Ida Andersen Lang’s Tutorial

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

And now, for something completely different! I have decided to play around with mixed media for 2024 – not that I am at all giving up on textile art; in fact, I hope to combine them once I pick up enough skill. In preparation for that, I image searched mixed media ideas and came across Ida Andersen Lang’s Wish Upon a Star tutorial and decided to start early.

I dug out all my paints, pencils, pens, etc – some that I’ve literally had since childhood. One immediate thing I realized is that by keeping them all in their boxes, I never used them. There is a reason that in every art video, artists have their supplies right there all easily at hand. I do that with textile items, but never have with anything else. I’ve now combined like-media together, putting some in open containers right on a cart dedicated to my mixed media exploration in 2024. For instance, all the various brands of colored pencils are in the used-up coral candle pot, and the watercolor pencils are in the blue (for water) pot. I also don’t think I ever posted a kintsugi followup: one of my cat tea mugs broke, so I patched it back together with love and now it holds my ratty paintbrushes (my nicer ones are out of shot). And that cart itself hadn’t been put to its best use, hiding in our extra room; I’m super happy it fits under my craft table when not in use. Like it was meant to be!

But, back to the tutorial. Ida did a wonderful job walking me through the steps so that I didn’t have the stress of hoping for a fantastic work of art at the end (which can then prevent the simple action of starting a project, many of us know). Her focus on the techniques instead, plus how she dealt with small accidents, gave me just what I needed to breeze through. Even when I wanted to give up – once I realized my mixed media paper was not strong enough to handle a lot of water and things started going severely awry – I kept at it just to learn and learn and learn.

I won’t explain her entire tutorial because it’s completely worth your time to check out if you ever had an inkling to try something like this. But we did start with a basic tracing of a photograph to skip right over the stress of having to draw a human being. We were encouraged to change her hair to be ultra flow-y and to not at all try to recreate the actual model. We were in it for imagination, not realism. I liked that very much.

Next, we dug out our watercolor pencils. Only once I had shaded all this in did I realize I actually had reached for the wrong bowl of pencils, oi! I almost gave up here, too, but pushed on. I wasn’t here to make a painting, I reminded myself. I was here to learn. And so, learn I did.

I added watercolor pencils on top, and then used normal color pencils again to bring out some messy line work in her hair, her top, and the background. The background, by the way, was when I really almost stopped. I’ll have to buy some nice watercolor paper at some point, but I had just purchased some mixed media paper thinking that, by definition, it was proper. I also am not at all a fan of her hair toward the bottom here. I wish I had let it fade out rather than filling it in, but that’s alright. Again, I need to think the words: this is not meant to be real art. And then Ida came through with what was meant to be the last part of the workshop, the whimsy stars and such that drew my attention in the first place.

It was also time for me to do more line work, more shading, adding some more details like freckles, etc. I used a lovely sparkly gold paint to splatter, too.

I learned a lot through the practice and Ida was a wonderful teacher. I am so grateful she offered the course for free, else I would likely have never reorganized my crafty space. I also learned that had I allowed myself to spend more time on her, my painting was only getting better and better with each layer. But alas, my inner self kept whispering how I don’t like painting, so I did eventually call it quits. The thing is, though, water color pencils (and this neocolor pastel I need to look into!) remove so much about what I dislike about painting (all the space used by pots, wasted paint in trays, dried out containers, etc). I think I also learned that, with the right tools (as is the case with most things), I could like painting, maybe, just a little, after all? Thanks, Ida!

 

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