Saturday, February 2

Darling Deer Mixed Media Woodland Painting Process

Yesterday I posted a new mixed media painting, Darling Deer. Inspired by Bambi, of course! Today I'm going to share with you the progress of how I created this piece :)

I started off by selecting four 6x6" pieces of patterned paper that I felt would represent sky and land well and laid them down. I really love the green piece on the bottom right, and was a little sad that in the end it gets quite covered up.

Next I added some torn paper with music notes pattern to break up the 50/50 split of the canvas between the sky and land, and applied some green-blue paint to begin to unify the background.

I then added washi tapes (love, love love that chevron tape I got months ago!) and stamped texture onto the canvas (I use a cute polka-dot pine tree, perfect for this woodland piece). Again, just trying to break up and "perfect-ness", and create a naturally random background. I try to stay away from perfectly symmetrical, but at the same time, try to keep things (colours in particular) balanced. 

While the last step was drying, I took a piece of paper to size out the area that I'm placing my deer, and sketched a deer onto it. Since I'm out of transfer paper, and I want to construct this deer from multiple patterned papers, I opted to sketch it outside of my sketchbooks so I can then cut it up and use the pieces as stencils. I ended up cutting it into 10 pieces, and used four different patterned papers.

I apply a few of my first elements onto my canvas: a library card (which I filled in / distressed myself) and tree trunk, and a banner on the top right.

I choose wording, and lay everything down together before attaching it to the canvas and committing to it. Since I am working with a somewhat-definite-plan (I know what I want in my head, but haven't really sketched out the particulars), I want to be able to move my elements around until I am satisfied with their locations. If I hadn't done that, I may have placed the deer too high, and not have had enough room for the quote, especially since it is such a tight fit to begin with. I attach everything down.

I add more elements, some stencilling, my blossoms and some more collaged elements. I do shading with the Faber-Castell big brush pens, and for more detailed shading I use these with a small paint brush and water to get the shading just right. Finish with a protective layer on everything except the blossoms (being coffee filters, they would "wilt" if coated with gel medium, ect). 

And there it is, "Darling Deer". A 12x12" whimsical woodland mixed media painting. I really like how "Sweet" and "Simple" are the two words that stand out the most (I almost named this Sweet and Simple). I am pleased with my shading on the head of the deer. I was really worried how it might turn out, and to be safe, applied a layer of gel medium and let it dry prior, so that I knew I could "erase" it off if needed. It also made shading with the FC big brush pens a lot easier (you can't really shade with them well on "absorbant" material, like uncoated paper). The colour scheme has a nice vintage feel to it, without loosing too much of its vibrancy.

The original is available for sale in my online store.


  1. It's always fun to see someone's process and it helps me learn how to be a better artist as well. Thanks for sharing this!!!

  2. Love the output! Thanks for sharing your work! I got some inspiration from you. Keep posting! :)


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