Mixed media portrait of an Amazon goddess
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In the Studio – A Mixed Bag

I Invite you in the studio this week to see the results of my efforts. I had a mixed bag of art-making this week. I didn’t really know what to do since I had finished the primary lessons for Kaleidoscope’s August lessons. I had shared my previous week’s paintings with a group of women artists, and they had questions on how to use the Stabilo-All™ water-soluble pencil. I did a sketch to show how it works.

Then I remembered I hadn’t finished several of the lessons that were offered in the Kaleidoscope Taster sessions that remained available to me as a subscriber. I chose two of the lessons that I had previously passed on due to their complexity. The results are described I more detail below.

Stabilo-All™ Water-Soluble Pencil Portrait

This was a quick sketch to show the effects of water when using the water-soluble pencil. The first sketch was quickly drawn and shows what the drawing looked like before activating with water.

The second step shows the portrait after being sprayed with water. The Stabilo-All™ water-soluble pencil begins to move in unpredictable ways.

I then went in and darkened some of the shadow areas using the same pencil. I created my first Instagram reel showing these steps.

I let the portrait dry and decided it needed some color. I quickly added some with colored pencils. The whole process, minus drying time, probably took less than an hour. I will add this to the sketchbook I keep devoted to faces.

Analogous Split Complimentary Peacock by Tamara LaPorte

This lesson from Tam, appealed to me when I first saw it as a Taster Lesson. I had passed during the free sessions as I thought it would be too complicated and take too much time.  I decided to give it a try and was pleased with the results.

The painting was done mostly with watercolors. I tried the splat technique that Tamara suggested but don’t think I really mastered it. She has you soak a cotton ball in the watercolor paint, place it where you want on the painting, and hit it with a hard stick (I used the handle of a drafting brush). Some of the splat effects I achieved by blowing on the wet paint with a straw.

I loved the colors on this one and the addition of the red-violet complimentary really made it pop.

Blessing of the Amazon River by Ida Andersen Lang

Ida is a mixed media artist living in Denmark. I have done a few of her lessons in the past and know she uses multiple layers of colors in various mediums to create mystical paintings. In this one, the woman represents the river, with the strands of her hair painted as waves. A jaguar drinks from the river beside her.

I knew this painting would take a while. I started with a pencil sketch of the scene and then worked on the hair. Ultramarine blue and burnt sienna were mixed to create a grey tone. Subsequent layers brought our the blue or the burnt sienna more. The jaguar used the darkest value.

Each layer of watercolor needed to dry before moving to the next. On occasion, I used a heat gun to speed up the time. Gold metallic watercolor was used to accent some of the strands and then splattered about. Pan pastels were used to deepen some of the colors on the face.

Then, colored pencils were used to provide more detail. Finally, the painting was splattered with white paint and white stars were put in her hair with a Posca paint pen.

A lot of time, a lot of layers, but I like it. If you like her style, she offers a free lesson if you visit her website and sign up.

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I have really enjoyed this Kaleidoscope 2023 course. I hae learned a lot of information about color that will help me in future artistic endeavors. It also has given me an opportunity to dig out some art supplies that I haven’t used in a long time or even never, such as the pan pastels.

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