Lil’ Houses

Most of my artistic endeavors have been what I call “dry” ones. I like to use beautiful images and enhance them with pretty embellishments (flowers, ribbon, lace, glitter and the like) and the messiest I usually get is alcohol ink on my fingers from dyeing seam binding.

Lately I’ve been wanting to try “wet” mixed-media techniques with acrylics, watercolors, gel sticks, you name it, and learn to draw my own images instead of depending on existing ones. I turned to the internet for inspiration, and a few weeks ago on YouTube I found this lovely lady named Kelly¬†Donovan, who loves to share her mixed-media expertise. She is all about using what you have, which makes the process do-able for those who would otherwise not be able to afford the higher-end art supplies. Kelly is great fun to watch and listen to (I especially love it when she breaks into song!) and I find her refreshingly “real” and very accessible (plus, I love her accent, which reminds me of my stepmom’s!).

A couple of weeks ago, Kelly did a series on whimsical mixed-media houses, and I just fell in love with the idea. I finally found time to sit down in my studio and pull out a couple of small canvases (I believe these are 5×7) that I got on sale at Michael’s awhile back. I like the flat canvases because, unlike paper, they won’t wrinkle when you wet them, and unlike stretched canvases, the center won’t sag when you press down with a stamp or stencil.

I pretty much followed Kelly’s method for creating these, adding a few extra touches along the way and incorporating some techniques I learned from my friend, Terri, who has taken some mixed-media classes and is a fabulous teacher in her own right!

Both houses are made from a piece of tissue I got in a package sometime last year that I fell in love with and have been saving to use in a project. (Later I’ll share what I’m making with the rest of the tissue.) The roofs are embossed scrapbook paper that I painted and then rubbed with more paint to highlight the embossing. The balloons are a textured handmade paper, which I made by tracing the cap on a jar of embossing powder and the clouds were made with a white Sharpie oil paint pen and a dab of grey acrylic paint. I drew the flowers with a plain pencil and then used watercolor crayons to add the bright colors.

I worked on both canvases at the same time so they’d coordinate in color and style.

house canvas left

house canvas right

I hadn’t thought ahead about making the paths “meet” in the middle, so I messed that up a little, but if you put them far enough apart, it works.

house canvases

They won’t win any prizes, but they were SO MUCH FUN to make and I think I’m off to a great start in this whole “working wet” kind of thing! Always look forward to seeing what Kelly is working on from day to day, and hopefully I’ll find the time to follow along with her next endeavor.


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