Star Anise Mixed Media Painting

By The Arty Teacher - February 15, 2024

Art teacher and artist Dionne Adkison has generously shared the following mixed media process with me. I am certain the process could be applied to numerous sorts of objects and artifacts but I feel the textural nature of the process lends itself to natural forms and perhaps aged artefacts. See what you think.

Materials: Star Anise, pencil, canvas, white tissue, hot glue and glue, Modge Podge or PVA, square and round brushes, acrylic paint.

1. Lightly sketch the general shape of the star anise. I chose to include the front and back of the star anise in different scales, and a larger, more detailed outline.  Next, choose where to add the hot glue. I elected to emphasise two of the star anise and did not include any hot glue in the background. The purpose of the hot glue is to add an element of texture and dimension to the artwork.

Star Anise Mixed Media Painting

2. After hot glue has dried, add a light layer of the white glue with a brush to a small portion of the canvas at a time rather than all at once. This makes it easier to control the paper and the desired outcome.

 I crumble a single layer of tissue paper first so that when I glue it down, it creates creases and a raised texture. Continue this process to cover the entire canvas including the sides. Make sure to use a smaller brush to add glue to the tiny areas on your canvas.

Star Anise Mixed Media Painting

3. This next step is optional but adds fantastic depth. I tear off small pieces of the tissue paper and roll or wad it up to create a paper sculpture. I add some white glue to the area, glueing my rolled-up paper, and then once finished, I go over it again with white glue. Let it dry before painting.

Star Anise Mixed Media Painting

4. I chose to paint with the natural colors of the star anise using tint and shades of brown and orange.  I added yellow ochre, violet and bronze to add richness, fullness and more depth.  

I used different size brushes to get different effects and small brushes to get paint in the crevices.

Star Anise Mixed Media Painting

A dry brush with a miniscule amount of paint dragged across the paper or raised areas creates a different result than a wet, loaded brush. Avoid adding water to the paint as moisture on paper or glue will not lead to the successful results.

Star Anise Mixed Media Painting

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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