Acrylic Painting: How To Create A Mixed Media Painting | LaurieAnne Gonzalez | Skillshare

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Acrylic Painting: How To Create A Mixed Media Painting

teacher avatar LaurieAnne Gonzalez, Painter | Dog Lover | Bob Ross Wannabe

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Preparing your Paper


    • 3.

      Sketching Part 1


    • 4.

      Sketching Part 2


    • 5.

      Color Blocking Part 1


    • 6.

      Color Blocking Part 2


    • 7.

      Painting Part 1


    • 8.

      Painting Part 2


    • 9.

      Painting Part 3


    • 10.

      Painting Part 4


    • 11.

      Painting Part 5


    • 12.

      Painting Part 6


    • 13.

      Painting Part 7


    • 14.

      Paintingl Part 8


    • 15.

      Painting Part 9


    • 16.

      Painting Part 10


    • 17.

      Painting Part 11


    • 18.

      Painting Part 12


    • 19.

      Final Piece and Finishing Spray


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About This Class

Welcome to my 4th painting class! In this class, I am going to show you how to paint a mixed media abstract landscape using colored pencil, acrylic paint and charcoal/chalk pastels! There are many different ways to create a mixed media piece but this is a great place to start. 

This class is intended for those who have taken my other painting classes and/or for those who have painting experience and want to learn a new technique to incorporate into their painting practice. However, if you are a beginner or new to my classes, I recommend taking my classes in the order below:

1. How To Find Your Own Style As An Artist - very important to start with! 

2. Acrylic Painting: Learn The Basics For Beginners

3. Acrylic Painting: How To Paint An Abstract Landscape

4. Acrylic Painting: How to Paint Using a Limited Color Palette

5. Acrylic Painting: Explore A New Composition Using A Reference Photo 

6. Acrylic Painting: How To Create A Mixed Media Painting (this class)

In this class, you will learn:

  • How to use charcoal and chalk pastels to create a mixed media painting.
  • My favorite paints and brushes to use.
  • You will see (and hear) my painting process from start to finish.

At the end of this class, you will have a new trick to add to your arsenal of painting skills! This is a really fun way to experiment in your work. Have fun!!

IMPORTANT: The paintings you create from my class examples are for learning/educational purposes only. Those paintings or ones heavily inspired by my class example (or my other work) cannot be sold or reproduced in any way. All of my work is copyrighted and that is a violation of the copyright. Please stick to painting from my class examples only (not from other work on my website) or work from your own inspiration photos.

I have linked all of my supplies below*:

Chalk Pastels


Blick Matte Acrylic Paints

Specific Blick Colors used:

Yellow Orange Deep, Sage Blue, Purple Madder, Orange Medium, Black, Teal Green, Yellow Oxide, Dark Blue Deep, Celadon, Yellow Medium,  White

Krylon Workable Fixative

Krylon UV Spray Varnish

White Gesso

Black Gesso

Golden OPEN Acrylic Paints

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Watercolor Paper Pad

Large Filbert Paint Brush

Paint Brush Set

Blick Paint brush sets

Gesso Brush Set

IKEA Brush Set

Artist Tape

Glass Palette

IKEA Utility Cart

Holbein Acryla Gouache

Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will make a commission, if you click thru and make a purchase.

Meet Your Teacher

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LaurieAnne Gonzalez

Painter | Dog Lover | Bob Ross Wannabe

Top Teacher

Hi Friends! I’m LaurieAnne and I am a full time painter in Phoenix, AZ. I mainly work in acrylic to capture all of my travels in paint but I also teach online painting classes and created a course I offer to professional artists on my own website called Art to Print where I teach artists how to make professional quality prints from their original art. 

Subscribe to my newsletter exclusively for artists and be notified of new course announcements.

To keep up with what I am doing, hop on my email list or follow along on Instagram! 

With this link you get 2 free weeks of Skillshare Premium. Feel free to share it with your friends and family!

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Level: Advanced

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1. Intro: Hey everyone, my name is Laurie Anne. I'm an artist here in Phoenix, Arizona. Today, I'm going to teach you how to paint a mixed media desert landscape. Using a variety of mediums in your painting is a lot of fun and a good way to shake up your painting routine. I'm going to show you how I like to use charcoal in my paintings to give the piece some texture in interests. Join me in the first lesson to begin creating your very own mixed media landscape painting. 2. Preparing your Paper: Hey everyone, I'm going to show you how to prepare your paper for my painting classes. For these classes, I've been using this Canson watercolor paper. This is a great paper I will link it in the description, but it is super cheap it's like 10 bucks for 30 pieces and this is an 11 by 15 inch piece of paper. Great paper, you should definitely get this just for general practice of watercolor. I am going to gesso my paper first and you definitely always want to work on the rough side of this. There's like more of a smooth side and then a rough side. So first to prepare, we're going to use gesso, I love my gesso from Golden. It's just a really good quality gesso and I like it, so I recommend this. All you need is just a regular old paint brush, you can get this at a hardware store, just something cheap that is wider so that you can cover more surface area. I'm going to get started. Whenever I gesso, I do not water it down at all, I just go straight into the paint and just start painting. Just make sure you cover all your surface, the whole surface area. For me, it's okay to paint on the table but if that's not okay for you, then you should definitely put something underneath here. The reason why you want to go all the way to the edge, because once this is dry, we're going to tape it down. If you don't get it all the way to the edge, when you pull your tape down, it will likely pull off some of that watercolor paper and you'll leave you with a really rough texture on the edge and it can even pull off some of the paint on the painting. Just make sure you get all the way to the edge. Once your paper is fully dry, we are going to tape it down. This is just an artist tape, that's white, I like white and you can get whatever you want. But this is particularly for art projects, but you could use masking tape, whatever you have is fine or if you want to buy this, I will link it in the description. I'm just going to tape it down and the way that I like to tape, I'm just getting it straight with my table right now. I like to do it like half on the tape and half on paper or half on the paper and half on the table, so you can see through it, it's a little transparent, so you can see through it. That's just like a general rule of thumb and then you'll know how to do the others. There you have it, you are ready to paint and I just want to reiterate how important it is to gesso your paper, let it fully dry before you tape it down. This is gessoed, when we remove our tape, it's going to have a very nice clean edge, otherwise, it could've ripped the paper off if you don't gesso it all the way to the edge, it will rip the top layer of the watercolor paper off. That is how you prepare your paper for my classes and let me know if you have any questions and I will see you in class. 3. Sketching Part 1: Hey, everyone. Welcome to this class. Today, I'm going to teach you how to paint a mixed media painting with acrylic paint. I love to mix media. That is something that I paint personally and I love my work. In the past, when I was in college, I would do a lot of mixed media paintings as well. You can approach mixed media in a bunch of different ways. Personally, for my latest work, I just use pretty much paint and charcoal, and sometimes oil pastels in my work. But in the past I would collage my camera with tissue paper and then I would paint and then I would also use oil pastels or charcoal or even oil paint and acrylic paint. I would use all stuff. You can really take this as far as you want to go. But today I'm going to show you one of my favorite ways to add in different media into my artwork. I'm going to be painting from this desert photo. I took this photo out in the desert here in Phoenix. I love this type of photo for a mixed media painting because there's a lot of lines and just different textures in here and it'll just go really well with this painting. But I am going at folding it in half so here's my little picture plane. Usually if you've taken my classes in the past, I usually just have like a small thin edge here, but today I doubled up and I'm going to have a thicker edge around the painting. That's a choice that I made and you can totally do that, or you can just keep the thin edge or you don't even have to have an edge. But that's what I'm doing today. I'm going to get started. I'm going to start my paintings. I always start them with blocking it out and sketching it out. First, what we're going to do is we're going to block it all out, block out the big shapes. We've got a mountain. I'm going to just go leave that right there so I you can see it and I can see it a mountain, more mountain. Keep in mind that this does not have to be perfect. This is really just like an idea of what is going on. It's just to make a place holder for the paint. We've got those planes pretty much mapped out. I'm going to show where the trees are and draw on some of these plants, give them a little place to live. You got some great lines with this plan over here. It's going to translate really well with the charcoal up we're going to use later. Typically, with a mixed media painting, what I would advise you to do, if you are working on a canvas or piece of paper that you can take in and out of your house during the painting process, I would recommend using this, which is a workable fixative.This is great. So say I'm painting acrylic and then I'm doing charcoal or oil pastels or whatever like in the smack dab middle of your painting. You may want to take this outside and spray over your charcoal and those areas, because what this will do is that it will keep it like semi in place. It's not going to be permanent, but it'll keep it in place so when you're painting and you're knocking your canvas around, the dust isn't just going to fall off, because charcoal is basically compressed dust. It's not going to just stay on there as well like colored pencil or paint would, so you need something that can help it adhere to the canvas. This is like a semi quick fix until you're finished and then you can do a permanent spray, which you would do with this. I'll talk about this later. But for today what I'm gonna do is, because I can't take this in and out of the house, I'm going to wait to do my charcoal part more towards the end of the class. That varies for me. Sometimes I will do it all like I would be doing charcoal from the very beginning to the end and totally just depends on my mood for the day, which is typical of an artist, just as like where the mood takes me, that's where our role. But for the purpose of this class, I'm going to wait till the end since I don't have easy access to spray outside. Just a safety note, do not spray these inside unless you are spraying in a spray booth that is specifically made for like springs spray paint or fixative or whatever. These are very toxic sprays, so you definitely want to be in a well ventilated area or outside when you're using them. Safety note. 4. Sketching Part 2: I am going to continue drawing this out. Just blocking it out, sketching it out. We've got some cool plants over here and I'm going to make these a little bit more prominent in terms of making my pencil marks just a little darker. Just because I'm going to be painting over these. I want them to shine through a little bit. You don't really have to do that, they'll probably shine through enough but I'm doing that right now. I'm just going to tell you what I'm doing. Get some of these cool plants, hey and look at these, we've got some awesome saguaro cactuses in here. These cactus are so cool. They are really something to see in real life and they get huge. When I'm done filming his class, I'm going try to find the photo that I have of me standing next to one of these just so you can get an idea of how giant these can get if you've never been out here. Because they're pretty magnificent, and sometimes they have crazy arms which these in the photo don't look too crazy, but they'll have all these crazy arms coming off of them like this, Like the cartoons. I'm sure you've seen these in cartoons and they'll have arms like this, but they look like people. They're not shown up in this photo, but the pretty cool cactuses. I will try to find that photos so you can see how ginormous they can get because they're really need to see in real life. I love the desert. The desert is full of different textures and colors and it is the perfect subject for a mixed media painting. I think that's a pretty good map of what we're going for here today. I decided for this lesson, I'm going to use as many different materials as I possibly can just to amp up the mixed media part of this. I'm going to map out color block with my Blick Matte acrylic paints. These paints are great, they're very inexpensive if you are new to acrylic painting, and you don't really want to spend an arm and a leg, these are so affordable. They're about, I think like $2 a bottle, this is a two ounce bottle. It really does last a long time unless you're doing really large paintings. If you're doing paintings this size, you can do a lot of paintings of size with just these paints. They're also great because they come and really beautiful color, so you don't have to be super well-versed in mixing color or anything. So I'm going to use these as my base layer. These are great quality, but I'm going to use my nicer paints, which are these Golden paints. This is just the regular golden heavy body paint, and then also I'll be using my open, my slow drying golden acrylic paints. These are more like fine artist quality paint, and this is probably more student grade, maybe even craft grade acrylic paint, but still a great paint. I love painting with it, I'll do a lot of my classes in this paint. I do sketches studies, and I use them as underpainting layers like I will do for this today. I'm going to go ahead and start squirting out some colors here, and then we will block it all out. I don't need a ton of colors just because we're just blocking the colors out at this point. I wanted to get a little bit of a variety, but you really don't need that many colors and doing this underpainting. Obvious to my right, which you can't see, I have my cart that I have my bucket of water and my paper towels. So that's what I'm doing over here. Let's get started. 5. Color Blocking Part 1: Something that was so surprising to me when I first started, like going on hikes in the desert was all the colors you all the desert. Like this is like a true color like this peachy pink color. There's orange and this is like a purple color. It truly looks like this in real life. It's beautiful. I love exploring the desert. That's something that we really enjoy to do. We don't like hiking in terms of vertical hiking, like climbing up the mountain, but walking around and just checking out all the different plants and colors is really cool and it just amazes me every time I go out there. We've lived here for four years and I'm in all, every time I go out into the desert and see all the colors because it's gorgeous. These pinks and purples and the soft blues, it's just full of pastels, so pretty. Let's see here. Actually, I need to wipe off my brush because this has a lot of other paint in it. Just to note, you do not have to map out with like a cheap brand or like whatever. I mean, a lot of times I don't do that. I was just wanting to show a range of materials that you can use for this painting is why I chose to do this today. Because there's all different grades of materials out there, like you can get student grade, which is typically going to be cheaper in terms of price, but good-quality, I mean, I paint with student grade stuff all the time even though I am a professional artist. But there is artist grade, which is typically going to be more of a finer quality paint. You can totally just paint straight, fine quality, whatever you want. But I just wanted to show you all a variety of materials today. Also, to map this out, I was using my little Ikea brush that I got in the children's section of Ikea. This is proof, you do not need fancy brushes to paint. I could do this entire painting in this brush. I'm not going to today, I have done paintings entirely in this brush, but just note, you don't have to have expensive materials. You can use anything all across the board. I'm going to switch to the Dilbert, One of my favorite brushes. The reason why I love Philbrick brushes is because they have this nice round the edge and you have this wider stroke. But then if you turn it, is this really nice, thin edge. You can get really nice. I'll show you. You can get some super nice variation in your strokes. You can get a line which actually you can even get thinner lines than that or you could get like a fat stroke, which you can get this with flat brushes too. But I really like Field brush just because it has a rounded edge. It gives you more, I'll show you when I'm doing my paints in here. I'll show you the difference in the flat brushes and in the round brushes because it really doesn't make a big difference. It's cool how much a brush can change the whole vibe of your painting, which is a good reason to explore different brushes. I'm going to put a little bit of black over here. Now, probably squirted out a little too much paint because I am just using this to map. Then I'm going to show you how I scraped my palate as well to clean it and then move on to my other colors. I have painted and this is the we're getting the mountains in the back, which is a little bit darker. Well, let me work on the shape a little bit because I do want this to be a good placeholder and you've got a little bit more going on. There we go. A little bit more of a slope. There we go. I'm going to paint and I'm a nice placeholder. These field brush , they always seem to be really nice sawyer brushes let me paint aside, which my hand is shaking because I'm trying not to. This is actually pretty dry. Well, not that dry. I'm trying not to put my hand in the paint when I'm doing this and able to paint it at an angle so you can see it, which is proving to be challenging. 6. Color Blocking Part 2: This is a good lesson to learn. Be aware of water spots like flying off your brush after you clean your brush because if they land on here and you don't mop them up fast enough, they're going to do this, which is going to be so disappointing if later in your painting when you're towards the end and you are like, "Oh, this looks like great," and then you notice oh, no, a water spot got on my paper and now you can see it. Just FYI, be aware of that because it can rub a piece even though you can go back and touch it up, it still can be very disappointing. I'm going to bring these down into the green. These don't have to be perfect because we're going to do many layers on these guys. For the last bit of this mapping out, I'm just going to give this guy a little bit of love over here. I don't know why it's doing that. No telling. Maybe I did too much water, that's also possible. All right, well, just kidding, one more. Forgot about this guy. See, this is great just to practice being loose because this is just your under-painting, it doesn't and then have to be perfect. It's just you're getting the idea of what's going on in the painting. I am now going to show you how I clean my palette. Typically, when I clean my palate, the paint semi dry, and I wouldn't need to spritz it down, and then I use a paint scraper to scrape it all off. My palette right now is pretty, some of this is semi-dry because as these mat acrylics dry really fast. But a lot of it like this, very wet. This isn't going exactly how it normally would go. But you get the idea. But to make it easy, if your palette is dry, just use a little squirt bottle and mist it, give it a few minutes and it'll come off just like butter. It's awesome. I love painting on glass. That is something that I 100 percent recommend because I used to paint on Styrofoam plates, which I know they are not eco-friendly. They're not the best solution for trying to prevent waste. But it's just what I had at the time and that's what I've I've painted with. But I would go through so many Styrofoam plates and then I discovered painting on glass, and it is so amazing because you can just spray it and scrape it off and by the way, I just want us to all note how pretty that paint blob is. That is like an abstract painting in itself. I wish I could save it, but I got to get it off of here for the class, so I got to wipe it away. Bye beautiful. That even turned out cool. I'm going to wipe all this down. I want to also just note that I typically do not get rid of that much excess paint like that. If I have a lot of paint leftover, but I'm ready to move on to something else, I'll get out another piece of paper and sketch something out and use the paint as much as I can while it's wet, but can't really do that right now since I'm recording. So just FYI, that is a good way to not waste paint and to use what you've got left over. Now, I'm going to start squirting out my nice paint, or my really fancy paint, as I like to call it, my golden paints. These are really wonderful paints. I used to not really love painting with acrylic, just because some acrylic can give you that fake plastic, really shiny look that just doesn't seem like a high-quality piece of art. 7. Painting Part 1: Golden just is a beautiful finish. I don't know how they've done it but they've mastered a really beautiful finish that just has very high quality feel to it. I totally recommend golden paints 100 percent. I really like using this Winsor Newton titanium white is a great mixing white. You can get this big bottle of it for maybe, I want to say maybe $ 20 or so which may be 20 bucks is lot,, but this is a pretty big old bottle as lasted me for months and I pay all the time so that tells you anything. The colors I've been squirting out over here I have my carbon black, my hand say the yellow medium, my Payne's gray, my yellow ocher, and in my Alizarin crimson hue those in white that I just showed you. These are my start off go tools and we'll start with this larger filbert and this is a da Vinci brush it's very nice brush and it's a size 16 and all of my supplies I will link them so you can check them out. I usually buy all of my stuff from Blick they're great. Blick always has deals, they've got a coupon deal pretty much all the time, just go to their website and at the top of their website it'll be like, putting in blah, blah, coupon code if you are buying to get free shipping or 10 percent off or whatever. Definitely check them out for deals because they've got them. They have like pretty much any art supply you could ever possibly need. You will notice that I have pretty much painted over all of my sketches and I can still see a lot of them under my under painting. Which is great and maybe I would have preferred to see them under this peach part but I can't and it's not a big deal so not a big deal. I'll just draw them back in. when I am ready to paint them or paint them in, we'll see which one happens. These paint you can't tell it's just a really high quality paint. I'm going to go ahead and try to paint in some of the different values in this peach in purple area. There's some darker, peachy, orangey area here and here and a little there and there. Then I've seen a lot of white right there. I'm going to go ahead and so paint that ends so that it's in my undermost layers. Because I don't want to have to paint it and later and it show up chopped up. I'm just going to go ahead and get it in there now. Be bold, I guess it depends on what painting you want but if there's light spots make them light, you don't have to do super blended and stuff and be bold, it's a painting, it's supposed to look like a painting. Unless you're going for photo realistic painting which is also amazing and if you do that, please show me what you did because I would love to see that. I'm always fascinated by people who can paint photo realistically, where it looks identical to the photo that is truly an amazing talents, so show me if you do that because I would be so excited to see that. I like those strokes, I'm now going to just map out a little bit more with the paint, some of these things I didn't do before like these really cool brushes which I wish I have a photo of them to show you, but they're such neat color they're these gray blue, sage bushes right here. They're really neat bushes and I just really like them. 8. Painting Part 2: I can paint these in a little bit. To give them a nice home, a little holding place until we put them in a little bit more permanently. You'll notice, see right here, because this is all wet, I'm going to have like a very more like a wet on wet technique going on. It's all going to blend a little bit more, which is totally up to you if that's what you like. Great. If you don't like it, let it dry a little bit before you go and paint it all in. I personally, I'm fine with it. I let all my paintings do their own thing. Sometimes they'll be like a wet on wet. Sometimes I'll need a break from painting and so I'll let everything dry and then come back and finish it, and it'll be a little bit different. It's just up to you and what you prefer. I've got some really nice orange plants down here. I want to add then in. If you have taken my limited color palette class, which I hope you have because it's a fun one. I really enjoy teaching that. You will have learned that I love painting, I love this green that comes from my Hansel yellow medium and carbon black. It just makes a really nice olive green. You can get so many different shades off of this green just by either adding white or more yellow, or even in this case a little bit of peach, you can get so many really cool colors, but it's just a really great color combination to get a nice olive based green. I loved it. I talked all about it in my class. If you know what I'm talking about then you're probably like, "Oh yes, we know that you love that, like green." I'm putting in just like the tree line right now because I want to work on these bushes that are coming out of the top. This is a great time to show you the difference in these brushes. Here is a round brush example. There's a round edge. It's round. You can get real nice round edge. Here is a straight edge or flat brush. See it's much different. It's not like night and day different, but it will definitely give you a different feel. Like this will give you more of a straight, like boxy feel and this will give you more of a round, softer feel. It's up to you. For me, I prefer the more natural rounded feel for this painting, but I use flat brushes as my primary brush all the time in other paintings. It's just the look that you're going for at the time is how you would determine whether you want to use a round brush or a silver or a straight flat brush. I'm going to draw in these and give them a little bit of a presence before I do my sky because I like layers. I like doing lots of different layers and just having lots of different things going on. Even though a lot of that we've already get painted out, I still like having it there. It's like the history of my marks are still in the places even though they get painted out. I personally just like that. We'll make this guy go over here. All of that will definitely get painted out because we going to add layers to this [inaudible]. But again, the history is there and we can go back and remember, Oh, I had that cool little branch going by. Let's add that back in. I'm going to darken this up a little bit and just go ahead. Paint in these dark colors before I go too much further ahead. Because you can see dark and then it is getting lighter as it goes up. 9. Painting Part 3: I will also when we get to the charcoal, I will be bringing the charcoal in to add to these dark areas for sure. Before we go any further, let's get our sky in. My favorite brush to use when I'm painting a sky is this brush, although this is a little large for this piece but I'm going to use it anyways just to cover more surface area quicker. But this is my favorite brush to use in any sky or the sky if I'm working on a really big painting, I'll use it. Its dad brush. Its a large version of it. These give really, really nice round strokes because they're the filbert as well and they're great for clouds. Even though typically I don't really paint clouds in my desert. Photos which you can see, which there's wet on here, that's not clouds. Desert skies are typically clear as they can be. There's not really many clouds in the sky and I've said this in another class, but I'll say it again. My mom when I was painting my desert series, which you can see on my website, she was like, "Where are the clouds?" It was funny because I didn't really think about it too much and then I was like well, we don't really have clouds. I've been painting from these photos and the clouds just didn't seem right because they they don't really exist unless it's monsoon season which actually happens to be monsoon season right now. Which is being raining like crazy and we've had crazy beautiful clouds and it's been such a refreshing season because it can get hot and the rain cools it all off so it's been amazing. Also for my desert skies, I like to give them a tint. Whether it's a pinkish tint or whatever. I just really like giving them a tint. This one right here has an orangey, purpley tint. Its almost like you know how the sky looks after or during a sunset or a sunrise like that just hazy. More so a sunrise that hazy color. That's what I like to be intentional about with my deserts skies. I want you to notice that I'm using this big old fat brush on this small area and I'm going in between these pieces in perfectly. I love this. I intentionally do this because I think it gives the piece so much interests having these crooked off, centered off winds going around the pieces but it just adds a lot of interest to the piece. Personally, I believe you don't have to do that. You can get a really like a small brush and go around every cactus and every tree if you want to, its totally up to you. But that is a personal preference of mine. I'm really happy with the sky. I like that color combination that we've got some bluish purple. We've got some kind of an orangeish peachish shade over here and it just varies throughout. I really like that. My sky brush-up. I'm going to just tackle these bushes because they kind of feel like they usually take me a little bit longer. I'm just going to go ahead and jump right in with these because you have to blend them all together and get them just the way you like them. They have a little bit more of a golden color to them. I wonder if you can tell, these have a little bit more of a golden green we can add that in. I'm using my medium-sized filbert but you can use whatever brush you want to use. 10. Painting Part 4: When you're mixing your colors, be sure to move your brush around, flip it when you're mixing it because both sides are going to have different paint on it from when you first started. Be sure to mix it also. You don't get over here and you think, "I've got light on it," and then you turned your brush over and you did a stroke and then it was dark, but you really wanted the light. Just keep that in mind. I'm going to show you an example of how sometimes I mix my colors just on my canvas. I have this lighter green, I have this darker green, then I've mixed the medium green in here. I'm trying to blend the two. Then I'm going over here and grabbing some light colors and using that as well to mix the color on the canvas that give it more of a natural. See how this is blending it more naturally. Very nice. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about all the little plants that I painted over. We will get to those. In fact, maybe we'll go ahead and get to them now. I'm going to use this little silvered, telling you I love my silvered brushes, they are just the best. The trunks of these little, I think they're cholla plants I'm not 100 percent. That's what I believe just based off of my friends who grew up here what they call them. Although different walks have gone on in the desert, but they're a brownish, tarnish. So I need to actually lighten this up a little bit. Color. This is a good base color and then we can add more. So there's one right here. They've got these two trunk thingies, and then they've got all these great, bright, spiky leaves, not leaves they're more balls of spikes that shoot off of them, and apparently they do jump at you. I think they're called jumping chollas or something like that, and they apparently jump at you if you get too close, it's their defense mechanism. Word to the wise, don't get too close even though they're really pretty plants, they might jump at you. I haven't seen it happen, and I maybe interpreting that wrong when I've been told that but that's what they tell me. They as in my friends who are from Arizona. I'm rinsing my brush really good, and this is just a good reminder for all of you to rinse your brushes really well because you can ruin really nice paint brushes by not doing that, and don't leave your brushes just sitting in water either because they will rust. So we've got those painted in. I like how that's looking. I'm going to go ahead and paint in more of this big guy over here because he's a big presence and he needs to make his presence known. So we're going to get him good and sketched out, and see there's a lot of gray in here too that is going to be a really nice spot for the charcoal to come in. Really looking forward to doing that. You might be a little freaked out at first because you're going to have this nice painting. Don't freak out, it's totally great. It's going to just add to your piece. Just go with it, trust me, and if you hate it in the end, then just paint it again, because you need the practice, and I more than anyone can relate to wanting to keep a piece because you're , "Oh, it's just so great," but I promise you, I have a painting for over 18 years so. 11. Painting Part 5: I do know a little bit about what I'm talking about when it comes to this, but don't get too precious about your work, especially in the beginning if you're just starting out as an artist and trying to learn to paint, and how to create, and find your voice, and find your style. Don't get too precious because, as soon as you start thinking, this is perfect, I'm never going to change it, you hold yourself back from growing. Let it go. Paint many things, paint a lot of things and paint them really fast. That's just a good exercise. I recommend just doing really fast sketches and paints. Maybe do 15-minute paints, like paintings, and just allow yourself, give yourself room to start over and to learn because you will grow so much by doing that because I remember, especially, with my very first painting in my desert series, which you can see on my website, you will not see this painting on my website because I ended up painting over it. But the very first desert painting I painted was so intricate, and detailed, and completely overworked, but I worked so hard on it and I was really proud of it. It took me a while to start the rest of the series because it was my first one. So I was exploring a new subject and I got really attached to it because I was really proud of the way it turned out. Well, turns out I needed just to get that out of my system to get the really, really amazing work that I loved out. I allowed myself to say, "Okay, Lorien. You painted this. That looks great, but something else is going to happen after this and it's going to be so much better because it always works that way." One of my mottos in painting or in all art is get the bad workout first because the good work is going to flow. If you start drawing, you start painting and you hate what you made, or even if you love what you may, just keep going because it is going to get so much better, and I can promise you that. As long as you practice and the more you practice and the more you try, your work is going to improve. Practice makes perfect, seriously. Whoever came up with that, they really knew what they were talking about because that is 100 percent accurate. I endorse that message 100 percent. But anyways, I was just so attached to that painting and then I let it go and it just led to my favorite painting series that I've done yet. Then I painted over that one because it didn't even go with the rest of the series. It didn't look good and I didn't like it near as much once I got out all my other work that I loved. That's just a personal experience that I hope you can take a little bit from and learn from. I'm just filling in this dude's. I was about to say feathers. His leaves and getting him just sketched out in his presence on the page. Same with this little guy over here. I like how, I guess, sketched out its bones, its skeleton, so we can still see it underneath, and then now, it has its foliage and leaves on top. You get a very complex looking plant overhead just by sketching out his skeleton. He looks really cool. Then it's going to just keep getting cooler because we're going to add the charcoal, eventually. I'm going to go ahead and dab in these guys, these cool little dudes over here. They're neat and I love whenever I had do a desert painting that has these. They are a fine addition because I have this nice, bright highlight to them and they just pop out on the page. I always really like that about these plants. This is already looking really nice. 12. Painting Part 6: I'm going to let those dry, or just hang out. Now I'm going to go and I'm going to do a little bit more work on those cool sage bluish plants that I was telling you about earlier, that I just love the color of. See, it's mixing good color for them. They're here. I'm just going to add a little bit more of these in here, and I am now using my Filbert, but more so on its side. The Filbert is a low versatile, nice brush. You can just get a lot of different shapes out of it. Darker colors in these. We'll highlight them later. I'm going to go ahead and do another layer on my [inaudible]. I go back, and forth between all of my elements on my page. I will just do layers back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until I'm happy with how it looks. That is a personal preference of mine. Some people they paint all their dark scene, and then they paint all their light scene, and they're done, or they do their dark mid, and light tones. I bounce all around. That's just my style and the way that I taught myself how to paint. So just take that as you want it. You don't have to do the same thing, but that's just what I do. I go steady hand for these guys, because they're small. I'm looking for some more darker areas to paint them in again. Awesome. I am going to do a little bit more light here, work these, and get these in there, and then I can blend them in a little bit more if I want to. I'm blending in some of my colors right now. 13. Painting Part 7: I like that, I like how all that looks. Something that I want to encourage you to do is to change your brushstrokes. We've got horizontal brushstrokes over here, we've got these little up and downs and obviously vertical brushstrokes with the squares, but just change up your brushstrokes because you can just get a little bit more variety in how your painting looks and it just makes it more interesting. Also, I will say too there are paintings out there that are really, really cool that I'll paint in one direction. But when you're practicing and when you're learning, change up your style, change it up and try new things, because you're still just finding your voice and finding your own personal style. I like how much this is going to have some variation in this back mountain. Just painted over that tree, which is totally fine because I'll go back and paint it in. That's the beauty of paint, paint over something, you can paint it back in. If you don't like something anymore, you can paint it out, that is the beauty of it all. I actually really like that blue back there, I don't think I even need to mess with it. I like these two contrasting blues and you can see in the picture this mountain is closer, so it's darker and that's further away, and it's lighter. I like that, it's just turning out really nicely. I'm going to draw this guy back in that I painted over and it makes it a nice green. Oh, my pallet is filling a little dry over here, so I'm going to miss this. This is one of my tricks that I like to do, it's just a good idea to keep a little mister, not necessarily a spray bottle because you don't want to douse your pallet because you can sometimes have too much water, but a little mister like that is fabulous. It's just such a helpful tool, I use it a lot and especially traveling, it's a great way for me to take my tiny little watercolor kit, and if I'm on an airplane or I'm somewhere where I can't have a cup of water but I need to missed my palette or get my pallet wet, I use this little mister, it's a great tool, so highly recommended finding you a little spray mister like that. Just drawing this little guy back in, and I'm going to go ahead and work on this to another layer, to the silhouette arrows. So now they're pretty dark and I'm going to look and see where they look light. There's a couple of light guys in this cluster here to show the front and the back. I'm just going to paint just on one side and not even on all of them, because you want to show that they vary in depth. Sorry if you can't see this, it's awkward painting like this, I'm trying to make sure you can still see it. I made that too fat, but we're going to fix it. That didn't really fix it. Just made them all little thicker to make up for that and that's fine, they were skinny anyway. 14. Paintingl Part 8: Okay. I need more yellow. There it is. This may be a good time to add in our charcoal. Charcoal is fun, and like I said before, you can use all kinds of different mediums for mixed media paintings. When I go between charcoal and oil pastels, it just depends on my mood and the look I'm going for, but it is a fun way to experiment with different materials and get different textures in your work, so as soon as I wrap up these bushes, we're going to move on to the charcoal. I think I need just a little bit more. I add in some more lights. With stuff like this where you're trying to get a bunch of different variations of green or whatever color it is that you're working with, it may take you a minute to go back and forth and work it, and do all this stuff and that is fine. Take your time. Don't feel rushed and like you have to keep up with either me painting if you're painting this video or if you just feel like you're doing too much, it's totally fine to take your time and get it the way that you want it. I think now is a good time to charcoal. Let's get the old charcoal out. I have this cute little dish here that I made actually in pottery class, full of my chalk pastels. These are like I said, chalk pastels, which sometimes I'll use all of the colors or whatever colors relate, maybe I would use some peach in here. But typically I just use charcoal or a white charcoal, but it depends on my mood and the look I'm going for the piece. Today, I'm primarily going to use just the black charcoal and I may use white we'll see. Probably not, but we'll see. I'm going to just start here. Don't be scared, I know this could be a little scary after you have this really nice painting, don't be scared. Just go for it. I'm going to draw in all these roots and stuff, and as you're drawing move the charcoal around, just because you'll get really interesting lines. It's perfect for this piece because all these bushes is all crazy looking, so having a bunch of organic looking squiggly lines is going to only add to the piece. Then I like to add a little charcoal to these guys here, and I love adding charcoal to my plants because it's almost like these are blobs of color and then the charcoal gives it its shape. 15. Painting Part 9: If your paint is really wet, it may not do the best in terms of it may just push the paint around versus making a mark. You may have to wait for your paint to dry a little bit more before you start adding in your charcoal. I even like to add it to my silos and then these guys. So cool. Really it just adds interesting elements to it and then I'm going to show you how I like to paint with it too and if you are pushing paint around, it can leave some really cool marks like in here, see that? It's just making like indentions in the paint. I actually like that a lot because it's like you have the roots of these bushes, but then it blends in a little bit at the top. That's actually a really cool element of it. Just let the materials do what they do because they can do pretty cool stuff. I'm going to paint with the charcoal and the paint now. This is not really a learned technique at all that I discovered or learned, I've been painting this way since college and it's just something that I keep doing. I like it and I found that it works for me, so that's what I do and I usually just paint on my brush and paint over some of the marks, not all of them because I want the charcoal to be charcoally and then after this point sometimes I'll even go through and add more charcoal into the piece. Splits my palate, it's feeling a bit dry. Ran out of water, hope I don't need it anymore. I can just use my bucket of water. That's fine. This color just gives it like a smeared look. You could totally just do this with paint, like a dark paint if you wanted to, but it's a nice way to draw in what you want and then go back and make it look painted. Although like I said, I like both the painted look and the actual charcoal look. I don't do it all. I just do it a little bit just to have a little bit of variation in my textures. In this guys, we can make it just part of the painting. I like to just go back and forth with my lights as well with my darks and the charcoal. 16. Painting Part 10: I feel like painting is like a dance, is a lot of back and forth, back and forth especially when I use much hierarchal because I'll paint it, I'll draw it in and then I'll paint over it, and then I'll go back and I'll draw more in. It's just a back and forth thing. It makes it fun and it keeps it really interesting. I just adds a lot of depth and layers to the piece. Even like to just sketch out the background a little bit. Let's play around with the white. Let's see what happens with the white, we like that. Sometimes this isn't showing up terribly. This isn't showing up a ton so maybe I'll show more over here. We're getting close to the end, so I'm just going to add in some parts, some colors, more colors [inaudible]. Add a little bit of depth. There's a lot more gray over here than I have in the piece. I'm going to paint just a little bit of that in too. Yellow bushes down here. Charcoal is a cool way to get a lot of contrast, as you can tell once we drew in the charcoal, there's much higher contrast in this whole piece. It's just a fun way to get different looks like this is a completely different look than if we had just had a very nice, pretty painting which both looks are good. It's just what you're going for like if you want something a little more textured and interesting, not interesting, but just more complex texture. Mixed media is a really fun way to explore that. I definitely encourage you to try a bunch of different mixed media avenues for sure. Actually I want to use a different brush for this. I'm going to add in my last whites on these choices. I'm going to use a round brush this time. It's just a totally round brush. These are great for just doing little blobs. My other brush, my silver is great, but it was doing these very obviously half-moon shapes when I was doing these little toys. I want these to be a little bit more blobby versus such an obvious shape. Because that's what they look like in real life there more rounded than they are half-moon. I'm putting in quite a bit of paint on my brush when I'm doing this. Because I want them to be like pretty prominent. I'm just dotting them. 17. Painting Part 11: I'm going to add a little bit of a green-yellow contrast just to the edges of these just to give them a little bit of a golden touch. Let me put a little bit of yellow. I'm tapping the bottom of the white blobs with a little bit of a more goldeny-greeny, yellow-white so like tap. I guess I'm just white tops just like yellowish color. But then the whites are as brightest highlights. Because in the photo they're not a solid white. In real life there like a light greeny-yellowish color so I'll just want to allude to that so that they have a little bit of that in them. There we go. Very, very nice. I'm going to do a little bit more to the gray, I mean the bluish-grayish, saggy plants. Then I'm going to do my final look just where I decide if I need to add, take away from what we've got. Looking pretty good. Let's do the final look. This color maybe. Oh, they switched paintbrushes. I like that. I'm tying this bush into that right there. I'm digging that. I'm digging it. I'll do a little bit more work on this ware because that hill is getting a little lost in the background. Just little bit more black and we'll be good to go. 18. Painting Part 12: My paint, it can get on the charcoal to where you can't even paint with it because it coats it. It happens. Just draw on paper to get it off, and then we will be good. All right. I'm liking this. I'm going to do my final look now. Just go around and make sure there's nothing that I wish I had either included or didn't include. I like what's going on here. Maybe we need to have more light right here. Okay. I think I'm going to call it a day. I like how it turned out. This is just an example, one of many examples of how you can make a mixed media painting. Putting in a few whites here, just highlights. But there's so many things you can do. I just want to encourage you to explore materials. That is one of the most fun things about when you're first starting out and you don't really know anything about painting is, you don't know the rules, so you don't even know you're breaking the rules and then you're going to explore. You're going to find some really cool things that people who've been painting for years and years and years and maybe they don't have in a way that childlike sense of wonder. [laughs] Because we've been taught and all that stuff. So we're trying to follow the rules of law, but just break the rules. Break your rules, break my rules, break all the rules. That's probably one of my favorite things to tell people is, break the rules. Do something unexpected because there's no telling what you're going to discover and it could just be awesome. We were all too busy following the rules to discovered ourselves, so go for it. I hope you-all enjoyed this class. I am going to let this fully dry. Then when it's dry, I'm going remove the tape and we'll look at it and we'll talk about it. That will be that. I will see you in the next video. 19. Final Piece and Finishing Spray: Okay. I removed the tape and look at this nice white crisp edge that we've got. It just really makes the painting pop. Looks awesome. When your piece is fully dry, fully dry, grab yourself some of this. I really like this Krylon UV Archival Varnish and I like matte. I have used the gloss and also the satin. To be honest, I switch it up depending on which painting I'm doing. For some reason, I really liked the matte finish on my deserts and I like the satin finish on my Italian landscapes. It's up to you. But spray this with an even coat of this varnish, and let it dry, and then do another one. Then when you're done, go and rub your finger on the charcoal parts to see if it comes off on your finger. If it does, you may need to spray again. But this is great. Once you've got this sprayed and it's dried, maybe leave it outside to let the odor go away, but you'll be set, and there you have it. You've got a way to make a mixed media painting with acrylic paint and charcoal. I really hope you enjoyed this class. Paint something and upload it to the Project tab. Show me what you make and let's talk about it. Let me know if you have any questions or anything and I'm so more than happy to answer any questions. I will see you all in the next class.