Take Flight with Mixed Media Abstract Painting | Jennifer Keller | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Take Flight with Mixed Media Abstract Painting

teacher avatar Jennifer Keller, Express Yourself with Creative Confidence!

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

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Color Pop


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Grunge it Up


    • 7.

      Edit and Embellish: Painting One


    • 8.

      Edit and Embellish: Painting Two


    • 9.

      Edit and Embellish: Painting Three


    • 10.

      Bonus Metallic Bling


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

The freedom of art is a beautiful thing. We have the power to create anything we want on the canvas. We can set down our cares and worries and fully take flight.  

My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and instructor, but what I do is help people connect to their souls through nature and art. 

Before I started abstract painting I thought it would be the easiest genre of art to make because you don’t have to make the painting look like anything realistic. But oh goodness was I wrong because along with great freedom comes the great unknown. Once we lift off from our comfort zone it’s tricky to know what to do next.

In this class, Take Flight with Mixed Media Abstract Painting you will learn easy painting techniques and unlock the mindset that will level up your confidence.  

In these step-by-step lessons, you'll discover how to

- Loosen up with a colorful underpainting 

- Create an easy composition with movement and intrigue 

- Collage with unique accents that will peak through the composition.

- Pop colors to attract the eye of your audience

- Grunge it up - just a bit - so that your work doesn’t look too precious.

- Embellish your work to add personality while editing it down so that it’s not too busy.

- Go deeper and stick with the process until the painting is finished.

- Discover how to add a touch of metallic shimmer to the work - if that’s your thing.

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’re interested in acrylic painting and mixed media and you’re curious about how freeing abstract painting can be. Or maybe you’ve tried abstracts they turned out flat and awkward because you weren’t sure how to capture the right colors and light.

So if you love playing with rich colors, gorgeous papers, and want to incorporate more mark-making into your art, now is your chance! Let's put your stash of papers to good use! 

You will embolden your confidence and boost your skillset. 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

Teacher Profile Image

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 being artsy, as well.

I invite you to vis... See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: [MUSIC] The freedom of art is a beautiful thing. We have the power to create anything we want on the Canvas. We can set down our cares and worries and fully take a flight. My name is Jennifer Laurel Keller. I'm an artist and an instructor, but what I really do is help people connect to their soul through nature and art. Before I started abstract painting, I thought it would be the easiest genre of art to make because you don't have to make the painting look like anything realistic. But, oh goodness, was I wrong because along with great freedom comes the great unknown. Once we lift off from our comfort zone, it's tricky to know what to do next. In this class, take flight with Mixed Media Abstract painting. You will learn easy painting techniques and unlock the mindset that will level up your confidence. In these step-by-step lessons, you'll discover how to loosen up with a colorful underpainting, create an easy composition with movement and intrigue, pop colors attract the eye of your audience, collage with unique accents that will pick through the composition, grunge it up just a bit so that your artwork doesn't look too precious, embellish your work to add personality while editing it down so that it's not too busy, go deeper and stick with the process until the painting is finished, and in the end, I share a quick bonus bling lesson about adding a touch of shimmer to the work if that's your thing. 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're interested in acrylic painting and mixed media, and you're curious about how freeing abstract painting can be. Or maybe you've tried abstracts and they turned out flat and awkward because you weren't sure how to capture the right colors and light. If you love playing with rich colors, gorgeous papers, and want to incorporate more mark-making into your art, now is your chance. I hope to see you in class. [MUSIC] 2. Materials: Hello and welcome to the materials lesson. If you haven't already be sure and download the PDF of full materials list is attached to the project resource section down below. I want you to know that all of the materials are optional. If you have something that you prefer to use, feel free to use it and make changes wherever you see fit. I'm starting off with three canvases because I want to have some different variations for you to see. You can have any number and any size is fine. I'm using a 12 by 12 Canvas. Next I have synthetic bristle brushes. I have a variety of shapes, and I'm going to be using acrylic medium for this class. I have a fluid matte medium for thinner papers and a regular gel matte medium for thicker papers. I'm using the golden fluid acrylics. These are a wonderful paint. They are different than the heavy body that we're used to. They have a lot of pigment with a lot of flow and they're great for layering. I will be using in this class titanium white, cadmium yellow medium hue, yellow ocher, chromium oxide green, teal, Payne's gray, which is really like a navy blue, quinacridone magenta, burnt sienna, cadmium red medium hue, and iridescent gold at the end. That's a pretty full palette. If you want to trim that down, just be sure and have something read something blue, and something yellow and then definitely a white. Because those are your primary colors and you want white for tinting. Next I have a spray bottle. This is great for doing drips. I have a palette. This is a flat glass palette with the edges taped off and you don't want anything with wells in it. Next, you'll want to paint rag and about a quart of water. Next I have decorative papers. I do not use all of these, but I wanted you to see some options. I have some scrapbooking papers. It's great to have different colors. Some of these are shimmery, which I love, and they have great patterns on them. Some are more bold patterns and some are software patterns and all are wonderful. Next I have a map. Vintage papers are great. This is a wonderful marbled paper, and I also have some wrapping paper. Wallpaper works great. This has a little bit of shimmer to it and it's a subtle pattern and same here, this is wallpaper as well. Sheet music is absolutely fabulous. Items with written words on them are also wonderful. Speaking of written words, I have a white gel pen, a ballpoint pen, a Sharpie, a stabilo, crayon, pencil. You can just use a regular number two pencil as well. Magazines are great, things with natural patterns, textured papers. This is like a felted paper that's embossed and has a wonderful crinkly texture on it. This one has a bamboo leaf embedded in it. Tissue papers are wonderful for the crinkly texture. You can also use tissue papers that have a pattern on them. The tissue part will melt away and become transparent and the pattern will be left visible for the composition. Also, you can use some recognizable elements. These are analog elements. I have typewriter, keys, and old rotary phone. Natural elements are wonderful as well. I didn't get into using these, but you absolutely could. I set up my table with my water and rag on the side of my workstation that I am dominant handed in. I am right-handed my water and rag or on the right-hand side. Next I set up my palette. Then on the left or my non-dominant side, I put my Canvas. That's everything for the materials right now. I will see you in the next lesson where we're going to begin the underpainting. 3. Underpainting: Hi and welcome back to the underpainting lesson. I have my setup already to go and now it's time to put paint down on the palette. I'm going to start with titanium white right in the middle. Next I have cadmium red medium hue up in the corner. Then I have Payne's gray down in the other corner and yellow across from that, and those are the primary colors. Next, I fill in between them with my secondary colors and I like it to be a big rainbow circle, like a color wheel and that just helps all of the colors flow into each other when you mix. I have three canvases right now that I'm going to start. I have one that is going to be on one side of the palette. I'm going to use the colors on one side of the palette for that. This is going to help with reducing muddiness. Then on the second canvas I'm going to do colors on the other side of the color palette, so they're going to flow the warm direction around the circle. This way, I have one side that's cool, the other side is warm and then on the third canvas, I'm just going to use all of them together. I start with dipping the brush in the water just to activate it and then I wipe off all of the drips onto my rag. I'm going to start with the darkest color, which is the Payne's gray and if you ever feel like it's tough to start the canvas like there's too much blank space, you can put a little dot in the middle of the canvas and that just helps "break the canvas", just starts it. But I want to do a lot of big expressive mark-making here. I have my big brush and I'm just going to scribble around and apply this dark blue paint. I'm thinking about the composition, I want to balance this in somewhat of an asymmetrical manner and working in threes is always very pleasing to the eye. I'm going to do three big splotches or swatches of this Payne's gray. I want them to all speak to each other in a way where there's flow and balance. I also like for this shadow, the dark portions of the canvas to go off of the page a bit. It just makes it more expansive, a lot of the times people paint right in the middle of the canvas. I like to flip that on its head and take these elements off of the canvas. That helps this little world that we're creating continue on. Now I'm mixing white into this Payne's gray to lighten it up. This is called tinting. Tinting is when you make a color lighter with white paint. I will hug the dark areas that I painted first and make a lighter area around them. This is just one way to do it, but I like to continue these shapes and have them fade away a little bit. If you make them lighter around the edges, they will feather out a bit, which gives it a nice smooth, calm feeling. But also keep in mind that this is the underpainting and it doesn't have to be perfect. Teal is also a lovely blue color that has a bit of white in it already. I can pop that in around here just to add variation to my blue tones and the values. When I say values, I mean how light or dark something is. If you think of a grayscale, that's a continuum of light and dark, and teal is light, but more of a mid tone. Here's some chromium oxide green. I'm popping that in next to the colors that I've already done. Notice that I'm not really washing my brush. All of these colors because they're next to each other on the color wheel, because the color wheel is basically a rainbow that goes around in the circle. Every color that's next to each other on the color wheel is going to flow into the other one very, very nicely and they're going to blend very well on this spectrum. You can see the green is right at the tip of the brush and I have Payne's gray towards the metal part of the brush and if I push harder, I'll squeeze out more paint. But you can paint from the end of the brush and paint with that or you can push down more and they will flow into each other. It's like you can control how much paint and what color comes out by how hard you push down on the brush. Now I've come around, I've gotten into my yellows. I have the yellow ocher now. Not everything has to blend really well. This is just an underpainting. But keep in mind that we're just going for covering the canvas at this point so you can get the sides. I'll be working the sides of this canvas the whole way through. By not washing the brush, you're actually harmonizing these colors. Here I've pushed really hard into the palette. I've squeezed out all of the colors that I used before on the brush, mixed them with a little bit of white and I have a combination of all of these colors that I've used. It's a yellowish green and because it has all of the other colors in it, they're all going to go together, which is the beauty of not washing your brush. It naturally harmonizes all of your color. I'm going to reinstate my blue tones, make sure they're really nice and dark. Do a second layer over that. That looks pretty good. Everything's covered up. I can make a few adjustments last minute, but remember, it's all going to be covered up for the most part. This is just the base, so we're going to leave it there and I'm going to wash my brush and let this one dry while I bring in my next canvas. Canvas number two. Here we go. We're going to start again with the Payne's gray, that lovely navy blue. The same starting point. Washing the brush and I squeeze off the drift so much that they actually splashed on the canvas, but that's fine. I'm going to put down this Payne's gray. Just be free. this is a really great time to just activate the canvas, feel the flow of the paint. The harder you push, the more paint will come out. If you want more of a feathery line, you can do more of a dry brush where there's not a lot of paint coming out of the brush and less pressure. I have my three areas, getting the sides of the canvas now. Next, I'm going to pick up some of the magenta. When I mix together the Payne's gray and the magenta, it's going to make a gorgeous purple. This is like an eggplant color. I'm again, going to hug the sides of the color areas that I painted before, expanding the shapes outward, and these colors are going to flow really well into each other because they're next to each other on the color wheel. I have larger dark areas in this piece than I did in my last one, which is great, because when you paint dark first, or in other words, the shadow color, you're creating a base of shadow that's going to be underneath all of these other elements that we're going to do in further layers. It's going to really feel there's a shadow under those elements. I've added some white to that eggplant purple, and now I have something like a lavender color, which looks fabulous and so it is blending up in light now. If you have a really light area next to a really dark area, there's going to be contrast, and the contrast will draw the eye to it. But if you allow things to blend and you take it up from shadow to mid-tones to a light area, it's going to seem really calming and smooth and more transitional. What that is called is a gradient. Gradients are when things slowly transition from one thing to the next. It's going to be more captivating when it's contrasted and more calming when it's a smooth transition with a gradient. Things are coming along. I'm going to pick up more white now tinting more of that color. I picked up some burnt sienna. Now there's a little bit more brown in the mix, but there's still the magenta from before because I haven't washed my brush, which is perfectly fine. Then I can bring in a really big pop of red, and it's going to seem really, really bright. But the more I smooth it out while it's still wet, the more it will transition and become a gradient. It just depends on how bold or how smooth you want it. Just have fun with this, don't overthink it too much. It's all there as an underpainting, so you can really just play with how these colors work when you blend them on the canvas, or you blend them on the palette. You're not going to mess it up. Then I can mix some white off to the side with whatever's left on my brush and create a peachy color here and bring in a little bit more light. But that is basically all covered up. Now I'm just playing with colors. As much as you want to play is fine. I'm bringing the lighter areas up in value, making them lighter, and that looks great. Next, we're going to do canvas number 3. This is where we use all of the palate and one canvas. I sped this up a little bit because you've seen me do this. The only difference is going to be that we go all the way around the palette. I've already warmed up with the other two, so this one just flows. I'm just going around and around. I went from Payne's gray, to teal, to green, to yellow. I'm establishing all of my cool tones now, and then as I turn the corner at that yellow, we're going to have more of the warm tones coming up. I'm going to wash my brush because once you include cool tones into your warm tones, you're going to get more neutrals. There's nothing wrong with neutrals, everybody talks about getting muddy colors, like it's the worst thing ever and it's actually not. It's not bad to mix colors that are not as vibrant by going across from the cools into the warms. I think what really is not good is when you have too much water with that and then they all blurred together and become a Muddy puddle. Even if they mix a little bit, it's still fine. You can just play until things get to a place where you feel it's getting a little chaotic. Then it's probably time to stop and wash your brush or just let the canvas dry. But for this case, for an underpainting, it's all good, you can continue to paint. If things aren't perfectly vibrant, like they came out of the container, no worries, it's okay to have things blending on the canvas. This is all painted, I'm going to wash my brush. Here's the three altogether. They look great. You can see this is the cooler side of the palette, this one is the warmer side of the palette, and then finally, we have the full spectrum of color on this third canvas. Next step, we have layer number 2, which is a pop of color. I will see you in the next lesson. Remember, practice makes progress, so I'll see you there. 4. Color Pop: Hello and welcome to the next lesson, Color Pop. We have our three canvases that we did in the last lesson and the cool tones, the warm tones, and now all altogether. Now we're going to add some great pops of colors. Again, here's the before, and this is the after. This is what we're going to do in this lesson. Let's start with canvas Number 1. I went down a brush size, I have a flat brush, it's a little bit smaller. I'm picking up some white paint, and I'm going to bring it over into this area of the palette that is still wet from the last lesson. This is a peachy color, which is, it has yellow, and red, and white in it, and this is going to look really good to layer over some of the lighter areas of the canvas. I'm using a warm tone, but I'm lightening it way up with lots of white. When this is next to these cool tones that are a little bit darker, the contrast is going to make this pop a lot, and it creates a negative space or a white space even though it's not perfectly white. It's going to give the eye a place to rest. You see by adding that, it made the other colors pop. But you can also make things pop by using colors that are opposites on the color wheel. The opposite of blue is orange. You can see how the blues are opposite on the palette. The orange is across from the blue. If you ever are not sure what is an opposite, you can look up a color wheel and you can look at the opposite side of the color, but you can also set up your palette this way and just look at your palette, which is why I love this so much. When you have orange next to blue, it will pop the blue. Another pleasing thing to do is to have gradients, which I talked a little bit about in the last lesson. But when you have like this orange that it becomes incrementally lighter that smooth gradation is going to be very pleasing. It doesn't have to be a perfect science, you can just eyeball these if things are getting lighter, that's what we really want is to bring light into this piece. The more you tint, the more you add white to colors, it's going to keep it interesting, you're going to have vibrant colors, but the light is going to be there. Because this canvas has a lot of cool tones, in the beginning I'm working the other side of my palette right now. I'm working with more contrast, more opposite colors on the color wheel, and also gradients just to keep this interesting. I love how it's starting to look. This light yellow warm area is making these cooler tones pop. It's also great to change the orientation of the canvas or in other words, flip the canvas. This way, you're keeping your brushstrokes going in different directions. You don't want all your brushstrokes to be going in the same direction and just follow the way your hand wants to move in one way. If you flip the canvas, it'll change the directions of your brushstrokes a bit. Here we have pink and green and blue. Right where those three colors meet, I'm going to do a few polka dots. When three colors or more start to create a little cluster of focal point, adding a few polka dots or some mark-making in those areas, and crossing between the different colors. You can see that magenta going over the green, going over that light pink, and over the paints gray, you can see how it reacts with different colors. Because that underpainting already dried, you get to see how these colors play together even more. It's a lot of fun. Here I'm adding more yellow, so I'm really playing up these warm tones now. Your yellows, your oranges, reds, and magentas, and those are going to react differently to other colors. It's an experiment, it's something that you can play with your whole art career during your whole art practice, each painting teaches us more. The more that you experiment with color and how things look together, they are going to teach you new techniques. Flipping the canvas again, I want to make sure I'm getting the edges, and I barely washed my brush. I'm just laying over warm tones over these cool tones, and all of my warm tones are becoming more harmonized because there's a little bit of each color in the brush. The less pressure you put on the bristles, the more the most recent color will come out. If you want more of a blend of all of the colors on the brush, you can push harder and mix on the canvas. I want you to know right now we're not trying to paint anything realistic, so you really have so much freedom. You have all of the freedom in the world. You don't have to take it from me, you don't have to follow my formula, you're not trying to copy what I'm doing right now. I really want you to embolden yourself to go your own path, to do your own composition, and to really take this as it comes. Bringing more light in now. Don't forget that light will make things pop when it's next to a darker color, and just lightening up these areas even more with more white. It's going to be lovely. You can really take it very far. A lot of people seem to hug the middle of the spectrum of light, so it's more mid-tones. Stretch out the light, get it really dark, and then really light. Then you can just pop a few little dots and marks around the canvas as well. When you put colors that are very similar to each other, I love it. I just love it. It just gives it so much more of a fullness. That is looking fabulous. Let's switch this out, shall we? We're going to let that one dry and work on canvas Number 2. Wonderful. I am putting more white out on my palette. White is the paint that I use the most of because I tint to every other color with white. I want to lighten up the areas in this painting that are already pretty light. I'm actually just going to go in with straight white, and use some really expressive marks. I can put more down in the corner. Moreover here and notice how that light area next to the dark just made the dark area so much more interesting. It's like the negative part of the painting, the space in between the focal points. We get a nice flow now and I just want to make sure that I'm balancing this out. Here I can connect a little bit. You can take areas and connect them. They don't just have to be splotches you can carry them over to another area. I made a little circle with the color in between that white. Now I can pick up some yellow. I had some Magenta on my brush already and I can bring more yellow into this piece because even though there was a lot of warm tones, there wasn't so much of the yellow. it's time to go into the cool colors now. I wash my brush and I'm bringing white into my green and look what happens when I have dark green and then a lighter green and then the white. It creates that gradient and I'm not even working that much on blending. I'm just putting colors that are incrementally different next to each other and splitting the difference. I just can't stress enough how important light and value is, so stretch your values out. Imagine this was all black and white. The light is what is going to make the biggest difference, and then color will matter secondarily, everyone loves beautiful colors but if they're all too similar in value, it's going to seem very flat. The light is what gives it depth because it's the same in real life, if you are looking at a tree, the light is going to be hitting the top of the tree giving it form and texture on the leaves and underneath the tree, it's going to be darker so that full range of values is going to make this seem like there's a lot of depth. I'm just going around with this teal. There's so much warmth in this composition that going around with teal and blue. It's going to pop a lot because blues are on the opposite side of the warm tones. Having blue next to orange is going to make it pop because they react to each other differently than other colors. The green is going to react with red because those are opposite colors. The purple is going to react with the yellow in a really vibrant way because those are opposites on the color wheel. When you put them next to each other, they're very vibrant and then when you mix them together into the same paint on your brush, they're going to neutralize each other. It's like if they're next to each other and they're not mixed together, they're very vibrant and if they are mixed together, it's going to tone down your color. Isn't that interesting? We'll talk about that later more but I'm just starting to plant that idea in your mind. I'm going around with a lighter blue now just having fun. I don't know really where this is taking me it's just an exploration and sometimes you just have to follow your whim and trust that it's going to take you somewhere. That is looking really fun. I think that has been good. It's time to let it dry and we'll start to work on Canvas Number 3. I decided to switch up my brush size. I've got a bigger brush it's the same one I used in the first lesson and I'm going into the white and I want to lighten up the lightest areas of this Canvas. If you're feeling like you need something bold, going to a larger brush size is often a good bet because it will cover more area and you'll have to commit a little bit more. My brush bristles we're splaying out a little bit on the brush and they were creating some interesting marks so I decided to just go with it and then I tapped down onto the Canvas as well and created some interesting marks there. Here I'm lightening up this third of the Canvas now, just going straight over and if it seems a little bit transparent, you can add more to that. Just do another layer over the top and it will make it more opaque. Really, all I've been doing is just tapping little brushstrokes. I'm not rendering anything very detailed. It's all about laying down color and playing with how these colors react with each other. You can take a really light color like a light yellow. I felt like it was a little bit too yellow, so I added just a smidge of magenta to it just to tone it down because the magenta is on the opposite side of the color wheel, the opposite side of my palette. When I add a little magenta, it just tones it down slightly but it's still very light. I also added some Payne's gray because I was running out of Payne's gray on my palette and this is created more of an earthy yellow. Now I have yellow and green and white on my brush and I can bring that in next to the yellow and because they are close on the color wheel they're going to be very compatible. I'm creating a little bit more of that smooth transition. I can add teal into my green. I'm mixing even more now and between the white and a darker green, we get that same transition. Then you can take it somewhere completely on its own. It doesn't have to follow this formula of being in a gradient or being next to the opposite color on the color wheel, or being next to something that's darker to give it that contrast. You can simply love a color for what it is and put it down wherever you want and be less strategic about it. It's okay to just play and be free. But if you're being free with your composition and then you realize that, oh, I'm into this area that I'm not really sure I want to be in you can come back to these suggestions and have fun. That Canvas is all set. I think it looks beautiful. I have my three canvases done and we are ready for the collage lesson so those are going to dry up and I will see you in the next lesson. 5. Collage: Hello and welcome back to the Collage lesson. We have the paintings from the last lesson with the color pop and now we're going to add some beautiful papers to those. Here's the before from last time and then here's the after with this lesson. Let's begin with Canvas number 1. We have a beautiful color range, lots of bright colors, lights and darks and I'm bringing in my papers. I'm really drawn to these mushrooms and I want to show you something, when you rip the papers sometimes you'll get this white core of the paper showing. But if you tear the excess paper away from you and what you want to rip out towards you, you do not get the white core of the papers. There's the core and there it is when you rip the excess away from you. I don't really care about this too much but it really freak some people out to see the white core of the paper. I just rip in willy-nilly but if you don't want to see that just rip the excess away from you and you won't see it. But I'm going to paint over the edges of the paper with paint. That will be camouflaged with the next layer. Now I'm going to arrange these in a way that fits in with the colors that are already down on the canvas. I like to tear into my papers but you can cut them if you want. I just hover over the canvas with the scraps of paper and determine what the best arrangement is going to be. I like to see them go in an area that is similar in value or the darkness and the lightness. It doesn't have to be a perfect match but it helps keep the integrity of the composition. I love the pattern of these natural elements with the mushrooms. You could use bark, grass, leaves, photographs of any natural thing that you really like the pattern of. This is just one example. If you have a different type of paper that's fine. Of course you're never going to have the exact same papers as me. That's what keeps it unique. Here is some written word paper. I can put these in an area that is a little bit lighter and just staying in line with the composition. Here are some more areas of written word. I am tearing these out. I really like tearing because you don't see harsh edges. But if there is a straight edge somewhere in there it's fine. But I don't like to have them on all of the edges of the paper. I liked the torn look. It's okay to layer. You can have larger swatches of paper if you want as well. Here's some wallpaper. I'm just going to rip into this and see where it's going to go. Turning the canvas, see here is a straight line and I can line it up with the edge of the canvas and that will give it a nice clean look. Then I can do another piece over here where there are also some warmer tones. This is a boulder paper. It has more contrast in it, some black. This one I can add near some of my darker blue tones and it will just add a nice area of pattern and interest into what was just paint before. The nice thing about paper is that you can always change your mind until you glue it down. You can switch it out for a bigger piece, which I've just done and add smaller pieces where it'll just be a little accent. All of these papers are going to be covered up as well with a good amount of paint. Not entirely covered up, we want them peeking through the layers. So don't get too attached and I wouldn't put anything down that you're really tied to the image. If there's something that you really want to show at the end, you can do it as a final layer. But for here we're just setting them and forgetting them. I have a nice arrangement now. I'm going to bring in my regular gel matte medium. This is the consistency of peanut butter. I do have some thicker papers that I'm working with here. There are some card stocks. The gel medium is going to work really well with sticking down the thicker papers. I just pick up a good amount, about a teaspoon or so and I get a nice coverage on the canvas. You don't want it to be sparse, you want it to be a nice even coat and then I take the excess that is in the bristles. Once I put the paper down I use that excess in the bristles to apply a top coat over the page so that it seals it in. I will start in the middle and go outward and smooth it all out. Some of the more thin papers will ripple a little bit. I find that magazine pages tend to ripple more than some of the others. Also tissue papers ripple a little bit more. That's something I am fine with. I don't mind seeing ripples when it's an abstract. In fact I think it adds to the interest of the texture of the piece. Don't worry about rippling too much. It's the nature of the beast. You're going to get some eventually. But if you want to avoid it and you want it to have more of a smooth look, just be more careful. If you're unsure of whether something is going to ripple you can always do a little test area of it on another surface and see what happens. I apply the gel medium over a larger area than the paper will take up and that way, all of the edges are nicely adhered on. The more you do this, the more you will learn how much you need, how much coverage is going to work the best, but you want a slick surface. You don't want it to be too much and then you get you're just wasting product. But if you apply too much down, you can always pick a little bit back up with your brush and then use it to seal in the top coat. So you can always tuck the brush under a part of the paper that you missed and you didn't get enough coverage and you have enough time to lift it up and bring some of that gel medium under the page so that it's really nicely secured because you don't want this to fall apart later on, you want really strong coverage and then once this dries, it's going to be very, very strong. I hold the paper down and I take a mental note of where it is going to come up to on the canvas and I just apply more, I give it a little margin around where it should go so that it's all nicely adhered. I rotate the canvas around as I go so that I'm working on the side of the canvas that's closest to me and I'm not reaching across and losing my place, so to speak. Getting everything nicely down, I love what's going on here. These are going to look really nice in the end. It's just for a little hint of the unexpected. People love looking through these layers and seeing what is peeking through, and trying to figure out what everything is and it's like a little secret. Moving around, turning the canvas again, I have quite a few overlapped pieces of paper here in this little quadrant so I will move things to the side. You want to get, of course, the pages that are down underneath to go down first. I'm just going to speed this up slightly and you can follow along. That one's down, now I can come over the top with the papers that are overlapped in front of those. Wonderful, I like the little starfish showing through and you can also make changes at this point before you glue it down. Like there with this green paper, I decided that I wanted it to be just a little bit smaller so that I could see the colors underneath. I actually forget to put down that extra piece that's off to the right, but that's okay. I'm going to save it for Canvas number 2. Here we have our next canvas and I use this piece of paper that I took off from the prior canvas and here's another and another so this is going to be a common theme that you will see throughout this little series of three. Here I'm bringing in some sheet music and this is an aged vintage paper, so there is no white core of the paper. It's yellowed all the way through. The gel medium is going to seal this end so that it becomes archival and it will be protected. Just doing the dance, figuring out what's going to look the best, here's some more paper and this has a slight shimmer to it, which is really fun. I'm just tearing off the straight edges and working that in and this piece does have a bit of green in it that I can work with as well. This is just one way to go about it. You do not have to have them match the paint that is behind the paper. You can just go haphazardly, at random. We're going to be bringing paint in over the top and everything will work out in the end, I promise. Because we saw the glue down before, I just remove that from the video and here is the second canvas, all nicely glued down with the gel medium. Now we will go to Canvas number 3. Here we are. We have our lovely canvas and we're just going to arrange our papers. I have the straight edge up against the edge of the canvas and this one just goes really quickly. The third one always goes really quickly because I'm warmed up and I've done the process twice already so I can just toss things out there and not overthink it. The more you overthink it, the less fun it is, I think and I just like to jump in. I've got some sheet music going down. All of these scraps are small, but if you want to be really bold, you can use a bigger piece. It's fine. Letting go to the outcome is really good at this point. Things are going to start looking slightly chaotic and just trust the process. We're going to calm this busyness down towards the end of the process. Looking great, just making my final little adjustments and now let's glue it down. I don't want to bore you with all of this gluing so we're just going to go like that and it is done so all of these were just painted before. Now we have some lovely textures and patterns and we are ready for the next lesson, which is to grunge it up. I will see you there. Cannot wait. It's going be a lot of fun. 6. Grunge it Up: Hello and welcome to the grunge it up lesson. So we went from just having acrylic paint. Then in the last lesson we collaged and now we're going to grunge it up with some drips and mark-making and just make it really crazy and fun. Eventually we're going to calm this down. So let's start with the dry medium, which is writing utensils. I have a handful of pens and pencils that I'm going to bring in. Let's start with the gel pen. I like to just scribble. It's a combination of the two. The canvas doesn't pick it up very well, but the paper does a little bit more. So I like how it looks like writing, but it's mysterious and you can't really read it. But I can imagine what I'm saying, I can just write very loosely. I know what I'm saying. Then it's like a little journaling perhaps. Now I have my STABILO crayon and I'm just going around with some scribbling. That's a water-soluble crayon. When I go over it with the paint, it's going to pick up some of that color. Here's the Sharpie. I can do the same thing, but this is permanent. You can go around, you don't have to scribble. You could do little dots and lines and accent some of the collage we just did. Ballpoint will work. But I like to keep it really loose. It's just to grunge it up, like the lesson is called. So that looks good. It's just a nice loose secondary element on the page. Now we'll do it again on canvas number 2. Just going across different elements is fun. I like to carry this through from the acrylic portion of the canvas to some of the papers. So you do want this to be dry or else it's going to gum up your pen. You can see how the pen reacts with the acrylic and then the paper and how much ink is picked up. It's more of a texture than anything you're really writing. Although if you wanted to write something very clearly and you had an intention about a word that really meant something to you and you want people to be able to read it, by all means go ahead. This is our third canvas just for the dry medium or the writing utensils. I'm going to come in and do some line work and some scribbling. Sometimes the canvas doesn't even want to pick up any of the ink. It might mean that your canvas is perhaps too tacky still. So you just do your best but try not to ruin your pens. I forgot to talk about just a regular number 2 pencil. This is a Ticonderoga pencil. I like how subtle this is. But if you look closely, you can still pick it up. Some swirlings and scribbles. Just going around really loose. That looks great. A little bit of that, but it doesn't take much. Now let's move in to the wet medium to grunge this up, we're going to do acrylic paint. So I'm going to make room and bring back my palette. Some of this paint is still wet from the prior lesson. But you do want to rag because we're going to do some drips and you don't want to get drips running all over your table. So I have a little brush, this little flat brush, I'm going to put some white on it. We're not going to launch right into the drips yet. What I'm going to do first is come up with a paint color that's close to what is around the edges of my papers. You can introduce new colors as well. You can use your finger to blur them out or fade them in. I'm just going to cover up most of the torn edges of my paper so that they're peeking through. This hides the edges, it blurs the lines and it makes it less obvious that they're separate from the painting. So we're just incorporating and see there, I went through the STABILO pencil and it picked up some of the black and turned some of that peachy color, more of a lavender, and that's fine. Coming through with some green and covering up some of the edges now on other sections. So just mixing up new colors and bringing them over the edge. You can stay close or change it up just a little bit. Here I'm mixing white and Payne's gray to get a nice blue and a little bit more Payne's gray to darken it to a mid tone. I can go around the blue paper and mix that in going darker. It bridges the gap between the area that has the writing on it and the papers. Pushing back what we just applied. Covering half of the edge of these elements is what a lot of folks call pushing things back. So you introduce an element and then you push it back with a new layer of paint that is slightly transparent or covering up part of it. It just keeps things really interesting and subtle. It knocks back the business. Very nice. So now that we've done that, I am going to work on some drips and I want to darken some of these areas just while I have the paint out as well. So I'm just bringing in some darker areas. It's really good not to get too attached to what we've done so far because our composition is evolving and staying loose and going with the flow is going to be your friend because if you stay rigid, you miss out on a lot of possibilities. Now I've tipped this up and I'm going to go through with a spray bottle and let the water run down and pick up some of that paint. Now it's carrying through with some interesting line work. I can pull it forward and catch the drips as they fall down onto the rag. I'm going to carry that away so that it can dry. Now we'll do the same. I've got some teal going around those papers there. I can add a little bit of white to lighten that up. You can cover anything up that you just didn't like. It's a great time to edit a little bit. But really the point of this lesson is to camouflage and these papers just a little bit blurring the edges. Letting the paint do its thing. Covering up the white core of some of the ribs. Maybe even introducing some new color to different areas. Anywhere where you want to preserve some highlights or shadows. You can carry things through a little bit further than they were before. Bring in some darks and some highlights and keeping things interesting, just having fun. That's the name of the game. Just have fun with this. Work it as much as you think it needs to be. Your preferences are going to be different than mine. Now with some yellow, all the colors are starting to harmonize here. I guess not starting to, but continuing to harmonize here. Here's some green and white. I think I had washed my brush maybe a little bit, maybe not. Wonderful. Now I'm picking up some white on my brush. I definitely washed my brush for this part. I'm going to bring in some highlights. Going around things that I want to keep and covering things up that I want to have more space. Looks good. This is all going to be areas where I have drips. I can do more line work, which is again grunging it up. So now I tip up the canvas and spray just a squeeze or two we'll bring in enough water. You don't want to drown your piece. If you want more pigment, what you can do is grab a brush, pick up some paint and bring it into where the water is running. You can dip the brush in the water and bring in more water and you'll have more flow. You can see where the black STABILO crayon that's water-soluble started running into this as well, which is going to keep it more interesting. So tapping off the drips at the bottom onto my rag, and now it's time to let that dry and bring in canvas number 3. I'm mixing up some white and peach, which is really just red and yellow and white. Then going around my canvas, going through all of my colors and just doing something close to where I can cover up the edges. I can use my finger to smudge it and blend it. Going round and round, covering up those ripped edges, keeping light and dark and changing it up where it feels good, because you want to feel good, don't you? So we're getting more continuity, more harmony, camouflaging. I added a lot of teal there. So I'm going to add some drips now and I can take my brush, bring it into my water and then I can add more pigment to those drips if they look transparent, but the drips always dry a little bit more transparent than they look at this point. Tipped it both up and down, so they go in two directions. That's ready for drying times. So to review, here's the paint, here's the collage, and now we have our grungy layer of drips and writing. In the next lesson we're going to edit and embellish painting number 1, we're almost done with this canvas. So let's get into it. 7. Edit and Embellish: Painting One: Hi there and welcome to the edit and embellish lesson. In this one, we're going to work on painting number one. We're going to take this from a crazy mess to a lovely edited and embellished painting that has a strong composition. Let's get on into it. I have my water. It's a new day. I got some new water. I let those dry overnight and it also helps to sleep on this stage or take a good break because our brains will problem-solve when we're asleep. Whatever it would be we we're working on during the day, we're going to come back fresher and be ready for it. I have my canvas ready to go and I'm going to arrange my paints in a rainbow, in a circle. I didn't really use the burnt sienna munch, so I'm going to leave that out. I have everything ready to go. I have a nice small flat brush. I'm going to use some white and we're going to find areas where we want to add some highlights. I think I'll mix some green in. I'm going to split the difference between this white and the dark green there. At this point, I'm following little bread crumbs of what I want to change. I want to continue to have nice light and color. I'm looking for interesting avenues to change. I can bring light down into this green area. That's going to give me some nice gradation and help to open things up. We want to calm this down at this point. Oftentimes the embellishments are just little dots and line work. I do a bit of that. Then it's nice to tie what you just did back into another part of the canvas. What I just did, I can do somewhere else. That is going to carry the eye around the canvas and help with the composition. Let's come down here. I've got this nice green piece of paper and I can take some of that light green that is in the pattern and expand it out. Let's try some line work. I think line work seems fun and you can drag it through another element like that orange dot. Now there's a richness and an embellishment about it. Here's some more organic lines. This is the embellishment part. I'm having fun playing and then editing with a solid color that's close to it and calming that down. Then you're going to be covering things up that you did before and you just have to be okay with it. If it's not the most important thing in your painting, let it go because it is very important to edit down. Let's do that over here. I'm going to carry that green that I was working on before and carry it through, creating a shape that now stands out against this backdrop green color. The green, even though I'm applying it over the top, it steps back and the more chaotic areas of the painting come forward as shapes and elements. What had been paper and writing and dots and color and all of this stuff, now looks like one thing that just has variation on it. I just got a bunch of green paint on my fingers. I'm going to just tap that and stamp it down. Why not use it? Otherwise it just get wiped up on the rag and I can just use that on the canvas. Now I have some light yellow on my brush and I can find other areas of the painting that have a similar color and I can expand them. I'm editing down, creating some calm. I can use lines and other elements in the painting to end that solid area of color, and I can weave in and out. I like what's happening. I like certain parts of the canvas more than others. Then those become little focal points. You can just choose how just fine these shapes are going to be. You can use a gradient to continue the negative space. That light area just morphed into a green area because it was actually where I had that paint on my finger and I tapped it off onto the canvas but the gradation keeps it smooth. Then we can embellish some more and add some dots and some other line work if we want. I am more intentional about where I put these now and part of it is just having fun. I feel like I'm always on two sides of the fence, being strategic and then being free. But really, the more you let go and the more you flow, the more fun you're going to have, and probably the better your painting is going to wind up in the end. Lightning things up some more, adding more white and yellow to my green now. That shape has come up to these drips and I can define my focal points even more. Don't forget to go off of the sides. You don't have to make it as detailed as it is in the front of the canvas, but I do like to have some interesting layers on the sides of the canvas as well. Now embellishing and the dots are my go-to, but you might have a different style and not want to do dots, so you could do something else. But now I've tied in those dark blue areas with the light dots over the top and it's creating more unity within the canvas. Going over to the yellow ocher now. I can make a gradation in-between that orange area and the light green with some of that yellow and that makes it really cheerful and smooth in there. Covering up some of that line work and writing. It is transparent, so I can see that writing still but I've just tossed a little yellow on top of it to keep it interesting. Now I've gone in with some white. I don't think I washed my brush but I went heavy on the white. Now I can define these lighter areas even more strengthening the negative space. It's okay if you want to go dark and use black or Payne's gray for this, but the light is more interesting in balance with the darker areas of my focal points for this painting. But if you want to do things differently, that's cool. Typically the negative space is going to be either really dark or really light. I wouldn't go in the mid tones as much. But it depends on what your focal point is. If your focal point is really, really light, you can go with a mid tone. It just depends on what the contrast is that you want. Following around. I have flipped the canvas on its side. Why not do a few more drips? More embellishment? I have water and paint on my brush and I'm just going to squeeze it onto the canvas and go across the drips that I already did. I can pick up more paint, that wasn't very strong. That is a little bit better. It's just carrying the eye in a different direction. Everything you do on your canvas has a direction. All of our elements are like arrows, pointing us around and telling us where to look. That has just brought my eye over. I can make it even stronger with more paint and bring it over to a new area of the canvas. Now, do more drips with more water and we're tying not to gather even more. Having variation and unity is another juxtaposition which helps a composition. Variation meaning that things are different and unity meaning that we're tying it together in a similar way. I have similar drips but some are long, some are shorter and they're similar to the blue drips, but they are different colors, so we're tying things together but keeping it different. Unity and variation. This is looking really fun, adding more white to that, making it stand out some more. I can bring it through the wet area of the canvas and allow it to drip all the way down. I can take my rag and come through and clean up any of the drips that I want to make more subtle or take away entirely. If they run through an area that you feel like it's too much, it's too busy and you want to calm it down, just go ahead and take a rag and wipe it away. You just have to do it before it dries and you're good. It's very forgiving. All right, let's make some nice magenta but we're going to tone it down slightly with some green. Yes. Adding a pop of brighter color even though it's not as bright as it could have been. We toned it down a little bit, but just bringing it through and then carrying that color around the canvas. It's nice to have some lighter accents of the same color. This has the magenta we just made, but it now has more white in it. This is just playing around. Reinforcing areas that you've already done that are light but slightly different in tone is also really effective. Just dancing around, embellishing and then toning things down. It's like erasing with color. Then it adds more to it. That was still wet so I can come through with my finger and blend it. Gorgeous. That's a fun little thing. It ties into that magenta really well too. Fun. More white now and more calming down. Changing the shape. If you ever cover something up that you wish you hadn't just go back and mix that color again. Wait for that section to dry and do it over. Or do something new, you might surprise yourself. Calming that down. Bringing that through. The bigger the swatch, the more calm it's going to be. The more contrast, the more exciting it's going to be. Flip that canvas. Every time I do this I feel like I'm creating a little story with characters. The more I change the shapes, the more the characters reveal themselves. This is looking nice. Let's embellish that a little bit. Lovely. Instead of dots, you might like doing geometric shapes or stars or something like that. Your personal signature, mark-making moves will be different than mine and just embrace that. It's what makes us unique. Now, going around different elements and bringing them out. With a cool light color you can go around things that are warm and add that contrast. Calming it down even more. Now I'm bringing more like square shapes in. Almost like patches. Those straight lines also reveal things and tie in other areas of the canvas. Honing in on things that we want to be focal points and then allowing them to stand out. Going with things that are working and giving them the stage. This is really coming along. It's starting to feel a lot more professional looking, coming through with more dots and embellishments. I hope you can see that, the editing and the embellishing, a little rattle dazzle and then calming things down. I like how that corner is going. It's bringing more blue, just give it a pop of blue there. But it's not a big difference. It's still reads as the same negative space, it's just a little something different going on in there. Okay. We've got our drips. I like how that little area is going. Let's work on it a little bit more. Lighten it up. Oh yes. Carrying those colors through with some dots. This feels almost done. I think that looks wonderful. We've gone from this craziness to a nicely embellished and edited painting. The before and the after. All right, so next up we're going to do the same thing with painting number 2, and it's going to be a blast. I will see you there. 8. Edit and Embellish: Painting Two: Hi. Welcome back to the edit and embellishing lesson for painting number 2. I'm excited we're going to get this 99 percent done. Right now we have a big old mess again on our second Canvas and this is how it's going to turn out. Again, this is where we start in this lesson and this is where I finished. But you're painting is going to look much different. I'm speeding this lesson up because you've seen me do this technique on the first Canvas. I'm just starting in with some light green. I am popping it in trying to make sense of this chaotic composition right now. This is the painting where I struggled the most, but also the painting where I think it's my favorite in the end. I think I made the most progress in this piece and overcame the most challenges. I love the color teal. I fall back on the color teal a lot over and over again with lots of my painting. The cadmium yellow and the teal make such a beautiful green color, this lime green. I'm bringing that in and lightening it up as well. Just keeping it bright and fresh now because it needed a little something. It wasn't coming together as quickly as the other two. The way I overcame that was to be a little bit more bold. I wanted to bring in lots of highlights. If there's anything you get in this entire class is that light and dark and values are your friend. Push those highlights, push the spectrum of light and dark, and you'll come up with some impressive pops of light. I'm starting to formulate this composition a little bit more, and I thought maybe I needed a little bit of texture. I am going to use the matte medium, the more fluid medium. I like to put it in a squeeze bottle so that I can use it off of the palate instead of dipping my brush into the jar because that seems to keep things a little bit cleaner and keep the jar a little fresher. I want you to see what happens here. I have an area that I want to add some texture to, so I applied the gel or the medium down and I'm going for a crinkled texture. The great thing about tissue is that you will get so much beautiful texture once you seal the top and get it in with a few folds and crinkles and ripples. Another really cool thing about tissue is that when you apply it over an area with color, a lot of that color bleeds through. Well, I shouldn't say bleeds through because it's not wet. But the color is not wet. It's not going to stay in the tissue, but the tissue becomes transparent. You can see through it so well, you can see there, but the crinkles in it remain. When you paint over it, you will see a beautiful texture. You can get a lot of pattern coming through as well, not just color, you can start to see some of the patterns that you applied down to the Canvas before. They'll show through and be a little bit faint. I've kept some of the medium in my brush and added some yellow ocher now, and that made a transparent color, which is always nice. If you want more transparent colors, you can add medium to them. Now I'm coming through with more orange. I have yellow and red on my brush right now, and I'm bringing that in. The orange is always going to look great next to that teal. They seem to electrify each other. Let's flip the canvas now. Let's bring in some Payne's gray. I am going to reinstate some of my shadows because they have been covered up quite a bit, and I want that range of dark to juxtapose against the light. I want it to be bold, like I said before. I brought in these almost like leaf shapes overlapping. This is the point where I was like, okay, I see what's going on. I feel like that gave me some direction. The more bold you can be and the more that you can just trust that your personal style or your personal mark-making is worthy of putting down on the canvas, the more it will be unique to you and also maybe break you out of a little bit of a funk. I'm just balancing that out, growing some of those shadows. Now I can bring them back a little bit with some lighter colors. Going over that Payne's gray with a little bit of white will give it more of a misty look and push back the harshness of the linework that I did before and make it seem like it's camouflaged a little bit. Again, we're embellishing and then editing. That is the game. It's the play, it's the dance. I love going through and adding something bold and then riffing around and just following my whim and seeing where the process takes me. As much as I would love to be able to give you a clear formula for these final steps, this whole part of the class where we embellish and edit, so much of it is riffing, following your whim, trying things out, and then maybe stepping them back a little bit and working them back a layer in paint putting something bold down and then covering part of it up. That is the dialogue that you can have with your Canvas. You want to take time to feel the flow of the canvas and the balance. Making things balanced is key. Just because I say balance doesn't mean it has to be symmetrical, I am doing an asymmetrical composition here. You could try symmetrical composition and it could be really fun, but for my work that you'll find in this class, it's asymmetrical. It's all pretty much just based on what I feel in the moment. Everything that I've ever learned as an artist, I can tap into in a small way here and there, so if you have a technique that you absolutely love and do you think it'll work, try it out, and then balance the canvas, getting those oranges worked in. Here I'm working in some orange into these negative spaces in-between the lines that I did before, and I wouldn't have known how to do that had I not tried out those lines in a few steps before. Here I'm doing similar lines but with a lighter paint. In the last lesson, I talked about unity and keeping things varied. You can always unify things with similar techniques but in different colors or the same colors, but a little bit different techniques. Then balance the canvas, do a little bit of that on a different side. But I really like how this area of the canvas is coming out right now. I'm just going to go deeper. If you ever do these steps and you feel like you're just not getting there, try going deeper. Following the linework that's already established, following the color patterns that are already established, and not being afraid, there's nothing to harm you, now you cannot run into danger. There's nothing that will hurt you. But we become fearful when we don't know what's going to happen when the unknown is faced. If you're feeling stressed or that you just don't know what to do next, simply trying something that's in your back pocket already can make it a little less scary. Then as you move forward, you're going to start to feel that freedom. The more you practice, you're going to learn how to trust yourself even more. The further you go, the more you will have fun and also your painting will develop. A lot of artists who just try painting for the first few times or abstracts for the first few times, they will possibly stop too early. The minute they run into that achy feeling in the middle of a painting, when they're really not sure where it's going to go and it's messy. Working past that achy, messy, confusing part, and just following these little breadcrumbs just from the step before everything you've done so far, you can start to feel that freedom even more. Nothing's going to hurt you. If you get to a point where you just really detest the canvas, try doing something very bold and you will bring yourself out of it. You can steer the ship around just by correcting yourself little by little. Then you can lose yourself in the fun of just sprinkling a few dots around or doing a few drips. Keeping those lights and darks in good balance, having linework in balance, embellishments in balance. You want the whole composition to feel like even though it doesn't weigh the same on both sides, it's not going to tip over. Having these anchor points throughout and following the weight of them, visually, stepping back, and assessing what you need to do is always going to be a good bet. Here I'm using this light color to follow around in some of the linework that I've already done. I'm hugging those organic lines and putting a highlight next to the very dark places in that Payne's gray. That is allowing them to pop more and be more interesting than if it was just one line. Then I can come through with some pops of color next to those more neutral areas and just give them a little embellishment, like putting on earrings or any adornment. You don't want the adornment to be everything you're wearing. It's like the saying goes where you should take off a piece of jewelry before you leave the house or something like that. [LAUGHTER] But deciding where your best embellishments are going to be in those focal points. Then for the negative space, you can create lots of light, airy room in-between the focal points. It's a lot of fun to just brief around with scribbling, texture. You use your brush in different ways, but you can calm these areas down. It doesn't have to be one solid, perfect area. You can see there I'm scribbling around with the white paint and then breaking it up with some polka dots. But the contrast isn't very strong. Those still read as a negative space. It's just breaking up the space in-between the larger portion of the negative space and the focal point to make it seem like they are connected. I'm using a pretty small brush at this point. I think I went down a size, so now I'm doing just a few drips, breaking it up even more, letting that paint run. Those drips will also run through the tissue that I added, creating even more texture allowing those drips to run through some of the organic linework that I did, is very interesting to me. Taking a moment to get the side of the canvas and then letting the paint drip from there is very fun. You can run your brush really easily across the top of the canvas and get some nice drips. Then you can wipe some of them up with the rag to create even more dimension. This is where we started on this Canvas. I love how it is coming along, it's my favorite in this series, and I cannot wait to show you how the finishing touches are going to go. But first, in the next lesson, we're going to edit and embellish painting number 3. I will see you there. 9. Edit and Embellish: Painting Three: Hello and welcome to edit and embellish for painting number 3. On this canvas, I have a lot of beautiful color, but it was really messy, and this is what I wind up with at the end of the class. This canvas looked a lot like the other two, but then turned into its own unique painting by the end, so let's get into it. Once again, I'm going in to make some highlights and calm down all of the color. I had a lot of expressive marks going, but the light is what is going to create space between all of these little pockets of focal points. This is the third canvas, so once again, I'm all loosened up. I'm feeling really carefree, and I can just launch in. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Here's a little yellow, adding some warmth now, I always feel like yellow makes things seem sunlit, and just a lot warmer. Toning down this yellow just a bit though because it was a little too bright, so I added some Payne's gray and magenta, and I'm going to just balance the canvas out with a bit more yellow on the other side. I've talked a lot about balance in this class, and this is just another example of that. Let's do some light green, picking up a lot of white and bringing that in. I'm calming down some of the expressiveness from my first brushstrokes in this lesson on this canvas, calming down all of the chaos, smoothing it out, balancing between cool and warm, and leaving my favorite parts peeking through the layers. Now for some more dark, I went over a lot of the dark, so just bringing that back and flip. I started these dashes, they began to look like leaves, almost like on a bunch of grapes or a vine or a bush. I continued them on the other side, they're a little bit darker over there, and I figured let's bring more in because that's fun, but I changed the brushstrokes ever so slightly. They're more chunky. Keeping that variation, and now I can push them back. Even as I'm narrating this class and going over my work, I'm starting to notice some patterns as well with bringing in focal points, bringing in new marks, and then pushing them back, and I am really enjoying that, and I hope you do too. Calming things down, embellishing and editing, getting that negative space nice and calm, and letting these focal points take the center stage. That color is really working for me in this composition, let's go with it a little bit more, but warm it up just a bit. I'm going to layer over some of these leafy marks with a lighter green, and that's going to give them a little bit of form because the Payne's gray gives them a shadow, and I'm going over that shadow with more similar marks that are very much like leaves, and I can continue them out into an area that doesn't even have the Payne's gray. They seem to just lift off and feather out into this atmospheric composition. If you have leaves, you might as well have a little bit of warmth maybe for some berry or a flower so this is all very natural, it's very plant-like botanical, and adding some white as well. Bringing in those magentas, the warmth is still on my brush, but just mixing it with a little bit of white to space things out even more. I think it's really fun how all three of my canvases have been so different yet they all work together, and that's because I'm using the same palette and working on them during the same session. As a series, when you work things in batches, doing steps at a time. First, it's the paint, then the collage, then the final refinement, it will make them seem like they're part of a series. That's really fun for the viewer and it's fun when you're learning and practicing. Let's bring in some tissue, I really wanted some polka dots here, I love this tissue paper. It's always been one of my favorites ever since I started using it. Because I can arrange just a little bit and the dots will show up in the end, but the tissue paper melts away and allows the bottom layer of paint to show through. I'm just using some acrylic medium, bringing the tissue over the top and smoothing it out, you can go over the edge. I love to carry elements over the edge of the canvas, and then you can see so much color coming through once the tissue becomes transparent with the acrylic medium. Then I have three areas total where I'm using this tissue because three is such a pleasing number in a composition, and it ties the canvas together. Then I'm going to push it back. So I have a light pink here and I'm going to go over the side of it just really lightly to make those dots fade back a little bit so that they're not so harsh all over. Now I have a brush full of water and paint and I'm tapping my finger with it, I can go back into the water, and also I brought some water onto the palette so I can mix water with paint and do a little bit of splatter, which I always love as a finishing touch. This is one of the last things I am going to do in this painting session for this lesson, but splatter always gives my paintings just a little bit of a floating feeling. It adds just a subtle texture to it and it brings in some pops of light or dark. You can use dark paint as well, and it will always be a crowd-pleaser. Now I'm just going around the edges and making sure everything is as I like it on the sides, just adding color to make sure that things are flowing from the front over to the side and this is looking really fun, and here's how we started, it was fine. But now I'm really enjoying it, and I'm ready for the next lesson where we are going to do just a little bit of metallic paint over these three paintings to give them a little bit of shine, so I will see you there. 10. Bonus Metallic Bling: Hello and welcome back to the bonus bling and recap lessons. In this lesson, I am going to add just the smallest bit of metallic paint to my palette. I have Canvas number one here, and this metallic paint is by golden and it's going to add just a little bit of shine if that's your thing, you don't have to do this step. If you don't want to do this step, I hope you'll at least watch so you can see how it goes. But I'm just going to pick up a little bit of this gold and pop it in throughout and it's very simple, but I'm just adding to areas where I can just put a brushstroke or a dot. Maybe a larger area over some of the yellow in the painting, like the yellow ocher and just highlight some of these areas. It's opaque when the light is shining on it, but when the light is not shining on it, it's transparent so you can use it sparingly just to catch the eye of your audience and make these a little bit more dimensional where the light in the room will enhance the piece. I'm just dancing around like I've been doing in the other lessons except this has a little extra bling to it. Here I'm going to do the same thing on painting number 2. I am using it as a highlight and also a color. It has a lot of versatility, but you don't have to go crazy with it. It's just for accenting, it's putting on a gold necklace. It's going to add just a little bit of flare and fun to your pieces. I have been really enjoying doing this with my abstracts, it just brings them out just a little bit more. Now, I think I'll sign the painting with gold. I put a little bit of water on my brush and then mixed in some paint to get an inky texture on the paint and then sign with a small round brush. I like that because it makes the signature a little bit subtle until the light hits it. Also because I added water, it is watered down a little bit and it won't be so glaring. I like my signatures to work within the realm of the painting. I don't want to make them stronger than what's actually going on in the painting. I want the painting to be noticed first and then my signature. Here I am going through painting number 3, adding a few brush marks here and there and I just love this, it's so simple and so much fun. If you want this pick up just a small amount of gold, you don't need a lot. Here's my signature, just working a little bit of water in with that paint to get the flow and then I want to go back and do the same on painting number 1 so that they all go together and here we have it. Let's review. Painting number 1. First, we just covered this canvas with one side of the palette and then came over the top once it was dry and added some warmth and then collage to add some interesting texture. Then we roughed it up with some grungy effects and then toned it down and embellished it, and I love it. Next we have painting number 2 here is the warmer side of the palette and then the pops of color over that with cool tones and light, adding our collage papers and then some drips and scribbles and writing and then going bold and bringing out more of an expressive mark-making effect. Painting number 3, we went all around the palette and then did pops of color over that, did same collage, now it's looking a little bit similar to the other ones. I did my drips with teal instead of dark or light and then came over the top with this botanical feelings. I love seeing all of the papers peeking through. We have drips and tons of color, fantastic focal points, papers and textures, and all of these fun marks [MUSIC]. Thank you so much for joining me for this class. I had an absolute blast making these mixed media abstracts with you. I would love to see your pieces and hear about your experience. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask. I check 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 to follow me. I also have dozens of other acrylic and mixed media classes ready to take right now and you can find them in my teacher profile or on my website. I also have a YouTube channel which I will link in the description below and you can check that out for other content. That's a wrap, once again, thank you so much and remember that if you in practice with an open mind, you'll learn something new every time. Happy creating, much love. [MUSIC]