Step by Step Mixed Media Painting Tutorial

About Lynnette

Lynnette Shelley is a Pennsylvania artist specializing in contemporary mixed media paintings and illustrations. Having a great love of animals, fairytales, and world mythology, Lynnette fuses these influences into her strikingly unique artworks. Her paintings strike a primal chord in many viewers, with almost Jungian associations to the colors and shapes. Her animal art and folklore-inspired creations are both primitive and sophisticated, and have been likened to images from an undiscovered ancient civilization or culture.

 “One of my primary interests has always been exploring legends and stories from around the world. Why are certain motifs ubiquitous across cultures and continents? These archetypal stories are told repeatedly in different guises throughout myth and folklore, and animals are often used to convey these mysteries. Whether painted on cave walls, portrayed as omens or worshiped as personifications of the gods, animals were a favorite theme for our ancestors. My artwork takes a closer look at this archetypal animal kingdom. Reinterpreted through abstraction, decorative element and contemporary vision, these creatures speak to our collective unconscious.”

Her artwork has been displayed nationally as well as at various regional Philadelphia-area venues, including Philadelphia’s Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST); the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences; The Straube Center in Pennington, NJ; the Nichols Berg Gallery in Philadelphia; Three Ravens Gallery in Ardmore, PA; Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA; the Brandywine Festival of the Arts and the Wilmington Grand Opera House in Delaware; Immaculata University’s annual juried art show; Annex 24 Gallery in Lancaster; and the Maryland Federation of the Arts in Annapolis. Some of her creature drawings were featured in the animated short “The Spider Is the Web” shown at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, while more of her artwork was featured as part of an on-screen art show at the 2008 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon. She also exhibited at the juried art show at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA, one of the largest fantasy / sci fi-themed conventions in the world.

Lynnette is represented by Countryside Gallery in Newtown, PA, and Nichols Berg Gallery in Philadelphia. She is also a member of InLiquid, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit arts organization, as well as a member of the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. Please see her website’s exhibitions page for her current event schedule.

In addition to her fine art pursuits, Lynnette is also the co-founder of The Red Masque, an original avant rock band which has played numerous shows and festivals since 2001. The Red Masque is signed to an experimental / avant label based out of Colorado.

Originally from Delaware, Lynnette currently lives and works out of Ambler, PA.

Visit Her Website today:

Mixed Media Demo – Totem III

(Click Images for Larger Views)

Below I’ve shown the process used to create one of my mixed media artworks (“Totem III”), which was part of a series of five animal totem inspired artworks.

Totem III
Ink, Acrylic, Coffee, Red Wine, Paper Collage on 2″ Deep Wood Panel
12 x 12 inches

Step 1: Creating the totem image. Ink on 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper which has been stained with coffee and red wine.

Step 2: Preparing the wood panel painting: I made an underpainting of deep violets / purples and gold, which I went over with a layer of white and buff colors, leaving “windows” to the colors underneath.

Step 3: Adding intuitive ink patterns over the acrylic. I am using a mechanical pencil barrel (empty) dipped into an ink well. I’m sure there is probably a better tool to be using than this, but it’s what I happened to have on hand and it seems to work fairly well.

Step 4: Adding the paper totem. I attached the paper section with some acrylic medium. I then glossed over the entire painting with glossy acrylic medium and varnish. I also painted the sides of the wood panel in metallic gold acrylic.

After looking the piece, I later added in a gold section to the top of the ram (in paper).

The Three Totems:


  1. says

    Those are lovely images – I find the patterns and details to be absolutely captivating. It’s very “contemporary ethnic” and I love the use of your term “intuitive ink patterns”. Thanks for sharing!

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