Mixed-Media Art That Is … Unusual

We’re halfway through #InkTober–have you participated in this artistic challenge yet? If this is the first time you’ve heard about it, it’s not too late! InkTober, started by Jake Parker in 2009, is a fun initiative to encourage artists to draw everyday. To join in, simply share an ink drawing on social media (or in this special gallery) with the hashtag #InkTober so that others can see and be inspired by your artwork.

In addition to sharing my own ink drawings, I’ve been offering drawing tips from our experts. Today we hear from Karen O’Brien, a self-taught mixed-media artist whose work has been featured in several books and publications, including Incite: Dreams Realized, and Incite 2: Color Passions. Don’t miss her new book, due in November: Imaginary Characters: Mixed-Media Painting Techniques for Figures & Faces.

Mixed-media art by Karen O'Brien | ClothPaperScissors.com
Karen teaches mixed-media painting, and she believes in playful curiosity, learning to see, and trusting in the process. This piece was done with an eyedropper on collaged paper and colored with pencils and watercolor.

Karen offers these three quick tips for creating mixed-media ink drawings:
• Using random collage to define your figures can lead to unusual drawings.
• Stay loose by using an eyedropper to draw with.
• Using acrylic ink allows you to work on top of other media without the ink bleeding.

Here’s a snippet from Karen’s new book, which features more tips and techniques for working with ink:

“Ink drawings can be a freeing starting point for a painting or art journal page. Using a dropper as a drawing tool forces you to stay loose and expressive. I use the same inspiration sources for my ink figures as I do for my stencils and masks: dolls, sculpture, nature forms, fashion, even architecture. I capture unusual shapes in my sketchbook and collect images on Pinterest. When I get ready to do this ink-drawing technique, I gather some images and set them out to use as a visual reference. I tilt the paper and let the ink go wherever it wants to create marks I would not make on my own. This ensures I will have something fun and unusual to work with. The bold lines are dramatic.”

Now that you have new tips and inspiration for art-making, go forth and create! Then, share–upload your #InkTober drawings to our online gallery so we can see what you’ve made.

Celebrate the unusual,

It’s also not too late to take advantage of this special sketchbook and pen kit–you’ll love it!

Sign up for the Cloth Paper Scissors newsletter and get a free download on mixed-media art techniques.


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