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How to add zentangle patterns to your paintings: In Kyoto

Adding designs with red fluid Acrylic

Mixed media flower painting

In Kyoto,

mixed media on canvas,

12 x 12 inches

 

If you like doodling and patterns, you can try incorporating zentangle and designs into your paintings. See how you can do it on a mixed media painting.

 

You will need

  • Canvas, I used 12 x 12 inches pre-streched canvas
  • Krylon workable fixative
  • Acrylic paint, I used Pebeo in titanium white and Payne’s grey
  • Nupastel color stick in black
  • Sharpie White Oil marker
  • Krylon workable fixative
  • Watercolor paint, I used Yarka watercolors.
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Fluid Acrylic, I used Liquitex Ink in yellow, orange and red
  • Copic white Ink
  • An Ink Pen

Here are the steps you can take to add patterns to your mixed media paintings

Start by painting an abstract background with fluid acrylic and alcohol

drops of fluid acrylic on the canvas

Add a few drops of fluid acrylic on the canvas

spreading the fluid acrylic on the canvas

Spread them on all the surface with a brush.

Alcohol has been dripped on the wet fluid acrylic

You can drip alcohol on the wet fluid acrylic to add more textures.

I let the paint dry for about 10 minutes

Let the paint dry for about 10 minutes

Finding shapes in the abstract background

I am outlining shapes with a nupastel crayon.

Find the shapes that will fit what you decided to paint in your abstract background, and outline them. Here I am using Nupastel to outline these shapes.

shapes on the abstract background

Once all the shapes you want to keep in color have been outlined, you can go to the next step.

Painting the negative space with white Acrylic paint

 

I am painting the negative space with white acrylic

Paint all around the shapes you outlined, that is the negative space with white Acrylic.

I am painting the negative space with white acrylic

Your painting will look something like that.

Adding contrast and patterns

I am painting the vase darker.

You can add more contrast by painting some areas with darker colors, here I am painting the vase darker with Payne’s grey Acrylic so it stands out more on the picture.

adding designs with a pen and Copic white Ink

To add designs, you can either use markers (make sure they are acid free, archival and water resistant) or use a Pen and ink. Here I am using copic white Ink.

Adding designs with a Sharpie Oil marker

You can also add designs with a Sharpie White Oil marker

Adding designs with a Sharpie Oil marker

Adding designs with red fluid Acrylic

You can change the color of the ink while adding designs and make it match the colors of your painting.

I want to incorporate a few more colors

Take time to stop in the process and evaluate your work, here I decide that I want to incorporate a few more colors.

Painting a few areas, either with fluid acrylic or with watercolor

You can paint a few areas, either with fluid acrylic or with watercolor

IMG_8159

Watercolor is great because if you don’t like the result you can wipe it off so that is a great way to try new colors combinations.

I want to incorporate a few more colors

For example here I changed my mind and changed that blue on the flower into green.

IMG_8169

When painting with watercolors on canvas, you will need to fix them before varnishing or painting over with a brush as they would lift from the canvas.

Drawing a grid

For more complex designs you might need to draw a grid. If that grid can stay visible, so it with the ink, if you want the grid not to show after you are done with your design, do it with Nupastel or graphite.

Drawing a grid

You could draw the grid with rulers, I personally like better a more organic, imperfect look.

adding zentangle like designs to the table

Keep working on your design.Here I did draw the outlines with the pen and did fill the spaces with a small brush.

When everything had time to dry, I paint the sides with white acrylic and apply a layer of varnish

When everything had time to dry,  paint the sides with white acrylic and apply a layer of varnish.

Mixed media flower painting

In Kyoto,

mixed media on canvas,

12 x 12 inches

Have you tried adding patterns to your paintings?

 

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