Acrylic Solutions Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer

 Solutions: Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer Have you seen this book, Acrylic Solutions: Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer, yet? I’ve just finished reading it and I want to recommend you to check it out. To paint with acrylics you don’t need a tutorial or how-to book, that’s for sure. You just get out a paint brush and start to smudge and mess around with some paint… But once you have a couple of bottles of paint, you might want to get this book to learn a few new tricks! There is a lot to learn!

Disclaimer: I got this book from the publisher North Light Books, and they’ve given me an extra copy to send to one of you. Read on my dear friends, and I’ll let you know how to enter in a bit.

The book is written by my blogging friend Julie Prichard, who I got to know through the online crusades, and her artistic partner in crime Chris Cozen. Together they teach a lot of classes online, and now they’ve made this step-by-step tutorial book about how to use acrylics and mediums in your mixed media paintings!

Acrylic solution spiral binding

From amazon:

Acrylic Solutions provides the “hows” behind a multitude of effects you’ve admired in other artists’ works – and then some! Based on the popular online teaching collaboration of Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard, this book illustrates a wealth of layering methods and techniques. Mix and match to achieve countless variations, building layer upon layer to create unique and wonderfully complex abstract art.

This book is spiral bound but has a hard cover for protection (that looks so much nicer in the bookshelf because I don’t want to see the spiral binding). It contains about 30 step-by-step techniques for developing texture and visual interest by using acrylic paint, sometimes in combination with collage, using stencils, printing and mark making into wet paint!

Spread in Acrylic Solutions Finessing the Details

I’ve got an older book in my bookshelf, called Acrylic Revolution, also spiral bound, by Nancy Reyner. These are quite similar, booth in look and content. I don’t think that if you’ve got the first one you’ll need this one too, but at least one book about acrylics is a must if you’re into mixed media and painting. Just knowing how the different mediums can be used is very helpful.

Acrylic Solutions book spread about wood prep

In any multi-layered painting you can make so many fun choices, if only you know where to start and what to do next. Playing is fun, but creating something that looks like your idea might not be as easy. This book covers everything from surface preparation to adding structure, developing complexity and adding finishing touches. There are a lot of abstract artworks by both Julie and Chris inside the book.

Spread in Acrylic Solutions

Chris style is colourful and full of flowers. Julie’s style is darker, abstract with lots of brown and black areas. I think they complement each other well, and as I look through this book I feel very inspired to try painting again. My abstract trial still makes me happy.

Giveaway: to be entered into the giveaway of this book, simply leave a comment below about your favorite painting tool or technique! You will get bonus points if you tweet out the giveaway to your friends, just mention me @ihanna and I will be notified (or @ihannas if you tweet in Swedish)! Thanks!

Spread in Acrylic Solutions

Update: The giveaway is now closed, and the book will soon be on it’s way to the winner! Thanks everyone who participated!

Further exploring to do:

* Acrylic Solutions: Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer – buy it on Amazon
* The Land of Lost Luggage – Julie’s blog (where you also can find all their mixed media workshops)!
* Artful Thinking – Chris Cozen’s blog
* More book reviews – by yours truly

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48 Responses to Acrylic Solutions Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer

  1. Milla says:

    What a lovely giveaway, I’d love to learn new techniques with acrylic painst! :) My fave tool to apply paint with is old plastic cards (loyalty cards or such).

  2. att utvidga min akrylrepertoar är precis vad jag behöver! mitt bästa tips, är isopropylalkohol, droppat på våt/vattnig färg. livsnödvändigt när jag försöker åstadkomma vatten! :)

  3. Bev says:

    What a fantastic giveaway! I haven’t done much with acrylics on canvas but love using acrylics on the gelli plate.

  4. marcia says:

    I’d love to win a copy! I have enjoyed using the gelli plate with acrylic paints lately.

  5. Sassy says:

    I’m just starting out with any kind of painting (just gutted an painted an old shed to make a spot where I can leave things in progress as necessary) but so far my favorite for making backgrounds is spray painting — acrylics hold the bright colors so much better than water colours — at least for the way I mix thing up!

  6. Leslie says:

    How ironic!! I JUST bought Acrylic Revolution and love it!! I am really getting into painting and can’t wait to try all these techniques out!! This book looks fabulous as well…especially the examples!!

  7. Connie Rose says:

    I have both these books, and I find them different. Revolution is about all the things you can do with acrylics, whereas Solutions is more focused on actually putting different techniques together to create a painting. They’re both wonderful.

  8. One of my favorite techniques is to cut a brown paper grocery sack into thirds, discarding the seam & bottom. Wet the pieces & wad up, then flatten out for a crinkled surface. Repeat. Lay on newsprint, randomly squirt several dabs of 2 colors onto wet paper. Don’t use too much…can add more later. Brayer to moderately blend colors. Don’t overmix. You don’t want one smooth color, but gradations. Pick up tiny amounts of Pearl-Ex powder on a brush, & tap to release powder over the wet paint. Leave some as sprinkles, & brush some to spread in streaks. Set aside to dry. Use a metallic stamp pad, or metallic acrylic paint on a sponge to lightly brush over the top of the dry paper, just highlighting the tops of the crinkles. Allow this step to dry. Cover ironing board with craft paper & place the painted side of painted paper face down. Spritz the unpainted side of the paper with water. Cover the dampened paper with a second sheet of craft paper. Iron with no steam on cotton setting. You just want it to lay flat, not to remove the crinkles. This paper is gorgeous, very flexible and makes wonderful book covers or wrapping paper for small packages.

  9. Looks like a wonderful book. I’ve heard its praises being sung on other sites as well. Though I am a huge fan of using baby wipes with acrylics, I also love spraying layers with water and wiping the spots away–you never know what look you will get. Thanks for the give away!!

  10. Dawn says:

    What a generous giveaway Hannah. The book looks fab and will more than likely end up on my Amazon wishlist lol! Your open and honest review is incredibly helpful, thank-you sweetie.
    Hugs x

  11. Dawn says:

    Ha ha ha, to add to the above, my favourite application techniques have to old credit cards and the humble fingers, soooooooo much fun, I love the unpredictable!!!!!!!!
    Hugs x

  12. Fatima H. says:

    What a fun-looking book! One of my favorite ways of painting is just with my fingers – I love dragging my fingers through paint, and I loved the varied, uneven surface it creates.

  13. Melanie K says:

    I love using a credit card with two or three colors and spreading them around. Quick background and you never know if something will just ‘show up’.

  14. Tricia says:

    My fav tools have been my selection of palette knives and my gelli plate!! I would love to learn more!!!

  15. kate usher says:

    About the only thing I know to do with acrylic paints is with the gelli plate and I just love that. Would love to win this book and learn more uses for it.

  16. I’ve been eyeing this one!! I’ve heard great stuff… Now I got to hear it from you and I love your stuff! Hoping I might be the one! Thanks again for the great review!

  17. Miriam says:

    I love my Gelli plate, sequin waste , a credit card that I have cut with a shaped pair of scissors and a brayer. I am so new to painting it would be great to have some help and inspiration Hanna. Thank you for this very generous giveaway.

  18. Heather says:

    One technique that I enjoy is just to smudge acrylic paints around with my fingers. I use a thin layer of paint and it gives a soft misty look that I love. And it’s fun too!

  19. Lee says:

    This book looks amazing, my favourite technique is using stencils and spray paint

  20. Patricia says:

    This books sounds fabulous! My favorite tool is an old tape roll that has double circles! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  21. Rita Montgomery says:

    Oh, my. I have been a fan of Chris’ work since I started doing mixed media stuff. Her colors and lines are to die for. I want to know how to do it and would love to win this book with her work in it. I’m having fun using my fingers lately as my favorite tool. Thanks again for the chance to win!

  22. Oh my gosh, this is just what I need! I’m dying to do an “actual” painting on canvas! My favorite technique with acrylic right now is using stencils for backgrounds on journaling pages. What a great giveaway! Thank you Hanna!

  23. i LOVE this giveaway! A simple technique I love is putting paint down and then while it is still fresh, putting a stencil down and rubbing the fresh paint away from underneath the stencil. basic but the results are always really neat! :) thanks for offering this giveaway! super excited for whoever wins this!!!! :)

  24. Justine Lee says:

    Oh thanks for doing the giveaway! Honestly I’m not even sure If I have used acrylic before, I just used whatever art supplies I have in the house. My fav tool is sakura micron pen with pencil colour or water color. :D

  25. Chris Cozen says:

    Hanna, thanks so much for this reviewing our book! You did a great job and we know the lucky winner will be excited to receive it one day soon. We are thrilled to be able to reach more people with our teaching through the book. We’ll hope some of your readers join us in the “Land of Lost Luggage” for more good stuff!

  26. Linda K says:

    This looks like an amazing book-I love Golden products and I know Chris works or worked for them. Love that it’s spiral bound too! My favorite toll I must say is my fingers-esp. if I have nothing else at hand to use, and my fave technique is just fun and messy mixed media with lots of color!

  27. Thank you for this giveaway!!!
    The book looks amazing :)
    my favourite tecnique… uhm, I love to use watercolor pencils/pastels and oil paint. I haven’t tested acrylic colors yet :)

  28. Paula Collins says:

    I love sprays and stencils. Then draw with black and white jelly roll pens. Paula

  29. TJ says:

    Looks like a great book! I would love to get started with mixed media and I’m not sure how. But I do have a lot of experience working with acrylics…has always been my favorite. Thanks for the opportunity to win a book!

  30. Nicole says:

    What a lovely book…..I love to paint with acrylic and then spray with a little water then wait a minute and wipe. Makes a nice background ! Thank you for a chance to win this beautiful book !

  31. Jen says:

    Thanks for the great chance at luck! I love the technique of spraying bleach through a stencil!

  32. Missy K says:

    Great giveaway Hanna!

    I’d love to win …. my favourite technique is a really simple one. I just love to splodge some paint on the page and scrape it with an old credit card. It gets rid of the ‘blank page’ really well!

    Karen x

  33. Lindsay says:

    Awesome giveaway! My favorite technique is painting on layers of gesso and erase it again with some water. It leaves some paint here and there and makes beautiful backgrounds!

  34. Gina Shillitani says:

    I love to use sprays, so unpredictable!

  35. Rhiannon says:

    This book sounds great and would love to add it to my collection! It’s not often I hear about a good acrylic book :)
    My favourite technique would be adding layers of pattern using bubble wrap, cellophane, burlap, credit cards, whatever I have around me at the time.
    xx

  36. Maureen says:

    This seems like a great book for me as I am a beginner and would enjoy learning about paints and techniques. My current favorite tool for painting is an old credit card or gift card. Thank you for the chance to enter to win.

  37. Eunice says:

    Fantastic giveaway – thanks for the chance to win! My favourite technique has to be stamping with rubbish – all the stuff that most people throw away like bottle tops, old foam washers, lids from coffee creamer, packaging….. the list is endless :)

  38. stephanie says:

    my favorite tool is using a 1″ flat watercolor brush for acrylic abstracts

  39. Ariane says:

    My favorite technique is watercolour washes with salt, although they are hard to write on afterwards, but if you use Sharpies, like I often do, you can wash over your writing then salt it for a very textured look once it dries. And have patience when doing it, sometimes it looks like a mess, but once the salt re-crsyalizes, it looks amazing.

  40. Sue Maher says:

    Great review thanks – and thanks also for the opportunity to be part of a lucky giveaway! Great to have found your blog too (from Daisy Yellow)

  41. Carly Rogers says:

    Looks like an awesome book! One of my favorite techniques is to place blobs of color (same color family) onto a canvas and use a squeegee too smooth and move the paint around. So the color isn’t completely mixed, and you get a good variation in background color.

  42. Janice Koonz-Mohr says:

    I love to get my hands all messy with paint and glue,….. One of my favorite techniques
    is to slather acrylic paint on a sheet of heavy paper or cardboard, and
    then “smush” a piece of plastic wrap into it! Let dry and the result is a
    wonderful mix of textures, shadow, & color.
    I would love a copy of this book!! Love your blog ihanna!!
    Regards,
    Janice k

  43. Marge says:

    This book looks awesome! Love your blog, Hanna, and everything you share!

  44. Cindy J, from Holland says:

    Oh, that looks like a great book for me! Thanks for the chance on winning that. My favorite technique is watering down acrylic paint and taking a japanese style paintbrush and splashing small drops on my artwork, by tapping the brush on a pair of scissors. Yummy look!

  45. Diane says:

    I like using molding past to add texture. I like the effect of adding acrylic paint then pushing it through a stencil. The older version of this book is on my Amazon wish list as I am new to art journaling & it was recommended by another artist. Thank you for the offer and doing the book review.

  46. Barbara I. says:

    I love using my Inktense pencils and Caran D’ache watercolor crayons with my water brush to paint. What a great giveaway. I’d love to win this book. It looks like it’s filled with amazing ideas. Thanks for all the inspiration on your blog!

  47. Mary Dean says:

    I love using stencils. They can add such dimension and texture to an art journaling spread. I like using them with sprays and acrylic paints. Thanks for the chance to win. :)

  48. Jana says:

    Great review of a very intriguing book!
    It was really interesting to read through everyone’s favorite techniques here in the comments too :)
    Currently I prefer watercolors and fine liners and ink (applied with drawing nib) for my artsy adventures.
    If working with acrylics, I love to apply blobs of paint to a silicone baking sheet, mix the colors a bit with some cardboard or credit card, then lay my paper on top, rub and take it off (well, basically making a print). Then I tend to grab some bubble wrap to add some texture… and sometimes I like to splatter thinned, wet acrylic paint onto backgrounds too :)
    Cheers! …and thanks for the opportunity. Kram!

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