Love is in the Air • Mixed Media Heart
This mixed media heart art lesson is an oldie but a goodie! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t put this tutorial on my blog yet for you all to try!
Mixed media art means you are using multiple craft mediums together in one art piece. I used scrapbook paper, paint, and stamps in this lesson, but you can use so many other things.
I use canvas boards for most of my mixed media crafts. A standard canvas has too much give in the center to support all the pressure I apply with layering all my mediums. Wood surfaces also make an excellent canvas for mixed media projects.
If you have never done mixed media art before, I can’t recommend it enough! This process of creating is very freeing. I rarely have a set game plan going into it. You are just playing with scrap craft supplies and figuring it out as you go.
I love mixed media art because no one will be the same. As you are working, an idea will pop into your head and when it does, just run with it.
One thing I get asked all the time is how to hang canvas boards. My favorite way is to use a standard frame —Yep!
Most canvas boards come in similar sizes of picture frames. You can choose to leave the glass in or use a glassless frame. Just make sure the depth is thick enough to hold the frame and glass if that’s the route you choose to go.
In the video below, you can see my Mixed Media Chapel framed. I love the way it looks!
- 8×8 Canvas Board
- Scrapbook Paper. I used one with florals and fun reds, pink, and purple textures.
- Alphabet Stamp Set
- Black Ink Pad
- Palette Knife
- DecoArt Acrylic Paint in Cotton Candy, Watermelon Slice
- Craft Smart Acrylic Paint in Plum
- DecoArt Metallic Lustre Wax in Gold Rush
- Americana Decor Metallics in Vintage Brass
- Matte Gel Medium
Creating the Backdrop
Just like all my projects, this one is all about the layers.
First, I want a mixture of large pieces of craft paper and some palette knife paint texture in my background.
Begin with the paper. I like a torn edge on my craft paper and use decoupage as my glue to stick it to my canvas, and then use another thin layer over the whole piece of paper, focusing on those edges to make sure they are secure.
I do get a little messy and use my fingers to run across all my applications to make sure to get all the bubbles out.
Now for the palette knife texture. I want to thicken up my paint a bit. Acrylic craft paints like I am using don’t have a lot of loft to them and are kind of runny. To thicken it up, I mix in some gel medium.
I am just going to start scrapping my thickened paint onto the canvas. There is no rhyme or reason to where I apply the colors. I mainly wanted soft pink with purple and hot pink bits running throughout. Just scrape a little here and there.
Don’t cover your paper with paint completely, but it is okay to overlap it.
Applying Paper Hearts
For my mixed media heart painting, I chose to have a couple of different hearts in various sizes cut out of scrapbook paper. The large heart I cut from a rustic magenta paper. And for my smaller one, I used a distressed textured pale pink to contrast against the large one.
Before cutting it out, you can sketch your heart first, but I don’t want it to be too perfect. I think the imperfections are what make art beautiful.
A simple trick to making your top layers of paper stand out against the background is to run the edges in stamp ink lightly to distress and darken them a bit. You could also use a touch of paint or marker.
It gives it more of a vintage, aged look.
To apply the hearts, I am using decoupage again but only apply it to the underside to allow the next layers of paint to apply more smoothly. If your base coat of paint is a touch wet, it is still safe to apply the hearts with decoupage to ensure they are secure.
I had a scrapbook paper with pretty clusters of roses I could easily cut out and maintain the whole shape. Trimming closely to the edge of the flowers gives it a 3D looking effect when applied to my mixed media heart painting.
Painting the Details
To add a little brightness, I used hot pink and white to paint in a few wispy lines to accent the hearts. I even painted a small red heart above the large one.
For more texture, I used the palette knife to scrape just a little light pink, purple, and my favorite gold on there too. Just play around. You can add anything your heart desires!
The more you can overlap these painted textures and papers, the more interest and depth it gives your painting.
Add a Few Words with Stamps
The last thing I do is add a fun little saying.
There are a couple of different ways you can do your lettering. Sometimes I stamp directly on my artwork, as I did in this lesson. But for this mixed media heart, I chose to stamp onto white cardstock, cut them out, ink around the edges, and then apply those to the artwork. Doing this makes them pop out like highlighted text boxes.
I chose to write “Love is in the air.”
This is my favorite alphabet stamp set because it’s the best whimsical typewriter font. I don’t try to make the letters perfectly aligned.
Finally, take a step back from your art or take a picture of it to see it from a different perspective. Sometimes you don’t know if you want to make any adjustments until you look from a different view.
How to Seal Mixed Media Art
All of the elements added to this mixed media heart painting are different finishes. Sealing your work will make it all one cohesive sheen and give it a finished look.
Not only is decoupage used as the adhesive when paper crafting, but it is also a great sealant. After everything is completely dry, brush a final thin layer of decoupage over the entire project.
Watch Christie’s Full Mixed Media Heart Video Tutorial
If you want notifications before I go Live on my Facebook page with a fun art tutorial, text the word Alert to 417-217-7044.
Check out this blog to get a step-by-step breakdown of creating mixed media art for beginners.
I hope this inspired you to grab some scrap paper, paint, and any other of your favorite supplies and create something fun.
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