La Vie Vintage Mixed Media Collage

Watch this YouTube art tutorial as I create “La Vie”, a vintage-styled mixed media collage on cardboard.

Cat Portrait Art Commission

A coworker recently commissioned me to paint a portrait of her cat, Myrtle. It’s the first painting I worked on since I moved into my new house. It was so satisfying. I have to admit I was a bit intimidated to take on this type of commission because my style is not anywhere near “realistic”. However, my coworker already knows my style and was aware that this pet portrait would be in my particular style.

Myrtle the cat

For some reason, I cannot resist painting with a broad range of colors (basically the rainbow). So, I did not restrain myself to the colors present in the photo provided. My client had very specific requests. She wanted me to capture Myrtle’s likeness in the face, especially that white strip of hair above her nose. And, she wanted me to incorporate her favorite color blue in the painting much like I use in my other paintings.

You see, she had seen my previous “Cat King” painting and that’s what inspired her to ask me for this commission. I painted “Cat King” in 2019. It was a mixed media piece incorporating fine art papers with acrylics. This painting hung in my apartment prior to my move into my new house. Just before I was about to move my next door apartment neighbor and I had a conversation about my art. I let him look at the pieces in my apartment. He immediately wanted to purchase “Cat King” for his friend who loves cats and my type of art style. So, that’s the story of how “Cat King” found a new home.

Cat King

As for Myrtle’s commission, I used acrylics, fine art papers with cats and acrylic paste over a stencil. The result came out with a multi-color mixed media piece which my coworker absolutely loves. She has it perched on one of her wooden shelves in her office at work. She’s already gotten numerous compliments on it which makes me smile. And, she plans to commission me for at least another piece. This was my first real commission piece. And, I’m so pleased with how it turned out not only with the piece itself, but also the overall communication with the client. I definitely plan on taking on more commissions in the future. But, I will make sure to provide them with the disclaimer that they are getting the commission in my art style. If someone is expecting a photorealistic painting, I’m not your gal. But, if you want multi-colored, dynamic mixed media you’re in the right place! Take a look at the completed commission below!

If you want to follow my art on social media, check out my Instagram page Rachael Caskey Art or my Facebook business page Rachael Caskey Studio.


Mixed Media Play: Drawing & Painting Faces

“Beauty is colorblind“
Mixed Media on Strathmore paper

I’m experimenting with my mixed media these days. My newest addition to my art supplies include Tombow mono fineliner pens and Windsor & Newton Brushmarkers in portrait tones. And, of course, I replenished my white gel pens.

I used all of these supplies in the illustration shown above. I’m practicing drawing female faces using the book “Drawing and Painting beautiful Faces” by Jane Davenport. I feel like I’ve gotten better at drawing using this book as a reference. Basically, my Strathmore mixed media art journal consists of female face drawings and a random drawing of the house I’m buying right now.

I’m used to using Micron pens for fineliners, but heard someone recommended tombow. So, I figured I would try them out. So far, I’m impressed. They don’t smudge when you use other products over them. The true test will be when I try them out with watercolor paints, crayons and watersoluble wax pastels.

Oh yeah…I bought those recently, too. I’ve been watching YouTube tutorials on them. They seem pretty versatile.

Here’s a recent mixed media piece I made using these wax pastels.

Combat “artistic block”

Sometimes I struggle with ideas for my art. During those times, I use different resources to help me come up with new ideas.

Here are some ways to combat “artistic block” to generate creative themes or ideas:

  • Surf Pinterest – Create an inspiration board with pins you like so that you can go back and reference them for creative ideas. Check out my Pinterest.
  • Search Instagram – Similar to surfing Pinterest, except you would need to keep your own notebook on pages you like. You can check out my posts for inspiration, as well. Some of my posts are personal mixed in with art and crafts. I hope you enjoy them!
  • Go old-school – Take out art and craft books from the library. If you don’t have much time to go to the library, you can always search the library website and place books on hold.
  • Buy craft books for reference – If you found books that you feel like you’ll reference often, buy them online or at your local bookstore. This is what I did to find my idea for the pictured painting. I bought “Ever After: Create Fairy Tale-inspired Mixed-Media Art Projects to Develop Your Personal Artistic Style” by Tamara LaPorte.

The first project in that book was to paint the Little Red Ridinghood story, but give it your own twist. So, I thought about what Little Red would be like in our times. She would have a smartphone and be taking selfies. Her friend, Wolf, would be her pal who likes to photobomb her during said selfies. I really enjoyed making this piece because it had a specific story behind it.

What do you do to combat artistic block?