Mixed Media = Fun

When my opinions of art were formulated thing were still done in a very traditional manner.

Oils were oils, acrylics were acyclic, you only drew with graphite, charcoal or perhaps pen and ink—and by that I mean with a nib pen and a bottle of black Indian ink. There was also no such thing as color pencils for fine art. Not in South Africa at least.

These days thing are not so ridged and it took me a while to get used to the idea of “Mixed Media.”

Now? I absolutely love mixing media, and I have been experimenting.

My favorite is to use copic markers for base layer. Then to use my Polychromos color pencils for to deepen the color layers and create details that I wouldn’t be able to create with the Copics.


This is one of my experiments: I used several different images of ball jointed dolls for basic reference. 

I’ve seen something similar done with watercolor paints and color pencils.

Another invaluable tool when doing this, especially for those dark lines, like eyelashes is a brush pen.

Mine is the Pentel pocket brush pen. I wish I could have as much control with all my brushes.

On the opposite end of that spectrum, is the white gel pen for hightlights.

The Signo broad is good for that.

The point I’m making in my normal rambling manner. Is that the possibilities are limitless. If you can think it, and the mediums will work together, then do it. You might be surprised what you can create with it.


Have a great Sunday,



Craft Supplies… !!Not!! my PRECIOUS.


Morning Crafters and new friends.

Before I start my post I would like to thank all of you who chose to follow my blog yesterday. I can honestly say I was blown away by the response to my simple Art journal page, and how many of us there are that are like minded.

I hope we all become firm friends and share our work and the joy we get from creating.

Let’s get to it 😉

The first thing I did was go on a hunt for just the right reference picture of the Gollum. I found line art but a lot of it was not what I was after. I wanted something that jumped out the page and caught my attention and I found it in a poster for the Hobbit.

I printed out two versions.

One A4 in black and white.

Page Sizes           U.S.        Int’l        inches (in)           millimeters (mm)

Letter                    8.5×11   A4           8.27×11.69          210×297

(snagged from : )

I set my printer (a laser printer) to its lightest setting because the poster was very dark, and I’m a sucker for being able to see details.  My laser printer is only black and white. This one helps you see the tones (the variations between dark and light areas) it really helps when you are shading.

And then I printed out an A5 (half the size of an A4) in color. This was to help me match up colors as best as I could with my Derwents.

I used a white board I bought for R30 the other day and pasted my paper to it. I do have a post on that, if you hunt under drawing board you’ll see it.  (Best R30 I’ve spent in a while, I’ll be buying a bigger one for bigger drawings)


It’s just straightforward card stock. Nothing fancy about it. It only occurred to me later that I had drawing cartridge I could have used. But we’ll put that down to a blonde moment (I have many of those)

I transferred the drawing and started coloring. Now, I didn’t do it in one sitting. I have a hectic busy schedule so I snagged moments whenever I could to sit and color.  So it took me 3 days to get him colored in the end.

I enjoyed every minute of it!

While he was on the drawing board, I started experimenting with a background for him on a separate piece of paper.

Why did I do it all on different pages. Yes, it boils down to …

  1. It’s a new art journal
  2. I was scared I was going to mess up so I wanted to practice elsewhere first
  3. I’m a chicken *Clucks and bobs head* Pukuck

Lindsay played a part in the background too. I’d watched one of her tutorials on wax resist where she’d done a spider web using wax paper.

We do get “Wax wrap” in South Africa, so I wanted to try it. I don’t know if it’s the same as in the states, but I failed. The lines were too thin, and I didn’t have a wide enough brush to do a watercolor wash on A4 and not “over work” it so it wouldn’t rub the wax off.

So I took some cheap kids wax crayons I’d bough and used the white. It made thicker lines that I could work over and they stayed put.

I used Brilliance Graphite black (I have a few of the dew drop inkpads) and a make-up sponge (thanks Lindsay for that tip too)

And I used Versa Magic Cloud White (also the tear drop) And worked in the colors till I was happy with the first layer.

Then I stole a tip from Jennifer McGuire.  I mixed some perfect pearls (the original perfect pearls color) with water in a mister bottle (just a recycled one from some other spray) and sprayed that over everything and heat set it.

By then I was pretty happy with it, but it needed something more.
So I put it one side and finished up the Gollum.

Quick note: You’ll notice the highlights on Smeegal are sharp. I used a trick to get that right. I used a white gellyroll pen! Yes! I mixed a pen in with my pencils and it works like a charm, especially when you want a really defined white line.

Once he was done and I was happy, I fussy cut him out the white background and put him on the background I’d created. I used a pencil and drew a line around him so I could see where I wanted him and went back in with my ink pads.

Here I have to say the craft sheet came in handy.  All I did was daub some of the ink onto the craft sheet and then pick up the color and the water I’d put there too and blend in.

Adding more white and black. I also took some of the pinkish color from the shadows in his skin, and the blue from his eyes.

For this I don’t have ink pads, so I used kids water based markers, scribbling them onto the craft sheet and picking up the colors with the sponge.

When I was happy I heat set the whole thing and cut it down a little so it would fit nicely in the art journal.

You’ll notice that Gollum is a little over the top of the background.

This (I will admit with a sheepish grin) was a happy accident. I was going to put him down directly on the background, but then I moved him by accident and noticed. “Wow, it looks almost three D”

So that’s how he got stuck down. Giving him a more three D look like he was (as my daughter puts it) stepping out a portal.

I did do the lettering by hand at first, and then I used my versa mark pen to write over it and emboss it in gold and silver.

Obviously, I didn’t like it, because I ended up going to my Photoshop and redoing the lettering with some cloud brushes then printing it on white card stock.

I cut it to size, used my corner punch to round the edges than went over it with my sponges and inks again.

When I was happy, with what I added, looked at the finished image and grinned.

Because from now on, no craft supplies will ever be too precious.

I’m going to use what I have and enjoy every second of it.

I’m sorry this was such a long post, but I hope it helped those of you who wanted to know how I put it all together.

Leave a comment and say hello. I love chatting with you all.

Happy Crafting


Dryad Coloring

Hi Crafters (waves a happy hello)

Yesterday in my chit-chat with you, I said I wanted to try a coloring project this weekend.

Well I ended up doing it yesterday.

I wanted to try a technique Lindsay (The Frugal Crafter) mentioned in one of her videos, and did a tutorial about.

She said, you can blend normal color pencils with baby oil.

This really intrigued me. I’ve been wanting to work with markers, especially the alcohole based one, but since I don’t have the budget to get any right now, a faux marker effect would be cool.

But what to color.

I did a google search on “coloring pages” I think it was flowers or roses, I’m not sure but I found this image.


It was so beautiful I couldn’t resist. I looked at her and she screamed “Dryad” at me.

Okay, she didn’t scream, don’t send for the men with the stylish long sleeved jacket that ties at the back. But you get what I mean.

I went to my trusty laser printer (because the toner won’t run with liquid) and printed it out on an A5 (half of A4) (8 and a half by 6 inches-more or less, I’m a metric girl, please forgive me if I get it wrong.)

I used some basic cardstock, in a creamy color that is pretty close to white and printed it out.

I stuck it to an old cutting board with some Micropore tape.

Quick note on Micropore tape:


It’s a medical tape you can get it at any drug store, its inexpensive. I’ve seen Simon says Stamp sells it, but you are going to pay for the fact that it’s a craft store. So buy it at a chemist (as we call it) or a drug store.  It works better than any masking or washi tape. It will not tear or damage your paper and its repositionable to an extreme. I can’t craft without the stuff.

I regretted the old cutting board once I got started, because it has a texture to it, and it came through as I was coloring. My hubby said it adds to it, but since I was going for the smooth copic look, I don’t like that bit. So if you want smooth, make sure your work surface is a) movable (like a cutting board so you can turn it as you work) and b) smooth – I think getting some Masonite for a drawing surface will work better for me.

Next, I hauled out my el-cheepo kids coloring pencils, I’m talking the dollar variety that you buy with back to school stocks.

Since this was an experiment and I don’t have the Spectrum Noir ones yet. I didn’t worry too much about the quality of the pencils. All that was important was that I had a dark, mid-tone and highlight for the colors I was working in.

I started with the rose, and put in my darker tones first. I like to work from dark to light (just like Lindsay) but others might prefer to work from light to dark.


I did her hair green because, duh, she’s a dryad. So it works, as long as you have your range of shades you could make it whatever color you like.

The hardest part? Skin tones with cheepy color pencils. I went to browns and yellows, and barely touched the paper with color, using the cream of the paper for my highlights and adding a touch of pink around the eyes and cheekbones.

This is what she looked like when I was done with the pencils:


Now for the experiment, and the hope that I hadn’t spent hours coloring and was about to mess it up.

Lindsay used blending stumps, one for each color. I have some in my drawing supplies, and some I got for a birthday from my sister in law, but I didn’t want to open up those (saving them for my noir pencils)


So I used a piece of fine grit sand paper to sand down the one I’d used on my last drawing.

And cleaned it off.

I decanted a little baby oil into a small ceramic jar ((note: it doesn’t have to be a ceramic jar, I have one from my nail art days I love and I like to use it)), and started blending with the roses. Every time I changed a color I sanded down the stump again so I wouldn’t transfer colors.

I used a firm pressure and quite a bit of oil on it.

It works like a dream!!

(forgive the double exclamation point)

This is the end result.:


So when I do get my noir pencils I’m going to be doing this technique quiet a bit.

I’ve decided to buy an art journal for these kinds of things, so expect a lot of posts with techniques and mini tutorials.

Added little bonus (Yes I’m a proud mommy):

When my 14 year old daughter saw my dryad she wanted one of her own, so I printed out a copy of the line art and let her have at it with her school color pencils.

This was her result:


Awesome for someone who has no art training at all. She has it in her, so I’m going to be working with her more and more too.

Happy crafting, Lovelies.