Starting out as an illustrator, the idea of creating artwork that tells a story can seem a little daunting at first. After all, it’s not just about painting or drawing a completed work — it’s also about storytelling with pictures.Mixed media art is a wonderful, no-rules artform that has no limits for creativity, and it’s perfect for getting your storytelling and art-making skills in sync. Here’s a great exercise to help you get started creating your very own storybook art.You will need: canvas, scissors, assorted papers, acrylic paint, Mod Podge, paintbrushes, pencils, pens1.) Start thinking of a story and write down some adventurous, descriptive words. Ask yourself: Who is your story about? How would you describe your hero? Where are they going? What are they doing? The more descriptive, the better! Words like “hero”, “brave”, “magical”, “wonder”, and “imagine” are good places to start. Look over your list and chose your favorites to write out in your fanciest handwriting. Cut or tear these words out to use in your mixed media painting.
2.) Using a broad, flat brush, paint a background on your canvas using acrylic paints. Think about where your story takes place. Is it outside? On a mountain? Is the sky blue? What color is the ground? Remember, this is a story and there are no limits on how it should look!3.) Using various papers (scrapbook paper is great for this!) cut out shapes, such as circles, squares, rectangles and triangles. Use these shapes to create the primary forms of your characters, structures, and other elements in your painting. Keep in the story that you are trying to tell. Arrange the shapes on your canvas along with the cut out words until you’ve come up with a composition that works.4.) Once you have everything planned out, glue your paper elements to the canvas with Mod Podge. You can overlap paper to add more depth.
5.) Use water proof pens and paint applied with a small brush to add details to your painting. Water down the paint to make it more translucent if you want the paper to show through.6.) You can add additional decorations such as small beads, googly eyes or sequins if you’d like to add more three-dimensional effects to your painting.7.) Once you have finished all the detail work, don’t forget to sign your name! Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the entire surface of your work to seal it.There is no wrong way to do this exercise, and the results are endless. Use various words to inspire different paintings full of new adventure!