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Mixed Media Painting With Carolyn Pettitt

Mixed Media Painting With Carolyn Pettitt

Welcome back to the latest free art lesson from Golden Road Arts. Last time we were here we discussed Japanese fish printing at a school Arts Day.

In this latest video, mixed media artist Carolyn Pettitt gives a detailed lesson on creating vivid and textured art using an intuitive painting style.

The Mixed Media Painting Style of Carolyn Pettitt Video

Learn how Carolyn Pettitt creates layered art using textures and vibrant colors. Follow along as Carolyn discusses her artistic process.

Materials Needed for Carolyn Pettitt’s Mixed Media Art Lesson

  • Gesso
  • Wooden board
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pastry cutter

Scroll to the bottom of the page for some of Carolyn Pettitt’s paintings.

Create Textured Paintings Using Carolyn Pettitt’s Artistic Techniques

Read along using the video transcript to discover how Carolyn Pettitt creates mixed media paintings with simple materials.

You don’t just see the big picture; you start paying attention to the small things and the details and the subtle colors and grasses. You think oh yeah that’s a brown field. Oh no, that’s not a brown field. There’s oranges and greens and yellows and every shade in between.

For me as an artist, I just love it over there because I have learned over the years how to look at things. The sense of depth that you get when you look out; it’s just a whole different experience. It’s just magical to me. As you can tell one of my favorite places.

First of all, I gessoed the board. This is the board that I’m working on. While the gesso is wet I use a tool – it could sometimes be something like this, a pointed stick – and start making marks in the wet gesso just to give me an idea and placement of where things are going to go. But it also adds another layer of texture to my work, which I love. I’m kind of a texture freak. I like anything that will add texture. It will actually end up being a part of the painting in a very subtle way. You’ll be able to see that coming through; the texture. So I add the texture marks, let it dry, and then I can start with laying in washes of color, as and this is going to be very layered as far as color is concerned, very layered. Everything I put on eventually will come through in the finished painting.

My next step is to do a little more of this laying in of color. I use a lot of paint directly from the tube sometimes. This color here I used – a mixture of Naples Yellow and Cadmium Yellow Deep – to get this orangey yellow that I’m using. It’s all acrylic. I don’t stray very far from acrylics because I’ve used them so long I know how they react. I know my way around, I guess, acrylics. I know what they’ll do.

So, I’m going to use a little of this red oxide just to give another layer and in places of color. And again, when I actually start putting detail – I’m not a very I’m not a real detailed painter – a lot of my things don’t have a lot of detail, but an illusion of detail I guess is what you’d call it. So I sometimes use in fact this yellow that I laid in; I used a just a stick to make the grass like shapes and you can see the texture coming through in the strokes that I make.

I don’t have a grand plan when I start, I don’t have it mapped out step-by-step what I’m going to do, so it just kind of takes shape as I go. And so now I wanna put some more layers of color in and I kind of mix my paint intuitively. It’s just I have in mind the color that I want and I just mix till I think I’ve got it. And I think I’m getting; that’s a good choice of color. I’m going to add a just a tiny, tiny bit of black to it to make it more of a grayer green; maybe a little more. Ah yeah, that’s looking good.

Some of the things that I do are direct result of doing printmaking. Now this handy dandy little tool is actually for making pies but I think it’s great for making grasses, also. So what I’m going to do, I’m layering little bits and pieces of color in here and again at the finished piece you’ll see all these colors coming through. So I just keep working until I think I have enough of one color and then I’ll move on and do some more in a different color.

I try to keep my painting very loose and if I feel like I’m getting too tight or too much detail usually it’s an indication that I’m not going to like the finished product. Now over here, this grass – I don’t know if you can see it in the picture – has some different, it’s a different variety of grass and it’s got some seed heads on it, so I’m trying to – it’s not going to look exactly like that but I want to kind of have that feel. And this is like I said, it’s a pretty tedious process so just have to keep at it. So as you can see I do a lot of, you know, mark making. As you can see I am certainly not putting a lot of detail; I’m just giving the illusion of grass like shapes.

I get a question a lot about “well how did you learn to do what you do you?” Yes, I went to school; yes I went to art school to learn to be an artist, but you really learn to be an artist by doing it. So, a lot of the things, you just have to make a lot of mistakes.

Learn New Painting Styles With Our Free Online Art Lessons

If you would like more information on art styles and techniques, make sure to watch our free online art lessons.

You can also help us continue delivering free art education for kids by making a donation or purchasing from our online art gallery. Golden Road Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Abstract mixed media bird painting by Carolyn Pettitt.

Carolyn Pettitt collage painting of a robin.

Vivid painting of a bird and flowers by Carolyn Pettitt.

Textured landscape with grass and flowers by Carolyn Pettitt.

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