Tag Archives: mixed media

Broken Promises

Princess-of-heart_web Mixed media-watercolor-felt tip marker-dip pen & India Ink-gouache-Process black on Canson illustration board 15″x20″

Mixed media, mixed metaphors, mixed emotions, mixed vegetables, neopolitan ice cream, all are great, but vanilla is a favorite.  Many times the question comes up, “Why not exotic flavors?”  There is a difference between mixed flavors and exotic flavors.

An article was published, a decade ago, that explained how, many creative people prefer bland food and desserts, because their mind is busy with creating and with their own thoughts.  Exotic foods challenged their stream of conscious thoughts and interfered with the ideas they were producing.  How lucky for us artists, someone wrote that article, really creative people like bland food – let’s go with that!   We artists produce the exotic, but we consume the bland.  It went on to say that many people who exhibit exotic tastes and behaviors, do so for the attention it brings and though they may be artists, the vast majority of famous and productive artists go mostly un-noticed but produce the most art work and eat vanilla ice cream (I supposed that part).

Most of us love exotic art work, abstractions and experimental stuff, even though myself, I have been mostly a traditional conservative painter, I am also interested in painting in mixed styles.  The longer I paint the more I am interested in doing more experimental and expressive subjects.

In the painting above, the use of process black (water-based) is an illustrator’s choice for a medium.  I have stated before I am not a fan of black medium in a painting unless it is an illustration, so here again is an exception to my own rule (or is this an illustration?).  Process black is used where no color reflection is wanted, especially if an image is to be reproduced.  It goes on flat and black and gives no trouble in reproductions.  Tempera can get close, and so can gouache, but if you want black black, use process black (art stores carry it). They also carry process white, and process blue and process red and process yellow.  In the computer these are called CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black, the screen is the white).  In light projection, it is RGB, red-green-blue, the black is no light, and the white is all the colors projected together.

What has all this to do with the painting above? Nothing, really, except for the black. I thought you might find it interesting.  As for the picture, like all art, it means whatever you think it does.



Mermaid and Bubbles

Mermaid-and-Bubbles_web  Gouache and watercolor on illustration board 15″x20″

Unless it is a graphic or an illustration, I never use black paint.  This painting is such an exception to my rule; I used black and it is not meant to be a graphic illustration image.  This is actually a mixed media painting.

Black is the absence of all color and causes a painting to go flat if great care is not used.  When used in other media, as watercolor or oil or even acrylic, it will take the life right out of colors, even a small amount.  It is great for contrast in illustrations for print however, and in this one I used gouache black and tempra black to get a good flat effect.  The difficulty comes in trying to keep any black pigment from getting into any of the colors.  So when used, I keep it as a separate paint, not mixed and used last after all other colors are dry.  A good bit of prep and preplanning is necessary, but it can add greatly to contrast and effect in an illustration or graphic.  I wanted the mermaid to cross from fore-ground to mid-ground across the edge of the black seaweed, so this area was masked after it was painted and before the black was added. Also, the bubbles were masked before the water was painted.

(Well, there are really no rules in painting, just good ideas to use or avoid).