NEW Mixed Media Painting - Start to Finish

THE SEEKER. Prints available in my etsy shop.
Contact me if you're interested in the original painting.

this painting went through, i think, the most layers that any painting i've ever created has gone through...and if you've seen my start to finish painting photos, you know that's really saying a lot.

i really don't hold much back during the creative process. i know that if i don't like something in the moment i create it, i might as well change it or cover it up...otherwise i'll end up never loving that painting anyways. i try my hardest while i create, to get out whatever it is i'm most trying to express. so at the start of this piece, i really thought i had it right. 

i'd been right in the middle of mindy lacefield's paint your story e-course (an online painting class i highly recommend). i had so many paintings going at once and really felt like i figured out a system for creating these new long-nosed characters that worked. 

so when i got to this painting of an odd duck of a punk-rocker Snooter, i said to my husband that this was the easiest painting i've ever created. looking at the painting now, i don't know what i was thinking, saying he was finished.

but luckily, when i added my top-coat...

the entire painting changed!

remember the bleeding art tissue i'd been adding to my backgrounds...the stuff that i loved the random effects it added once the top coat dried on the body of the Snooter in this painting?

well, lately, i've been a bit more careful with just where i add that bleeding art tissue. because in this piece, his entire face went pink! not at all what i'd intended and i really didn't like the look.

so, i painted over it...

i tried to just cover up the parts i didn't like in the face, but that sort of little by little correction never works for me. because the entire piece changes along with my feelings about it all.

and so the layering continued...

and of course, when i got to this point, i felt like i'd no idea how to paint anymore. the character's face was all wrong, and i knew it. but that's why i take these start to finish photos...to show myself, just how many layers it sometimes takes. and how each phase really does lead to the next, knowing it's all part of the character's story.

to know what to change next, i looked at the parts of the painting i liked most and determined what to keep...

i knew i liked my character's posture and those little bubblegum trees, but the rest i let go.

and that's when this character finally fell into place. i stepped back one last time, and reflected on what i still wasn't happy with in the painting. the character finally resonated wit me. i could relate to the eyes. but all of that white seemed far too cold.

THE SEEKER. Prints available in my etsy shop.
Contact me if you're interested in the original painting.
so i brightened things up and went over the background with a bright blue water-soluble oil pastel. now this piece reminds me of a box of my favorite crayola crayons.

on top, i applied a spray varnish (to be sure nothing in the final painting bled or changed with the top coat). then i added a layer of wax to give the piece lots of depth and to protect it from the elements.

THE SEEKER is kind, supportive and telling, knowing just how much you need  these things if you are on a journey of living your best life, following your heart, and fulfilling your life's destiny.


ps. i'm so excited that my HOW TO PAINT AN OWL online workshop is now available as a SELF-PACED, INSTANT-ACCESS class, so you have plenty of time to paint owls with me, when you want, for at least a year! find all of the details and register here. i'm so excited to paint with everyone!

pps. If you are interested in submitting your inspiring short story as part of my CREATIVE SUGAR project, find guidelines and submit your story here!


  1. gosh i love how you always show up and tell the story.
    it truly helps seeing how the process can be a bit uncomfortable
    and telling.

    happy friday!

    1. thank you...i'm kind of loving reflecting on the creative process right now. it's an ever-evolving thing, but knowing what helps and works means so much. happy friday!

  2. Thankful for your giving nature. Love the WIP pictures and story. Would love ro be to "mouse in your pocket" watching your work progress. (My mother used to say that to me) I actually never finished How to Paint an Owl, due to external circumstances; will sign up again in the future so I can finish.

  3. I just love when you show these process pictures! It's so inspiring :)


Feel free to say hello and ask questions. I would be delighted to hear from you! xo -juliette

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