working on our brush strokes. If we're going vertical, that won't create the illusion that it's round. So you want to keep that in mind. You want to move in the direction that those shapes are. So now we're just gonna move down to the body so that we can add some color down here and really focus on your animals shadows. Since we're kind of doing a straight portrait, we want to create the illusion that there are our shadows. So we'll have some more shadows that go along this way. And to do that, we just add a little bit of a darker color to the edges and then blend them in. And the great thing about mixed media is that we can also use pencils during the final stage toe, even add more dimensions to that. So now you can kind of see a little bit of the overlapping between our paper elements, which is really fun. Just adds another dimension to things. I sort of had this washing tape here that has some stripes and then the little polka dots here, which I think are really fun, and it just makes it a little bit more intriguing and something to discover. - And then we'll make the chin here a little bit darker because it is pushed back a little bit more so you want to keep in mind. You know, things that are forward will be a little bit lighter and then the things that will be in the back will tend to be a little bit darker. - So right here, it's a little bit darker, and it's kind of, um, strange to my eye. So what I will do is I will actually add a little bit of Jesse so that I can like in that area. So now that doesn't stand out as much as it did before. 8. Adding Details: I am going to now work on the eyes and the nose, and I just use black pain and you can go right over the entire I We can always come back in and add the little speck of, like, the highlight. So we're gonna let that dry, and then we're gonna come back and just add a little bit of dimension to the news, and then we'll also start working on, um, adding more layers. So now I'm just gonna assess where I would like to make some changes in terms of some shadows and highlights. And I still think that the years can be a little bit darker as well as here in the shoulders. So I'm actually going to use golden high flow acrylics, burnt sienna, So it's a little bit more fluid than regular paint, And that just kind of gives it a really nice light wash while still keeping a lot of you know what we've built up already. If you don't have, uh, high flow acrylics, you can just water down your pain. You can also use water colors. The best part about mixed media is really utilizing thes supplies that you have bombs don't feel like you have to run out to get exactly what I use. Some see what you have at home and how you can apply that to your work. So now I'm just gonna add a little bit of the burnt sienna, high flow acrylics Can you can see that That really just gives it a really nice light wash . And it also maintains a lot of that texture underneath and just using my brush and drying it off on a paper towel to try to get it to blend a little bit better. So now I'm really just taking in as a whole and seeing you know where to make some adjustments. And if some spots need to be a little bit darker in color or lighter, now that everything is dry, we're gonna use our charcoal pencil, and we're gonna start outlining things and kind of give it sort of an animated feel. And we can also use our charcoal and pencil to kind of, um at a little bit more texture and fill in some of these areas that have shadows, and that kind of just gives it a whole different dimension and added texture. A same time, We can always go back in and add more pain if you feel the need to and then we will finalize our background, depending on if you would like to have it a little bit more muted or if you want to actually make it a little bit brighter, we can add some washes over it with paint. So I'm just gonna start with the outline of the face. And charcoal does tend to smear. So you just want to keep in mind that you don't want to run here your hand over it too much . So it's always best to work left to right. Or if you're a lefty, you wanna work right to left, and it doesn't have to be perfect. What, We're actually going to do this once we've completed this step is we're actually gonna take a very small paintbrush and water it down a little bit. Then we're gonna activate the truffle, - and now you can see how much more personality she has. Just giving her some outline truffle. So for this part, I'm just gonna use a really small brush and I'm gonna get it wet. And I'm just activating that charcoal a little bit. So now you can see that it has a much smoother finish to it. - And you could even take this and kind of just run it along on top of your your pain and then for her chin kind of gonna. But this lead a little bit does. That area is typically darker since it's underneath. And then I can always add in a little bit more after the skull dries. But you can see now that it's got a great so much dimension, so much more dimensions than it had originally had. We can just keep working on it until you're completely happy with. And so now we're going to finalize the nose in the eyes, and then I'll probably work on the background just a little bit more at this step. Like if you wanted to add more washi tape or even some or scrapbooking paper, you could I'm actually going to just tone down these elements a little bit more and then do a really light wash of a hot pink so that that pops a little bit more and then with the eyes, what I tend to like todo is that a little bit of half. She half circle here and then I like to go over it with a pencil. Not just kind of helps, um, tone it down a little bit. So they're not bright white. And then for the corner of the eye, you can add in a little bit of pink to them, and then I'll just go over it a little bit some water and make a paintbrush when that gives it a little bit of like a gray I washed it. And so now they're not so stark. And then we'll add a little bit of a highlight to the eyes, and then I'm gonna take a little bit of Jess Oh, and water it down and then kind of follow the lines of the nose, sort of make too little squiggles, and then I'll probably just add a little bit of charcoal to the outside of that so that it has that same effect of the other parts of the face. So now I'm going to switch to the background and I'm going Teoh, go over some of these areas where the scrapbooking paper is with some just so to tone him down a little bit more right now, they kind of stick out a little too much for me. They're still gonna have dimension and some texture, which is great. But we want our animal and pet to really be the focal point here. I like that a lot better. Now. What I'm gonna do is at a little bit of hot pink, and that all kind of make it pop a little bit more. Right now it's very muted and more passed out like so. I'm doing a very light wash of the hot pink. If you want Teoh, the darker you can. I'm not going to do it all over. Really. Just gonna pick certain areas. 9. Final Details & Finishing: Now that we're at this step, what you're gonna want to do is finish your sides. And typically you can do that at the beginning or at the end. It's totally up to you. What I will probably do is at a little bit of Jess. Oh, with my paint color selection, you can mix both of them together to do so. It will probably stick with this. I really like P and you want to make sure that your canvas is dry so that you're not smudging anything where anything is dripping and so we're just gonna pay our sides, and it doesn't have to be completely perfect. But if you want to keep in mind this edge here and make sure that you have those I joined seamlessly together. And as I have added the paint to the sides, I'm just going around kind of joining the two sides together so that there's no inconsistencies with the lines. And then you can either sign your artwork down here on the bottom, right? Typically sign My chemise is on the right side and I like to use jelly roll pens to sign my work. I find that the consistency is really nice. I want to do that. Just lift up the side and you can also date it. And then what you're gonna want to do is you're going to want to spray your final peace so that you can protected. What I like to use is fix. It isn't. This is the fixing of that I like to use. They have different types. This one is for oil and acrylic. You can also get one from Cry Lon, I believe. And I just found this at my local craft store. Or I believe that you could find the fix it of brand at Home Depot. And that will just make sure that none of these charcoal lines are going to smear or water . Whatever touch this. That's just a great way to protect your artwork on. And I also make sure that I spray my signature 10. Thank You!: Thank you so much for joining me in my first skill. Sure class. I can't wait to see what you create. If you have any questions about class, the materials under supplies, please feel free to reach out to me. There's also a sketch of Harley in the about section that Freddie used for your project.