Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A mixed media card }{ tutorial

I'm calling this post a tutorial, but in truth it's more of a process post. What I mean is, if you follow the steps, you may be using the same process I did, but most likely your card won't be the same. You might change the colors, the background, the final touches, etc. In any case, it's been a while since I did a tutorial-like post.

To be completely honest, I'm not 100% happy with how it came out at the end. So I'm asking for help. What would you have done differently?

This all started with an idea to sew ripped up music sheets together. I didn't know anything else about the project, only that it had to include that. The whole process went along without planning ahead - after each step I'd try to think "what's next?" So I gathered a bunch of things I might use, but here's a final list of what I did use:

  • watercolor paper
  • old sheets of music
  • alcohol-free ink
  • walnut ink spray
  • sketch paper and pencil
  • gesso
  • watercolors (and brush of course)
  • scissors
  • matte gel
  • ribbon
  • small jewel
  • sewing machine and thread
And the process:

  1. Cut a piece of watercolor paper and sprayed it with pink ink. 
  2. Then grab a ripped up piece of sheet music

  1. Rip the sheet music into 4 smaller pieces and then sew them together.

  1. Press the edges of the sheet music on the ink pad

  1. Sketch some girls on separate piece of paper. This step in particular can easily be made simpler by using a stamp, like these.

  1. Decide which image to use, color it (or not), and cut it. I used watercolor for this, but I've seen people do amazing cards with copic markers and other supplies too.

  1. Decide on an arrangement on the background paper and paste it together using matte gel.
  2. Put on the finishing touches, whatever you deem necessary. I added gesso on the girl for some highlights, as well as some darker colors for shadows here and there. Then I also added some thread using various decorative stitches to the side, then a jewel to her hat, and finally some ribbon.

So back to my question up there, what would you have done differently?


  1. I would keep the background cleaner I think - there´s a lot going on there which means the eye have a harder time to know where to focus. Steals the thunder for the pretty girl. :-)

  2. I really like the idea. I might have ended up using more contrasting colours for the thread and simpler thread. Just because I hate to detract from the illustration

  3. I probably would've done without the additional stitches and stick with just the girl, music sheets.

    You are so creative! I love that you used watercolor. I've always been partial to that. :)

  4. Oh I love it my friend...everything is perfect...really I would not change a thing. Love the colours and your sweet drawing. xoxox
    Have a great evening...hope your Spring is going well so far.