with Karlyn Holman

Semi-Abstract Rocks

Lesson Description

Semi-abstract rocks on canvas. This lesson shows the versatility of using textural devises on canvas.  For example, wax paper makes “rock-like” textures when placed on the color and allowed to dry.  Using small pieces of ogura and pieces of unryu, you can easily create darks.  Using a 100-grit sandpaper and sanding watercolor pencils over a stencil will create a beautiful texture.   Dry thoroughly and wax surface with Dorland’s Wax. 

Materials List
  • Canvas
  • Palette Knife
  • Ogura Paper
  • 1/2″ Flat Brush
  • Wax Paper
  • Dorland’s Wax
  • QOR Cold Press Ground
  • Scissors
  • Medical Gauze
  • Stencil
  • Stamps
  • 100 Grit Sandpaper
  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Yes! Paste
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Old Bristle Brush

Making Your Own Collage

Lesson Description

Gelli papers.  We are going to make collage papers[1]  to use in creating an  abstract painting on canvas.  Making your own collage papers is fun and if you want to enter shows, it is now necessary.  A bonus lesson shows you how to prepare your canvas for this lesson. We are going to use acrylic paint to make our collage paper and watercolor to finish our painting.

Many art shows do not allow “store bought” collage papers so this technique is invaluable for making your own papers.  Finding the right paper was my first goal.  Most deli papers are waxed and not suitable for use with watercolor.  After a lot of trial and error, I found unwaxed deli paper  through Amazon Prime.  These papers are fantastic.  They are transparent and glue layer over layer with YES Paste.  You can use any acrylic paint.   You will find 50 sheets of these special papers in your gift box so you can try this wonderful approach to start an abstract painting.  We are going to start by making our own stamps and stencils using a glue gun and glue sticks. Gelli printing is a very popular way to make monoprints too.   Many quilters use Gelli printing as a way to print unique designs on their fabric.

Materials List
  • Karlyn Holman Signature Series Brush Set
  • Palette – Round, Filled
  • Gelli plate either purchased or homemade
  • 4″ brayer
  • Unwaxed Gelli Tissue
  • Gloves in a Bottle
  • Plastic gloves (optional)
  • Fine Mister (gift bag)
  • Stencils
  • Stamps
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Fluid acrylic paint
  • Bubble wrap, cardboard opened up to expose the textures, leaves found in nature, grapefruit bags, anything that creates a texture

Themed Watercolor

Lesson Description

Semi-Abstract Themed Watercolor.

When painting an abstract that contains some realism, this impressionistic style of working leaves a lot of interpretation to the viewer. You want a subject that excites the viewer, that contains little recognizable material and actually forces them to use their own interpretation. I think looking at an abstract is like listening to poetry…the experience portrays just the essence and often this touches the viewer more than pure realism.

Select a theme like Africa, any travel experience, fall leaves, grapes, etc, and start observing what colors represent this theme and what textures reveal the essence of your theme. Then collect labels, napkins, papers, event tickets, any mixed media that can enhance this theme. These collage materials breathe in a new reality to your painting.

Step by step instructions:

  1. Start with a small sketch of shapes. Wet your paper on both sides and start laying in the color.
  2. While still wet, add paper, labels, napkins and anything that will perk up the soft color.
  3. Add gauze for lines. Allow to dry and glue any collage materials in place with YES Paste.
  4. Use stencils and watercolor pencils for additional color and texture. Be sure to wet the surface before and after you sand.
Materials List
  • Selected materials like napkins, event tickets, labels, etc.
  • Unryu Paper
  • Ogura Paper
  • YES Paste
  • Stencils (I am using African themed stencils)
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Gauze for linear effects
  • Sprayer to loose edges
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to lift out whites

Colors Used

  • Scarlet Lake
  • Manganese Blue Hue
  • French Ultramarine Blue
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange
  • Antwerp Blue
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Raw Sienna

    Haven’t had enough?

    More Mini Courses Available

    Cave Paintings

    What’s Included

    • Cave Painting #1

    • Cave Painting #2



    What’s Included

    • Waterfalls

    • Fall Landscape

    • Atmospheric Perspective



    What’s Included

    • Going Beyond Realism

    • Negative Painting

    • Still Life


    Urban Life

    What’s Included

    • Mat Board Street Scene

    • Building Scapes


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