Photo of Ronda Palazzari

Fun With Mixed Media

Lively Paper Projects

with Ronda Palazzari
Fun With Mixed Media
Throw rules out the window and use gesso, acrylic paint and watercolors to infuse your paper craft projects with eye-catching texture and color!

Think outside the box and incorporate mixed media into your paper crafts with guidance from author and professional artist Ronda Palazzari. Get started by using gesso, acrylic paint and masking fluid to transform paper such as junk mail and phone book pages into beautiful backgrounds. Then, have fun with paints and stencils as you create a trendy chalkboard effect, experiment with washes and make your own stencils. You’ll even explore the color wheel and learn how watercolors and acrylic paints work together so that you always get the most from your paint. Finally, paint with drips, splashes, splatters and blooms as you build layer upon layer of texture and work with resists. Plus, Ronda will share a few of her professional mixed-media projects to inspire you in creating your own unique scrapbook pages, cards, tags and more!

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Transforming Paper

  • Meet your instructor, paper artist Ronda Palazzari, and dive right into using gesso, acrylic paint and masking fluid to transform a variety of papers into the base layer for a scrapbook page, gift tag or art piece. Your raw materials can include junk mail, phone book pages, magazine spreads, and even paper bags!


Lesson 2. Creative Effects

  • Get creative with paints and stencils as Ronda shows you how to achieve a chalkboard effect on your paper, experiment with washes and use common household items to create your own stencils.


Lesson 3. Color Theory & Mixing

  • It's time to play with color as Ronda walks you through the fundamental principles of the color wheel. Learn how primary, secondary and tertiary colors work together, and explore the same principles using acrylics and watercolors separately and together.


Lesson 4. Adding Texture With Stencils

  • Build up the texture on your pages with stencils, gesso and paint. Ronda demonstrates how to use a variety of stencils to get the look you want, and how to fix or embrace imperfections.


Lesson 5. Household Materials & Alternative Items

  • You can create gorgeous textures in your work using all kinds of household items: combs, forks, even children's toys. Or experiment with items from the craft store such as plastic canvas and punchinella to give your artwork a unique look. Ronda shows you how!


Lesson 6. The Fluidity of Color

  • Let your creativity flow as freely as your paint with artistic drips, splashes and splatters. Ronda demonstrates how to coax thinned paint to run down your paper and how to tap your brush for a spatter of color. Try the same technique with a little rubbing alcohol and watch intriguing shapes bloom!


Lesson 7. Removal & Resists

  • Build up multiple layers of texture and color, then play with removing portions of the layers with alcohol and masking fluid. Experiment with creating resists — taking advantage of paint's resistance to adhering to a slick surface. Ronda shares a variety of finished works that employ all of these techniques. You'll be inspired to make your own!

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