Dream in Color | Mixed-Media Art Inspiration

There are certain people who immediately make you think of specific images. When I think of my friends, symbols come to mind for each of them: a motorcycle for my biker friend, goats for my farmer friend, and an array of colors for Jodi Ohl. As you’ll see below, Jodi encourages you to go wild with color in her mixed-media art project from Cloth Paper Scissors (January/February 2014). Find the entire demonstration on our blog for your reference. This article gives you an idea of the exciting techniques you’ll learn when you order your Mixed-Media YUPO® Exploration Collection, which features two of Jodi’s brand new DVDs, “Expressive Watercolor on YUPO: Painting Flowers,” and “Graffiti Grunge Art: Abstract Painting on YUPO.”

Mixed-media art ideas with Jodi Ohl | ClothPaperScissors.com
Jodi Ohl’s mixed-media art

Graffiti Doodle Houses by Jodi Ohl

Over the years, I’ve found myself, time and time again, going back to painting images of houses. The style of the houses has taken on many different incarnations, from collage to acrylic painting, texturized to whimsical, to this particular project, “Graffiti Doodle Houses,” which has a little bit of all of those things. I think the themes of home and community are ones that everyone can relate to. What would your little village, city, neighborhood, or happy place look like? I challenge you to dream in color and bring your happy place to life today.

1. Sand all the edges of the cut boards, ensuring all rough edges and splinters are removed.

2. Paint the entire board, including the sides, with the black acrylic paint. Generally, I use a dark color for the base because, when you paint over it, the colors are intensified and much richer than over a light-colored base. Allow to dry.

Mixed-media art ideas with Jodi Ohl | ClothPaperScissors.com

3. Add random textural areas to the substrate with the palette knife and the modeling paste. For additional interest, use stencils with the modeling paste to add patterns or designs to the base. (Figure 1) Allow to dry.
Note: Drying time will vary according to your climate. Allow a minimum of 4–6 hours. It could take up to 24 hours in a humid environment.

4. Lightly sand the dry modeling paste to remove any loose pieces and to smooth the edges.

Mixed-media art ideas with Jodi Ohl | ClothPaperScissors.com

5. Using the pencil, write randomly in various areas of the board–anything your heart desires. (Figure 2) I like to do this in a messy, graffiti style. This part is more of an exercise of expression than a means to the end, but the writing does help add to the mystery and depth of subsequent layers. Doodle. Play.

6. Rub white paint over parts of the board with your fingers, leaving some areas of black paint peeking through. Do not get too heavy with this layer (or any layer for that matter). It’s all about building up the layers.

Mixed-media art ideas with Jodi Ohl | ClothPaperScissors.com

7. While the paint is still wet, add a second paint color, using your fingers to mix it in with the white. (Figure 3) Repeat, adding more colors, until you get a background you are happy with. Let dry.
Note: I normally start with 3–4 colors and then add additional colors as needed.

8. Go back in with the pencil and add more free-expression graffiti writing. (Figure 3)

9. Continue to build up the background using paint with the stamps or stencils.

Mixed-media art ideas with Jodi Ohl | ClothPaperScissors.com

10. Sketch in a simple composition with pencil. (FIGURE 4) Smudge and blend the pencil marks gently with your finger, leaving just enough of the guidelines to start color blocking your piece.

11. Fill in your composition with paint, adding details, shading, and highlighting. I work from the largest area to the smallest as I paint.

Mixed-media art ideas with Jodi Ohl | ClothPaperScissors.com

12. Finish the piece by doodling with pen and ink. I generally start with black and work from left to right or top to bottom so I don’t smudge the ink with my hand. Add outlining, doodles, quirky designs, or borders. Repeat this process with the white ink. (Figure 5)

13. Add words, phrases, quotes, or expressive writing in various areas. I like to do this along the edges; on doors, windows, or the roof; and along the grass line. (Figure 5) This writing is not always legible. Sometimes I want the viewer to know exactly what I am writing, and other times I keep it more personal, using the writing as a design element.


Infuse your houses with patterns and complementary elements that help bring the design together in a cohesive way. This way, the houses can stand alone, or be a part of a sweet little Doodle Graffiti neighborhood. Give each house a personality of its own. ~Jodi

Click here to reserve your Mixed-Media YUPO Exploration collection today, and discover more mixed-media art techniques that will make it easier than ever to “dream in color.” Visit Jodi Ohl on her website: www.jodiohl.com.


Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques


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