Labyrinth Stencil on Mineral Paper: A Mixed Media Playdate by Briana

All of a sudden, I have fallen in love with watercolor pencils again. I used to use them more in my early art journaling explorations, nearly 17 years ago, but I sort of forgot about them.

While recently planning for an adult art workshop, I wanted to introduce the class participants to a user-friendly art supply with versatility. Aha! Watercolor pencils!!

And since I was having so much fun with watercolor pencils, I decided to incorporate them into this post for artistcellar, too!

Note: The Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils sold on artistcellar are of superior quality. Here’s a link to a video (created by ColoringKaria) that shows you many ways to use these fabulous watercolor pencils: https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3538991757&feature=iv&src_vid=zSe119-1ZXs&v=VZ8Wi15RXXw

Note: There are many, many kinds of watercolor pencils on the market. If you are curious to see how different brands compare to one another, I found this video helpful (created by MyOwn Stuff): https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3538991757&feature=iv&src_vid=zSe119-1ZXs&v=VZ8Wi15RXXw

Now for the step by step tutorial on the mixed media art I created on Mineral Paper.

Step 1:

Trace the Crete labyrinth stencil using a ballpoint pen on Mineral Paper.

Step 2:

Color inside the lines you traced in a way that pleases you. Keeping the stencil in place can be helpful.

Step 3:

Wet a brush and smooth out the watercolor pencil coloring you just did.

Tip: Swipe excess water out of the brush before painting. If it’s too wet, the water seeps under the stencil.

Step 4:

Play with the possibilities of watercolor pencils and a wet paintbrush.

Step 5:

Draw concentric circles with the watercolor pencils, in purple and blue, around the labyrinth. Wet the colored pencil work with a brush.

Drip Dye-Na-Flow in Midnight Blue around the paper.

Tip: Turn your paper upside down to get a new perspective.

Step 6:

Drip Bright Green Dye-Na-Flow around your paper.

Drop rubbing alcohol (90% isopropyl alcohol) onto the wet areas of your paper and watch what happens!

Step 7:

Squint your eyes and notice if you see enough contrast. Notice if there are any other colors you feel need to be added. (For me, I felt like a warm pink was needed. I decided to draw some plant-like shapes all around, including through the wet puddles of color).

Tip: Making an artful mess is fun! Try to enjoy the experience of exploration.

Step 8:

Drop more alcohol and tilt your paper in different directions for the drips to do their thing.

Step 9:

Unify the piece by adding sweeps of liquid watercolor. (I chose to use some neon liquid watercolor purchased at Blick).

Step 10:

Drop more alcohol onto the outside edges of the labyrinth where you traced with ballpoint pen. Watch the alcohol dissolve the ink and make some of the lines blur.

Tip: Not all pens are dissolved by alcohol, so do a test on a separate sheet of paper to check your pen’s solubility.

Finally, let dry and then enjoy your finished piece!

In Summary

I hope you feel inspired to play with watercolor pencils. They are versatile, portable, and fun!

I hope you feel inspired to play with inks and rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), because it’s a really fun technique to try.

May you continue to honor your creative spirit through exploration and play, even if you call yourself a professional artist.

I will leave you with this quote:

“Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good” -Lucia Capocchione

Blessings and Peace to you,

Briana of OrangeSpiralArts.com




Lisa Cousineau
Lisa Cousineau

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