Flowers in her hair: A mixed media portrait

Hi friends! How are you all doing? I hope you are enjoying summer or winter depending on your location. ;) The sun is on full-time duty here in Oregon and we are loving it! It’s been crazy busy but I try to squeeze in a little art time for myself and although this piece took a couple of months to complete, I’m very happy with the result. I snapped pictures with my phone to show my progress so I thought I would share those with you…

Using a piece of 9″ x 12″ illustration board I prepped the background with a collage of vintage papers and scrapbook paper. I try not to over think the placement but strive for a balance of color and texture. I use Golden Matt Medium as my glue.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.45.27 PM Ah! I found my muse! I use some cream acrylic paint to block out some of the text so I have a nice background for my sketch. Sketching her face was a challenge for me at first. I’m rusty since my days in art school, so I really had to push past my own doubts.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.45.40 PM

I start filling in color with acrylic paint. She’s starting to come to life! :)

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.45.08 PM I can hear my art teachers telling me not to focus on detail yet…but I couldn’t help it, I love painting eyes – so I dive in and start to render her gray-blue eyes with washes of paint.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.44.56 PM

Instead of painting flowers, I wanted to incorporate more collage, so I found these flowers online at the Graphic Fairy, printed them out and added them to her hair. Remember to coat any ink-jet images with a couple of layers of Krylon Crystal clear so the ink doesn’t bleed when you use your glue.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 3.44.39 PM

The next couple images were taken with my Canon camera, just so you know. The color is more accurate in these.

Here she is – all finished! You can see I added some washi and masking tape to create some movement and direction. I loved using a white gel pen to accentuate some areas too.

The quote reads ” Let us dance in the sun wearing wild flowers in our hair.”  art1You can’t really tell from the pictures but I put metallic streaks of gold in hair so it shimmers in the light.



Okay, sorry for the long post but it’s fun (and scary) to share my art and process. I hope one day to be brave enough to teach an online class! I have learned so much by the classes I have taken.

My favorites are with Jeanne Oliver.  She really inspires you to get out all those art supplies and just go for it!

Have a beautiful Tuesday!




Filed under Art, collage, creativity, mixed media

29 responses to “Flowers in her hair: A mixed media portrait

  1. Well, you don’t look rusty at all to me. She is gorgeous!!

  2. This is absolutely stunning!! You are truly talented Ivy, her face is perfect!!~
    Wishing you a lovely day.

  3. So delightful! She looks so serene and deep in thought. Thanks for sharing her.

  4. This is gorgeous!
    You are so talented!

  5. GORGEOUS! good job being brave to show your work! :)

  6. A lovely piece Ivette…feels like stepping back to another time. Artists contribute so much to our world…keep sharing. Please!

  7. This is soooo beautiful!!

  8. She is beautiful and I love getting to see the steps to make her.

  9. Cathy Garrett

    She is gorgeous Ivy. You did a fantastic job on her eyes!!! Wow! You are very talented and I love seeing your work!!!

  10. Meallyn

    Beautiful! You’re an artist :) Your phone can make really good photos – photos from my phone look awful :(

  11. Pingback: Mixed Media Process – Grace and Ivy | Indie Crafts |

  12. SO beautiful -thank you for sharing the process as you worked on her. I was thinking of doing the same thing and this is inspiring me to do so!

  13. Ivy, she is beautiful! Thanks for the peek into your process, loved seeing the painting at different stages. You have a beautiful talent, thanks for sharing your gifts!

  14. beautiful!!! loved seeing the process…

  15. Wow, amazing work. so glad i found your blog

  16. Pingback: Flowers in her hair: A mixed media portrait | aspiringjournalistx

  17. I love this piece it’s great. Thank you for sharing.

  18. very nice and interesting .

  19. Your piece is beautiful! I am just starting on mixed media canvas work, as I normally just do cards. I love the expression and her eyes are amazing too. Thanks for sharing your process. One teacher I love for this type of work is Dina Wakely. She got me to actually enjoy my own painting. So fun!

  20. It’s amazing!! You have a great gift!! :)

  21. This is an inspiring creation. I think you will be a great online tutor with clarity and intrigue. You have certainly inspired me to try painting even though the self doubts overwhelm me. I have just started art school, so the scary stuff is a constant challenge and reward. Well done, for just doing it the way it felt right for you.

  22. I just got a box of old letters, cards and other old papers from the 30’s and 40’s from an estate sale…I was looking for some inspiration and your work was it! Thank you for the step by step photos.

  23. PLEASE dare to make an online class ! I’ve never learned collage and yet I feel drown to it but I don’t know neither about the supplies, neither about the technique. Don’t underestimate yourself !

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