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Step by Step Tutorial: Animal Silhouette Mixed Media Painting

Stephen Lursen painting tutorial stephen lursen

I finished another small, mixed media painting for a potential kid's class.  I used collage (book text, printed photo of fox, ribbon), hot glue for texture, acrylic, and ink. For my adhesives I used Mod Podge, but I highly recommend Golden Matt Medium. It has a better texture, lower odor, and faster drying time.
Let's get started!

 I started with an 8"x10" canvas and collaged a background of scrap-booking paper. 

Torn book text was applied to add texture and variety.

I cut three pieces of ribbon. I moved them around quite a bit to figure out where I wanted them to go.

Once I decided, I then saturated the ribbon with Mod Podge and placed them.  They wanted to curl up so I tore a piece of wax paper, covered the canvas with it, and stacked books on top to flatten the image.

With black paint and a small brush, I outlined the edge of the book text.

Starting with the background, I began to paint.
Colors used:
yellow ochre
nickel azo gold

I start to paint the book text. Colors used:
green gold

I also paint over the ribbon to increase contrast.
White paint (later I will use yellow orange as well.)

Time to print off some silhouettes! I chose foxes because I love their energy.
I printed them off in 3 different sizes to give myself options with my composition and scale.

(foxes cut out)

First one is too big!

That's better. I did move the photo around a bit before deciding where to place the fox.

Mod Podge used to collage it on the canvas.

I used hot glue all over the background creating strings and bumps of clear texture.

Started to paint the fox with a yellow orange.

To add contrast between the fox and the background, I painted the surrounding area white. You can start to see the texture of the hot glue once it is painted over with white (bottom left).

I decided that I wanted to use a complimentary color scheme instead of what I had going on.  So that required me to add blue to the top of the canvas. I also splattered white to give the appearance of stars.

Dont forget to paint your edges if you're not spending the money on framing the art.

I went back and forth with myself about whether or not to use words. The risk is that is controls the viewpoint from which others see the painting.  But I decided I wanted to anyway! Using ink, I drew/wrote the words.  With black paint I painted over much of the ink and then splattered the paint around the area to grunge it up a bit.

Thank you for reading!

Stephen Lursen

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