Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2017

Watercolor Mixed Media Craftsy Class

Some time ago, I signed up for "Mix it up!" mixed media class on Craftsy.  I just this past week or so had time to work on it.  I chose this class because it was based in watercolor, which is my first love, and I was interested to learn ways to use it in mixed media.

The instructor leads the class through three projects, demonstrating various techniques for each.  I never really like working with someone else's designs, but it was worth it for the interesting techniques I learned.

I can see now, looking at a photo of this one, what I need to polish up (softening some lines, etc.).  And what you can't see in the scan is the shimmery effect of mica powder which I really enjoyed learning to use in this class.  I had recently been looking for some iridescent and metallic watercolor paints, but they are hard to find and expensive.  The instructor showed several ways to employ mica powders with watercolor and mixed media.  I'll definitely be using more of that.

This one with the rose is unfinished, and I don't particularly like it, so I'm not sure if I'll finish it.  The instructor collaged a frame and some other elements on it after this point.  I find collage a little mysterious and awkward, probably mostly because I don't really have a good collection of collage elements to choose from at this point.  Maybe I'll do more with it, or maybe I'll move on....

I probably spent the most time and effort on this piece with the koi fish.  I learned a lot of great techniques with this one.  For the fish (as well as the flowers and dragonfly, above), she showed how to use watercolor crayons (or water soluble oil pastels) to layer rich, opaque color over the watercolor backgrounds.  I really loved learning this, though I found it very challenging to make it look right.  I feel like the fish look a little flat, but I think it may have something to do with the low quality of my crayons.  The ones the instructor used looked rich and creamy, while my cheap ones reminded me of drawing with soft rocks by the river when I was a kid... not so rich and creamy.  The goldish color on top of the fish is mica powder mixed in matte medium.  I thought that was an intriguing idea, but it was very hard to control and dried very quickly, so it's really too heavy on the orange fish. I found I needed to thin it a lot to get the effect I wanted.  I tried to collage more on this one with what I had around, including some torn up Gelli prints and newly-acquired washi tape.

So that was fun and educational.  I will do a post soon with my lettering exercises, and I have a bunch of other ideas I hope to work on.  My winter survival depends on it.


  1. Yes! Katie!so great to see your workings, and that you are taking the time to do this.
    I had signed up for this class too, with a promise to myself of "after the holidays." I am not quite free yet, but look forward to this more now.
    Love the colors on your first piece and the richness of the elements.
    The rose one could stay like that, or maybe it wants a misty castle in the background........
    Your fish are delightful. The white on the orange one gives koi- ness too it and the gold one could handle stronger contrasts: Highlights and shadows (but not on this one; only if you do another one.). Series are good for practicing and perfecting techniques.

    1. Thanks! Yes, I feel like I can't work those fish more, but maybe another try...
      Can't wait to see your interpretations of these whenever you get time for the class.

  2. Ah, I love the dragonfly piece! And the fish are awesome.