How to Develop Your Mixed Media Artistic Intuition

Because so many of you love to look at and/or draw whimsical faces, we’ve offered tips and techniques for creating them in this blog. Today, I thought it would be helpful to focus not only on the end result, but also on the path of inspiration. And who better to provide that inspiration than mixed-media artist Jane Davenport?

Her new book, Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces, teaches you how to easily create gorgeous faces. But Jane’s words of wisdom will also inspire you, no matter what you choose to draw. For example, read at Jane’s statement in the art below and let it simmer for a minute: “If you have confidence in drawing, you can express ideas that DEFY language.” (Like this quote? Tweet it!) That’s a powerful idea. Here’s more from Jane about her approach to using mixed-media art supplies.

“Use whatever drawing tools you have access to,” Jane says. Get even more inspiration and techniques with the Jane Davenport Whimsical Faces in Mixed-Media Collection. It features Jane’s book, her 2014 Supply Stash Series Collector’s Edition Art Lessons, a Jane Davenport watercolor set (six tubes), and a Jane Davenport 18-color palette dot card. 

Mixed Media Art Supplies by Jane Davenport

“When do I use what?” is a common question about art supplies, and it’s my intention to help you with those decisions throughout this book. But I have a confession to make first: I am an art supply junkie. I love art supplies so much I created an online workshop all about them and I opened an art supply store. No one knows better than I, that with all that amazing choices, deciding what to use can be overwhelming–let alone deciding how to use it.

Back to that question, “When to use what?” Well, the answer many artists give is “intuition.” But what is intuition? It’s the result of experience, experimentation, and practice. The important thing to realize is there are no wrong choices. There are no mistakes, no rules. Even when the result is an unexpected muddy mess, you have learned a valuable lesson about your materials.

Getting in touch with your supplies, and learning the things that make your heart sing, develops your artistic intuition. Whenever you play with your supplies, you are building your creative confidence.

I think it’s important to set your supplies free from the boxes they came in and, if possible, have them arranged around you where you create. That way you can unfetter your intuition and grab whatever color appeals to you at the time!

I always have my most trusted supplies nearby to lean on, but I like trying new things, rediscovering old favorites, and experimenting to discover new ways to use what I have. Sometimes I place an ignored art supply right in front of me to encourage its use. I am not curating an art supply museum–although it certainly would be fun! I want my stuff to be paint splattered, emptied, and taken to its limits.

I call my compulsion to arrange art supplies in color-wheel order “Rainbowitis.” My feeling is that the creative process is chaotic enough, so I like to surround myself with organized color while the art is happening. That way I can always (well, usually) find what I need. ~Jane

In this chapter of Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces, Jane goes on to talk about the surfaces, paintbrushes, gesso, acrylics, mediums, pastels, watercolor, pencils, inks, markers, pens, and ephemera that you can incorporate when drawing mixed-media faces. You’ll also learn Jane’s methods for drawing basic faces, adding details, and how to go wild with mixed-media techniques that can take your art from plain to pretty.

Now, I dare you–be bold!

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Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Supplies, Mixed-Media Techniques, Tools & Resources


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