The wind is howling, the roads are icy, and snow is falling. It's the perfect time to curl up with a cup of cocoa and a good book! If that book is Acrylic Solutions: Exploring Mixed Media Layer by Layer (North Light Books), you're in for a fine read.
Co-authors Chris Cozen and Julie Prichard lead readers step by step through the process of creating compelling mixed media paintings. After covering the basics -- paints, surfaces, tools, and guidelines for applying techniques like glazing, blending, and mixing colors -- they move on to the hows and whys of laying a solid foundation for a piece, including choosing the right substrates and how to prep them.
From there the book moves into the topic that poses a challenge to many artists: how to develop complexity in a work without it becoming a visual jumble. Advice and techniques are offered to enable you to design a work of art that's both exciting and yet cohesive.
The last chapter covers the essential final step, which is assessing the work and finessing the details.
If the checklist provided reveals that improvements are necessary, you'll find numerous ways to achieve them in the "toolbox" of solutions offered.
I consider this book to be an essential resource due to both its excellent content and functional design. It's spiral bound, making the many demos in it easy to follow because it can be laid flat on your worktable. It's written in a lively, entertaining style, and the many photos provided are crisp and clear. Among them are many photos of works created by the authors along with those of dozens of other mixed media artists. The works depicted are sure to inspire anyone looking for some artistic inspiration. And because Cozen and Prichard's own personal styles are considerably different from one another, it's interesting to see how applying their suggestions can result in decidedly different yet equally successful works of art.
©2015 Lynn Edwards