I first noticed Suzi Blue’s artwork on Instagram and was rather drawn to her cute style of folk-art style girls. So when I spotted her book, Mixed Media Girls with Suzi Blu, it quickly found its way home and onto my craft bookshelf.
I have had this book for a few years now and have used many of the interesting techniques included in my own art projects.
I have the softback version which measures 25.5 cms tall (10″) and 22cms wide (8.5″). It has 128 colourful pages and includes a DVD with video teaching from Suzi.
Suzi’s trademark style is her big-eyed, sweet and innocent looking girls, and this book is all about how to create a similar look for your artwork – plus much more.
After a 5 page intro to Suzi and her style, the book opens with a chapter on Suzi’s favourite layering technique. She uses this to give her artwork lots of depth and interest and there are lots of ways you could vary it or give it your own spin.
She continues by describing the various paints and other drawing media that she uses in her artwork.
There is also useful information on substrates (the surface on which you create your art), brush techniques and unusual ways of finishing a piece.
How To Draw and Shade a Pretty Face and Folk Art Body
The second chapter is where Suzi explains how to draw her style of whimsical girls. There are lots of details and clear instructions on every aspect of face drawing – much of which will apply for many different styles of face art too.
I particularly like the clear, step-by-step instructions on how to blend and shade a face with coloured pencils. With this, it is easy to get a very effective result.
Suzi’s girls have simple, doll-like bodies, and she includes how to recreate these for yourself too, as well as how to draw different types of clothing.
The chapter concludes with some info on drawing “fur babies” – pets for your girls.
Putting it All Together
In this chapter, Suzi provides 5 detailed projects for whimsical girl artwork that you can copy, adapt or be inspired by. There are lots of unusual and interesting techniques included so even if you never want to create a Suzi Blu style girl, this chapter may still have useful ideas to try.
The five projects are:
1 A Petite Doll
A simple project to start with. Lots of scope for personalizing and making your own project unique to you.
2 Marie Antoinette
This is a larger project with more complex texturing techniques. It includes quite a bit on composition which is very useful, especially for newer artists.
3 The Gypsy Girl
In this project, the focus is on creating exciting backgrounds for your girls to inhabit.
4 Angels and Fairies
Basically, things with wings!
5 La Sirena (Mermaid)
The final project in this chapter is for a very embellished mermaid.
Taking it Further
The fourth chapter includes 3 more projects full of ideas of ways to use your artwork.
Project 1 – La Maison: Houses for Your Girls
Here Suzi talks about how she creates frames (houses) for her artwork.
Project 2 – Scrapbooks and Journals
Lots of examples of how various artists have incorporated whimsical girls into their journals (and other projects).
Project 3 – ATCs and Mini Paintings
I am rather a fan of ATCs – Artist Trading Cards. These are small pieces of art (3.5” x 2.5”) which one can trade or collect. For more information on ATCs, check out my Tin Teddy article – Introduction to ATCs – What are ATCs. You can also check out my ATC gallery on Pinterest, if you like.
Suzi gives lots of cohttps://www.tinteddy.com/introduction-to-atcs-what-are-artist-trading-cards/lourful examples of whimsical mixed media ATCs and other small art pieces. Working on a smaller scale can be a great way to practice new techniques and experiment with new styles of art.
This chapter features examples of artwork from a variety of artists. There are notes for each piece about techniques and points to notice – lots of inspiration!
The final chapter includes templates for a couple of the projects (with guidelines for their use). There is a list of contributing artists and websites where you can get the various resources used in the book. Whilst all the suppliers listed are American websites, the products used, or close variations would be available from craft suppliers in other countries too.
I personally didn’t really enjoy the DVD as much as the book. I only watched it once, but as the book was no more expensive than similar books without DVDs included, I didn’t feel that this was a negative for my purchase.
Having said that, I have seen other reviews for this book where the DVD is considered the best part, so perhaps check out Suzi’s YouTube videos to see if you like her style of presentation (many people really do).
The DVD contains video teaching from Suzi herself. Here you can see her performing techniques which can sometimes certainly be clearer than reading about them.
This book is ideal for anyone who is just starting out in mixed media art as it contains lots of useful information, techniques and tips that can be used for many styles of art.
Whatever style you like to work in, there is plenty of content that could well be relevant.
If you like big-eyed, whimsical folk-art type girls then this book is going to be even more useful! The detailed instructions on drawing appealing faces are easy to follow.
More experienced mixed media artists will probably find this book very inspiring. There may well be techniques that you haven’t yet tried.
All in all, an attractive inspiring book with lots of quality information and some unusual and tempting techniques to try.
Click here to check out more articles and tutorials on mixed media techniques, here on the Tin Teddy Blog.
Links to Mixed Media Girls with Suzi Blu on Amazon
Here are links to the book on Amazon.com (left) and Amazon.co.uk. If you buy from any of these links, I may receive a small commission from the shop for sending custom their way. This is at no cost to yourself. Thank you.