Halftone Studio » Custom Graphic And Web Designs

I recently signed up for a mixed media and drawing course hoping to explore some techniques they never really teach at Uni. One of my recent projects was about drawing a still life in mixed media (so that includes different tools and different surfaces).

I didn’t really know where to start so I thought: I’d paint a piece of cardboard with black ink and see where that leads me. I then started arranging various paper scraps (I bought some nice selection of papers from Khadi Papers – http://khadi.com) from black sunn hemp fibre paper to magazine pages, on my freshly painted piece of cardboard. While I was going through magazine pages I noticed an advert from a paint company called Marston & Langinger:

still lifepintopinterest

I really liked the idea of a vivid floral composition on a dark background, it reminded me of some old still life paintings I recently came across in Taschen’s “Still Life” book.  It’s a great publication with separate chapters for each still life subject:

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I thought since I have some artificial flower bouquets in my sitting room I could use them to create a similar composition with more modern approach. I decided to use white peonies (as they give nice contrast with a black background), white piece of cloth and a black bowl. I wanted to have as little different colours as possible in order to focus on textures and shapes. I started from sketching peonies using different tools, then quickly drawing the whole set of elements before moving on to the actual exercise.


I started from describing basic shapes (flowers, jug, table, cloth) then covered the jug+flowers with white acrylic paint and leaves with a mixture of green and blue which somehow soaked into the black ink background. I then glued a piece of vellum paper around the jug trying to drape it to make it look like the actual cloth – I ended up using three separate pieces of vellum paper for this job.  After that I painted the flowers with a mixture of white, light pink, grey and lime (yellow mixed with green) acrylic paint and glued a large scrap of black sunn hemp fibre paper onto the left side of my painting in order to be able to mix various medias together (as obviously I couldn’t use white chalk on a white acrylic paint surface).

As you can see I let the white acrylic paint drip a bit then added more layers of colour, glued the paper, sketched some petals with white chalk and added details using black pens in 0.5mm and 0.8mm.  I also glued another piece of paper (textured page from a magazine) onto the white jug to achieve some pattern effect.

The whole piece measuring 52x67cm which was quite comfortable size to work on. I think this exercise was really useful as it made me realise I shouldn’t limit myself to just one medium or one surface in a single drawing and experiment with different options in order to achieve different effects from line detail to surface pattern or texture. I definitely look forward to drawing more mixed media compositions during my course as working with various tools often results in unexpected (yet exciting) results!


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    “Beauty is diversity,” says photographer Mihaela Noroc, “and I travel the world to discover it.” After quitting her job in Romania two years ago, Noroc decided to begin a photo project while backpacking across the globe. Called “The Atlas of Beauty,” the project is a collection of portraits of the women Noroc met in her travels and is an attempt to show that “beauty is everywhere.” “It’s not a matter of cosmetics, money, race, or social status,” argues Noroc, “but more about being yourself. Global trends make us look and behave the same, but we are all beautiful because we are different.”

    You can see more pics on Mihaela’s Facebook and Instagram

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