Lately I’ve felt a bit stuck with my paintings. I’ve had to take steps away before I overwork my characters.
I’ve learned that if I’m striving to be perfect, I just end up frustrated and make a muddy mess. So instead, I start a new painting and play… that’s when owls and backgrounds are the perfect thing to paint.
As you’re painting, you might want to try these Next Steps:
* Drip inks, scribble with pastels, and then add titanium white acrylic paint on top to see what happens (this is a fun way to add color to feathers).
* Add dots, then smudge them out… I love adding dots with paint pen or acrylic inks, then, when the color is still wet, I press my thumb or palm on top to make the dots less prominent (this is how I often create depth over the eyes of my whimsical animals too).
* To get even more variation, I’ll smudge the remaining color from my hand onto the rest of the painting (all super random and playful which often leads to beautiful mistakes and new ideas).
* Scribble a rainbow of water soluble oil pastels, then add white acrylic paint or ink over a few parts to bleed out the color. Spin your painting around and spritz with water to make the color drip for even more happy accidents.
* Drip Prussian blue and fluorescent pink acrylic ink. Then squirt cadmium yellow ink on top (straight from the bottle)… this is currently my favorite color combination, whether it’s with acrylic inks, liquid watercolors or acrylic paint (they all layer well together and are perfect for pops of color or purple eyes).
In this 19 minute video you’ll learn some of my favorite mixed media techniques for covering up a painting.
I love mixing inks together to get unusual colors that I then repeat throughout a painting collection. If you’re looking to paint more freely and make your paintings look more organic, don’t cover everything up in your painting. Instead, when you don’t like something, add a thin layer of oil paintstick on top to redefine your painting, but keep the underneath layers showing through.
Whenever I mix up my supplies, it pushes me to find new ways to paint and reminds me there’s no right or wrong. It’s so often the things I don’t plan in my paintings, that reveal the most beauty.
It’s taken a lot of paintings and mistakes to create with freedom. But learning to paint whimsically and develop your own style are completely do-able — you can learn how in my Serendipity 1 – Develop Your Style online course (which is available as a self-paced course for a limited time) and Serendipity 2 – Loosening Up With Mixed Media (registration closes June 1st).