Mixed Media Fox Art Journal Page Tutorial

Mixed media art blog post - Fox on the loose!  Using watercolors, prisma colored pencils, collage, dye inks and referencing The Creature Garden - An Illustrator's Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna by Harry & Zanna Goldhawk .

Mixed Media Fox Art Journal Page

I love to play in my art studio and use all kinds of art supplies. From paper to watercolors to colored pencils I’m a mixed media artist to the core! Mixed media art journaling is so much fun because it allows me to use all of the amazing art supplies I have gathered over the years and just PLAY with them! I’m also sharing a new art book my good art buddy, Julie, introduced to me. Continue on to see how I created a mixed media fox art journal page.

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For the love of Art Books!

Art studio bookcase filled with art books.

I am of the philosophy that you can never have too many art supplies OR too many art books! So, my LOVE of collecting and using art books from all mediums has taken over a part of my studio. Studying and learning from other artists is how we grow as an artist ourselves. By copying other artist’s styles, we develop our own unique style by default.

“Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.” 
― George Bernard Shaw

The Creature Garden – An Illustrator’s Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna

The Creature Garden - An Illustrator's Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna by Harry & Zanna Goldhawk

The Creature Garden – An Illustrator’s Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna by Harry & Zanna Goldhawk is a new addition to my overflowing bookshelf. This tutorial style art book is filled with wonderful illustrations of mammals, birds, insects, botanicals, ocean life and even mystical creatures.

The Creature Garden - An Illustrator's Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna by Harry & Zanna Goldhawk .

This art tutorial book gets an A+ from me for it’s step-by-step expedition through the natural world, teaching you how to draw and paint 50 animals in a whimsical folk-art style. The husband-and-wife illustrator team Harry and Zanna Goldhawk, the founders of Papio Press, teach you how to make vibrant paintings of beasts—both real and imagined. Continue on to see the mixed media fox art journal page I created!

My mixed media fox art journal page…

How to make a mixed media fox art journal page.  The Creature Garden - An Illustrator's Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna by Harry & Zanna Goldhawk

I LOVE foxes! They are my 3rd favorite animal after otters and ravens! I think a fox is such a whimsical and fantastic beast! So, when I saw that this book had a tutorial on how to draw a fox I jumped right in!

How to draw a fox step by step tutorial with The Creature Garden - An Illustrator's Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna by Harry & Zanna Goldhawk .

The whimsical nature of these illustrations lend themselves to so much interpretation. I really like the simple step by step guide for setting up the basic shapes, sketching in your outline, and basic coloring ideas. Nothing too complex. It gives you lots of freedom to create in your own style.

Coloring with watercolor & colored pencils…

Hand drawn fox painted with watercolors and colored with prisma colored pencils.

When I said earlier that I like to use all of my art supplies, I was not lying! I am a true mixed media player. Mixing both watercolor and colored pencils gives me the primitive, whimsical look I am drawn to. No pun intended. 😉 I start by laying down a watercolor base on my image which is drawn on watercolor paper.

Watercolors I use…

olbein Artist's Watercolors Set of 24 5ml Tubes W405 and use them out of this Martin Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Palette box.  It is a great beginner or novice set.

I have this Holbein Artist’s Watercolors set of 24 5ml Tubes and use them out of this Martin Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-well palette box. It is a great beginner or novice set.

Grumbacher Transparent Watercolor Set.   I like having both transparent and opaque watercolors at hand.

I also use this Grumbacher Transparent Watercolor set. I like having both transparent and opaque watercolors at hand.

Prisma Colored Pencils…

Prismacolor pencils and carrying case wallet.

Prisma colored pencils are the only pencils I use. I have so many, that I needed to get a wallet to carry them all in. I love using colored pencils over watercolor. It is a fun technique that I use. After laying down a watercolor base I add depth and detail over it with the colored pencils. When I’m all done, I doodle and add details with a waterproof black pen.

Creating the background…

DIY dyed papers using dye ink sprays and deli sandwich paper.

Some of my favorite background pages are created using restaurant deli paper and dye ink sprays! This background technique is cheap and fun to do.

I love all things Dyan Reavely! She is a mixed media artist from Northern England and is one of the most creative and inspirational mixed media artists out there. Her line of mixed media sprays, paints and stamps are just so much fun. I am using them here to create my own handmade background papers to use in my art journals.

Mixed media art using restaurant deli sandwich paper as backgrounds.

Deli or sandwich paper is an awesome material to use with dye sprays, stencils, acrylic paints and gel printing plates. If you want to check out some other great tutorials using deli paper with gel printing plates visit this great site Cloth Paper Scissors for their Technique Tuesdays: Gel-Plate Printing post.

Spray, crumple and glue…

Ranger Dylusions dye ink spray backgrounds on deli paper.

When you have an afternoon and want to play and get messy then making deli paper backgrounds is going to be your gig! Set out some newsprint or newspaper and lay out several sheets of deli paper. Get out your favorite dye ink sprays and start spritzing them onto the deli paper, letting the ink flow into each other to create wonderful new shades! Let them dry while you sketch a fox or your own favorite creature.

Handmade ink dyed paper for art journal page backgrounds using deli paper.

After the paper and ink has dried, you can continue to create layers on top of the dyed paper with stamps, stencils or use them to mono print on with a gel printing tray. For this background, I crumpled up a sheet and then glued it onto one of my art journal pages. I then coated the top of it with matte mod podge and let it dry.

Putting it all together…

Cut and collage a mixed media fox art journal page.

Now the fun really begins! I start by cutting out my fox illustration from the watercolor paper. Then I added pieces of an old map, magazine clippings and other paper ephemera to finish my mixed media fox art journal page.

Mixed media fox art journal page using watercolors, colored pencils collage and inks.

Layout all of your mixed media pieces and create a fun scene. Glue them all down and add doodles and details with pens and markers. This is my fox on the loose and I can’t wait to finish adding more fun details to it. Art journaling is a fluid process, and you can always go back to a page and add more to it.

More inspiration from my friend Julie…

Watercolor with me in the forest art book.  A watercolored fox.

Spending time in my art studio creating is so much fun, but it is even better when you share that time with a good friend! My best friend Julie is an amazing artist and she is always inspiring and encouraging me. While I was working on my fox on the loose, Julie was water coloring her own little fox. She found this great watercoloring book by Dana Fox, called Watercolor with Me, In the Forest. Dana Fox also has a Watercolour Workshop site that offers online watercolor courses for beginners that Julie and I are saving up to join in on!

Check out my other artsy blog posts Mixed Media Fashion Paper Dolls HERE and Heck Yeah I’m an Artist HERE!

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Peace & Love
~Karen

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Comments

  1. So Julie drew a fox from a book by someone with the last name of Fox. Serendipitous.
    Aside from that, thank you for sharing your art process with us. Your talent is amazing.

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