Thursday, 30 May 2013

Mixed Media Background Tutorial

Hello hello!!  Well I am in a really good mood today as I am so happy with how things went in Month One at Scrap Around The World, my new challenge blog.  I got the Winners' post up yesterday & have had lots of encouraging comments rolling in ever since.  If you haven't checked up on it yet go HERE to check it out!  YOU could be one of the winners!!

Please don't forget to SIGN UP HERE for "Let's Get Trendy! 3" - it's a FREE online workshop that I am involved in, along with over THIRTY other scrapbooking artists from around the world!  You know how I love my global collaborations!!  You have NOTHING TO LOSE - you don't have to take on every project - you can pick & choose as you like & you can win the giveaway pictured just by signing up!!  Who WOULDN'T want to be a part of something SO exciting?!

So here is the base paper I made for this layout HERE - I promised to elaborate on the techniques & mediums I used.  I did not take step-by-step photos of this developing unfortunately but YOU CAN DO IT - you really, really can!! 

**I will keep repeating the photograph to save you from scrolling up constantly!**

 I started off with this mustard paper from Pink Paislee's Portfolio collection.
Portfolio Outstanding Paper
1.  I started by using brown chalk ink together with this mask & stenciling randomly around the page (using just parts of it). {Ronda Palazzari for The Crafter's Workshop}12" version.

2.  Next I used this mask together with some hard modeling paste from Golden.  

6" "Art is" stencil from The Crafter's Workshop

3.  Next I used this little stencil from Prima together with a mixture of gesso & gel medium.

{Can't find an image of it on the web & Prima is upgrading their website so this is from a maths forum but you get the idea LOL!}

4.  The last stencil I used - with plain white acrylic paint - this one from The Crafter's Workshop

5.  Remember to dry off each layer before beginning on the next.  If you want to do mixed media you have to get a heat-gun.  I've used this one for years & love it!

{I got it 2nd hand & it's now covered in gesso but who cares, it does the job perfectly!}

6.  MIXED media means just that so MIX IT UP - use various different mediums & even combinations of them mixed together - mixed media is all about experimentation & it's not meant to look neat so if it doesn't turn out as you had envisioned chances are you may still like it!


Good supplies to have are:-  

PAINTS (acrylics are best - most brands are okay so no need to go fancy - local South African brand DALA is fantastic)

PAINT DABBERS from Ranger - LOVE these for their ease of application & the fact that you can create awesome splats with them (more on that later!)

METALLIC PAINTS from Viva Decor &  Silks from Luminarte are not a must but darn delicious & worth buying once you have established that you LOVE mixed media!
{Liquid Pearls from Ranger are an economical alternative for a sheer look as you can rub these over gesso, etc for a lovely semi-translucent shine}

GESSO {not all are created equal - I prefer Claudine Helmuth Studio as it dries showing the different layers, direction & thicknesses - you won't get this effect with any cheap gesso}

WHITE ACRYLIC PAINT - thicker & less runny than cheap gesso & easier to sponge on
{one of my favoured methods of application}

MOLDING/MODELLING PASTE - Reeves & Golden are excellent.
{this is a MUST as it creates a braille-like raised effect}

GEL MEDIUM - great as a sealer, great to mix with gesso for a more sheer look, great to revive older paints - a MUST HAVE. (this comes in matte or gloss - I prefer matte as I don't always want a high shine).

INKS - chalk inks are fine for stenciling but archival inks are way better for stamping.

I use Ranger & Tsukeniko {Brilliance & Versa-Magic}
(I tested local brand Chiswick & it didn't work as well for me)

Chalk inks - Ingvilde Bolme for Prima - WITHOUT A DOUBT - massive selection of colours - no separation of sponge from applicator - VERY inky!

STENCILS - The Crafter's Workshop & Prima


Please don't be put off by this list.
 I have been collecting mixed media products for 2 - 3 years now & it's amazing how they accumulate - you will get there!  And once you have tried & loved a product you will always find a way to get hold of it (give me this stuff over new paper any day now!)


7.  Next I added some tea/coffee mix (literally just half a teaspoon of coffee in a mug with a tea bag dunked in - then transferred to a container - lasts for weeks!) & the inner core of a tape roll - place liquid in flat dish - work on easy to clean floor (mine is tiles) dip tape roll into mixture then HIT hard onto paper & it will splatter - once you have enough circles hold paper upright & dry off with heat gun so you get drips too!

8. Next I added my black splats using a Ranger paint dabber (spray the top with water from a misting bottle) then bang hard onto page (away from your curtains! as it splashes up!!) Dry off with heat gun, holding paper upright to create drips too.

9.  Stamp randomly with black ink (I did that on the left with an old rubber stamp but it was a bit of a fail!) I prefer acrylic stamps & acrylic stamping blocks - these you gradually accumulate - background stamps are the most versatile & Kaisercraft  & Prima sell them a lot more reasonably priced than dedicated stamp manufacturers.

10.  Rub over some areas using Faber Castelle Gelatos

These are fun but only worth buying if you love your mixed media - you apply them directly from the pen - they are like lipsticks - then you use your finger to rub them in (there are many different application methods but this is mine).

10.  I always begin with a "whited out" area in the middle of my page so the photo doesn't get lost in the background but for this page I ended up only having the top & bottom showing as I put patterned paper over the centre to create this finished layout.

I recoloured the Pink Paislee artisan elements using gelatos too,
inked around the photo & edges of the punched heart borders
& added random Liquid Pearl dots around my page.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful to some of you at least.
Mixed Media takes time but it doesn't take forever.
A full background like this takes me 1.5 hours including clean-up
(and is very therapeutic & fun to do!!)

Mixed Media is like eating an elephant -

One bite at a time!!
{keep adding & eventually your page will be complete!}


Cathy Lane said...

What a fab tut Helen...and so informative too!! I cringe when I hear the word "Mixed Media" but after this I might just give it a try and see if I can do it without having to clean paint off the walls :) Thanks for all the lovely info :)

Gary Rose said...

LOL, first off I love your "How do you eat an elephant" picture it really gets the point across. The page is gorgeous and I really enjoyed reading your tutorial. I have only tried mixed media a few times. Maybe I'll try again very soon because of you :)

Adriana B said...

wow, great tutorial, thanks for sharing, lots a yummy details and textures :)

Lizzy Hill said...

Wonderful tut - you're so good to share your 'how to' with us....& I love the little hints - like mixing medium with the gesso!!! Shame you had to cover up so much of your LO!!! The bg is superb...I reckon MM is GREAT fun, too:):) Very 'freeing'....your elephant pic is a giggle...:):):)

Heather Jacob said...

stunning work Helen and a wonderful post , full of tips and tricks ... big thanks to you .
sending hugz too xox

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I swear girl... you create the MOST AMAZING backgrounds!! WOW WOW WOW! This is gorgeous!!!!

Kelly Foster said...

What a fabulous and grungy-gorgeous background, Helen!

Lynnda said...

OH Helen... you totally inspired me!!! that background work... is so Awesome my friend... You totally nailed... what a stunning layout!!! thanks for sharing the technique to create such a beautiful background... Love it..and I so want to try it!... hugs....x

Jean Bullock said...

Wonderful tutorial. Thanks for sharing the process.

Val Thorpe said...

Fab tutorial.. Love the stencils.. I have really battled to find stencils here in SA.... so am going to see if I can find online :(

Lizzyc said...

Wow thanks very much for sharing this.. I am new to MM but love seeing how it all evolves and it creates such a unique back ground for each layout.. and I am sure like any scrapbook item..... it just seems to breed in the stash... hummm my papers do that!! hehe!

Cindy Keogh said...

Wonderful breakdown of constructing a mixed media background. It turned in to a gourgeous layout!!!!

brigitte said...

Love it!

Keren Tamir said...

I just love this Helen. What an amazing background!! Wow I'm so impressed.

Mona L. Pendleton said...

Terrific tutorial Helen! Thanks for sharing your process! I always love to see how others create! Stunning layout as always!

Linda Eggleton said...

Wow, your background looks fantastic, Helen...and I loved reading how you created it. Thanks for sharing your techniques :)

Marelize said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge! I love what you've created. In fact I love everything you do! :)
Hope you are having a good weekend.

alexandra s.m. said...

wonderful tutorial Helen!!
Thank You so much!

Annesphamily said...

You are so knowledgeable. Thank you for sharing. I am so clueless with a lot of the these cool things you all do! I am hopeful I can learn something and not be afraid to try it!

Lynette said...

Very helpful...I am still taking baby steps with Mixed Media :-D

Eila Sandberg said...

LOVE your tut Helen! always so clear and easy to follow, gets my mojo flowing immediately! what a delicious background work, absolutely gorgeous! thanks so much for sharing! xoxox

Denise van Deventer said...

Wonderful toturial Helen and I will certainly use a few tips I picked up! Thanks for sharing it with us ;-)

yyam said...

Amazing textures with the stencils...I need to get some new ones...:)