Thursday, September 19, 2019

Mother Earth Mixed Media

Gather all your left over yarns, wools, ribbons, strings! For this mixed media collage, they're being used to create the hair of Gaia (Mother Nature) while texture paste is used to create the Earth. Most layers will need to be left to dry for quite a while, depending how heavy handed you are with paints and water. The hair took 2 days until it was completely dry but is so worth the wait!

Finished artwork of Mother Nature and the Earth mixed media made with ribbons, paint and texture paste

Arty Treasures used ...

- Strathmore Watercolour Paper
- Tim Holtz Distress Grit Paste
- White Gesso
- Matte Gel Medium
- Yarns, ribbons and string
- Sizzix's Tim Holtz Thinlits "Skeleton Leaves"
- Tim Holtz Sidekick Die Cutting Machine
- Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley Rubber Stamp Sets
... "Clockwork" or "Never Forget Your Sparkle"
- Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks
- Metallic Watercolour Paints
- Finnabair Art Alchemy Liquid Acrylic Paints
- Finnabair Art Alchemy Sparks Acrylic Paints
- Ranger's Tim Holtz Sprayer Bottle (for water)
- Tim Holtz Spatulas
- Finnabair Paint Brushes
- Tim Holtz AquaBrush (waterbrush)
- Black and White Paint Pens
- Dylusions Glue Stick
- Thermoweb iCraft Mixed Media Adhesive
- Tonic Studio's Tim Holtz Mini Snips (small sharp scissors)
- Ranger Craft Mat

All available at the 'Art by Jenny' online shop

How to make this mixed media artwork...

Starting out, I scribbled ideas and thoughts into my notebook and once I knew where I wanted to go, I sketched the idea onto a large sheet of Strathmore Watercolour Paper.

sketching out the plan for the mixed media artwork featuring Gaia Mother Nature
Above photo shows the sketched image with a few wooden embellishments. Normally I'd use a watercolour pencil to draw the outlines but as I needed face and hands to still be visible after the next few steps, I've used a 2B graphite pencil.

adding texture paste to the Earth for the mixed media artwork featuring Gaia Mother Nature
To create dimension on the Earth, use a spatula to spread the Tim Holt Distress Grit Paste (its a sandy feeling, thick texture paste) wherever you want land. This paste doesn't shrink so what you place down is what you get, whether raised for hills and mountains or smooth flat for the plains.
Leave to dry.

closeup of colourful chunky yarn, ribbons and string to be used for hair
For the hair, gather any leftover yarns, ribbons, twine and string. It doesn't matter what colour they are because it all gets covered with white gesso are being glued down.

yarn and ribbon for hair of mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and Earth by Jenny James
Use a good quality gel matte medium like Finnabair 3D Matte Gel or Ranger's Tim Holtz Multi Matte Medium to adhere all the strands in place.

yarn and ribbon for hair of mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and Earth by Jenny James
In the photo above, you can see how I've twisted and woven the ribbons, string and yarn to give an illusion of wavy hair. Use the gel medium to glue down any wooden bird embellishments or other findings into the hair.

coating yarn and ribbon with gesso for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and Earth by Jenny James
Once the gel medium is completely dry, cover the entire head of hair with white gesso. Don't forget to paint gesso on the inside of the curls.

waiting for gesso and texture paste to dry
The above photo shows an overview of Mother Earth keeping an eye on the planet and her hair as it all dries.

creating the Earth with Texture Paste for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature by Jenny James
Back to the Earth, add 4 or 5 drops of Finnabair's Liquid Acrylic Paint in Ultramarine (blue) to the whole area. Spray the blue paint with 2 or 3 splashes of water and encourage it to spread using a flat wide paint brush.

creating the Earth with Texture Paste and paint for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature by Jenny James
While the blue paint is still wet, add 6 or 7 drops of Finnabair's Liquid Acrylic Paint in Pure Yellow onto the raised areas of the page. Pure Yellow can look slightly green in colour until water or medium is added, then it turns a gorgeous clean yellow. Its quite amazing!

creating the Earth with Texture Paste and paint for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature by Jenny James
Spray the newly applied drops of Pure Yellow paint with water and watch it spread. Use the paint brush to gently push it around if it needs a bit of help. Leave it to dry.
It may need more blue if the yellow got carried away but let it dry before adding any more paint or water.

hair texture for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Using Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks or watercolours, colour in the background and all skin areas with a dark brown. Let it dry then add more dark brown paint into the shadow areas.
The hair was painted using a paint brush with Finnabair Art Alchemy Liquid Acrylic Paint in Avocado Green. Even though all the strands were covered in gesso, they all took on different tones, some soaking in more paint than others.

hair texture for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
I put on two coats of Finnabair's Avocado Green Liquid Acrylic Paint and it turned a beautiful dark green seaweed colour.
Leave it to dry!

Using the Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks, colour the background areas around the head and hands with dark pink and use orange in the triangular areas.

hair painting for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Using the clean wet paint brush, dampen all the pink and orange to dissolve the paint and make them blend. Leave to dry.

hair highlights for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Add more dark brown (Scribble Stick) to the face and neck leaving the eyes white. Making the shadows darker can create a more rounded look rather than flat. 
Colour in the eyes using Scribble Sticks in greens and blues with a round circle of black for the eye pupil.

Highlights on the hair were painted on using Finnabair Art Alchemy Sparks Acrylic Paint in Fairy Wings... a gorgeous shimmery pearlescent green paint.
The valley areas of the hair was painted sparingly with the Finnabair's Ultramarine Blue Liquid Acrylic.

The two little wooden birds in the hair were painted using Finnabair's Art Alchemy Metallique Acrylic Paint in Pearl White.

facial details for mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Finish off the face, making sure you let colours dry inbetween each layer. I've used paint pens for the eyelashes, eye pupils and white highlights. Scribble Sticks were used for the green eyebrows and heart shaped lips.

I didn't do her nose very well but I figure its art, not a photo - and besides, Mother Nature isn't a human so can look however she wishes to look!

colouring birds behind the scenes of mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Leaving the page aside to dry completely, stamp out a bird from Dyan Reaveley's rubber stamp set "Clockwork". Colour him in with Dina Wakley's Scribble Sticks (pink and brown) using a waterbrush to blend the colours.
You can use the waterbrush to take paint from the Scribble Sticks as well, a good way to add more colour to detailed areas.

painting leaves in behind the scenes of mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Cut out some leaves from watercolour paper using the Tim Holtz Thinlits "Skeleton Leaves" die templates (and die cutting machine).
Try to keep some of the leaves intact and separate the inners from a few others.
Colour all the leaves and spare pieces of watercolour paper with yellow and green Scribble Sticks.
Leave to dry.

painting leaves of mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
Glue the leaves with separated inners to the spare watercolour pieces using Gel Medium or Mixed Media Adhesive. Scribble on some dark brown to the edges of each leaf while the glue is still wet. Use the waterbrush to encourage the brown paint blend into the outer edges.

In the photo, the colours look a bit murky but the Gel Medium dries completely clear with a matte finish, allowing all the colours to show beautifully.

behind the scenes of mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth by Jenny James
On your craft sheet or paint palette, add some gold metallic watercolour paint. Either drag the side of the leaf across the gold paint and / or use a brush to paint it onto edges of the leaves. Try both ways and see which way you like the best.

In the above photo with the leaves, I've also applied gold watercolour paint to Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits "Adorned" shapes and have saved them for another day.

bird close up mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth created by Jenny James
Once the leaves are completely dry, trim off the excess using Tim's Mini Snips. They're sharp and easy to use for detailed fussy cutting. 
Using the brown Scribble Stick, roughly colour around all the cut edges of the leaves.
Place three of the leaves under the bird and stick them onto the hand, another leaf near the thumbs and two more on the top left hand corner of the page.

finished mixed media artwork featuring Mother Nature and the Earth created by Jenny James
Using the black paint pen, write some words, draw some leaves and add curly tendrils all around her head and hands.

Thanks so much for reading and checking out my artwork. Hopefully the instructions are easy enough to follow and inspires you to have a go :) Have fun!

Have a wonderful, happy creative day!
:)
Jenny

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Shop Online at 'Art by Jenny' for FREE delivery Australia wide
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