With this blog post, I want to encourage you to
… draw from imagination
… fall in love with the combination of water-soluble media and colored pencils
… find inspiration from art that has been created hundreds of years ago
Inspiration from Old Still Lives
A few weeks ago, I visited a small art museum called Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki. I have visited it many times because it’s a cozy old building and small art exhibitions are refreshing more than overwhelming. One more reason is that in Finland you can buy a museum card for about 65 EUR and it gives you free access to most of the Finnish museums for a year. It became available in 2015, and since then I have visited museums more than ever before in a year.
The exhibition at Sinebrychoff Art Museum was about old still lives, painted in the 16th to 18th centuries. I have admired those old, elegant paintings with beautiful flowers and fruits of all sorts for a long time. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to the most luxurious still lives, and I often bring up little things that I have learned from watching them in my classes. So no wonder, I was very inspired after seeing the exhibition, and I had to create a small drawing just to let my imagination play with the memories of beautiful paintings.
Mixed Media Drawing with Imaginative Fruits and Flowers
I picked one of my art journals, a Daler-Rowney’s Graduate Sketchbook, and a black thin-tipped drawing pen that has permanent ink. I prefer sketching with a permanent pen rather than with a pencil. Not being able to erase anything makes me more creative. Using permanent ink allows me to play with wet media as well.
First, I started doodling from the edges towards the center. Then I added some watercolors on the top of the doodling leaving the center blank.
Once the watercolor was dry, I added more doodling in the center and finished the page with colored pencils. The dark background makes the colorful flowers and fruit stand out.
This process was so simple that I wanted to make a small tutorial for another page inspired by old still lives. So here it comes!
Mixed Media Drawing – A Tutorial
1) Set the composition with simple shapes. Draw a big shape and then a smaller one. The shapes can intersect.
2) Add the horizon by doodling. I wanted to make the drawing dynamic by giving the horizon a diagonal direction.
3) Paint the background leaving most of the shapes blank. I used watercolors, but you can use any water-soluble media like inks or watercolor pens. Just make sure that your lines will show through because it’s part of the visual appeal. Use more than just one color so that your painting inspires you in the next step. Let dry.
4) Doodle your heart out! Without raising your pen from the paper, doodle over the painted background and on the center too.
5) Color the drawing with bright colors and dark shadows. I used colored pencils, but you can use almost any media for coloring. For example, felt-tipped pens work great. You can also continue to use water-soluble media for coloring. Add dark colors between the flowers and the leaves. Leave some of the painting made in Step 3 visible so that your drawing breathes.
6) Add the final touches to balance the drawing. I added some lines to make the elements in the background more explanatory and a tiny flower that looks like it’s reaching them. I also made the top right corner look similar to the bottom right corner to highlight the diagonal composition in the background.
Mixed Media Drawing – Say You Want to Explore More!
1) Enjoy Drawing from Imagination!
At Inspirational Drawing 2.0, you will quickly get in touch with you living line and lively imagination. You will also get personal help to finish your pieces so that they are meaningful and appealing to other people too.
>> Sign up for Inspirational Drawing 2.0!
2) Practice Merging Painting with Drawing!
Learn to merge drawn areas with painted areas and play with shadows! Flowing Greenery is a self-study class with two projects, a small still life, and a bigger landscape.
>> Buy Flowing Greenery!
3) Get Creative with Colored Pencils!
Coloring doesn’t have to be stiff or boring. Learn to color freely whether it’s coloring a drawing or creating intuitive art directly on a blank page!
>> Buy Coloring Freely!