close-up of a mixed media art piece
3d butterfly collage by creative team member Nicole Austin
Posted Nov 8, 2017


3D Butterfly Collage

by Nicole Austin

I wanted to try something a little more “fall” so I chose a few papers I had in my stash that reflected some darker, and warmer tones (dark blues, orange, reds, purples).  I couldn’t resist adding my favorite color (aqua!) and then I found these 3D butterflies from a previous project and wanted to include them somehow.  It’s best to use heavy or “ultra” gel medium when applying items that are heavier than paper to insure that they stay on your canvas!  This time I chose to use an MDF board because they are so inexpensive, sturdy and really easy to collage onto!  You just have to gesso it a bit before you begin.  I like to scrape on a light layer of gesso with a pallette knife (or old gift card) for quick drying so I can get to work right away!  You’ll see in the video that I could have stopped MANY times and had a “finished” piece.  But for some reason, I had to just keep going!  I’m glad I did, though, I like the composition I have in the end.  You might wonder, “why cover up all those previous layers!?”  It can be a great exercise in “letting go,” “enjoying the process,” and just “going with the flow!”  Sometimes a piece of artwork just doesn’t feel “right” and so you keep going.  And sometimes you think, “this is great! I’ll just add one more (stencil/collage/paint splotch, etc)…” and then you go too far!  No worries, it happens to all of us artists.  I suggest just taking a step back, work on something else and then come back to the piece a little later.  I had a lot of fun adding on the layers of color and collage.  When the original layers were lost, I brought them back out by either wiping away the wet paint to reveal the layers underneath or adding more collage paper on top.  I hope you have fun and are inspired to create!

Enjoy the video


 Products Used:


“Lace,” “Words of Love,” and “Flower Drawing 1”


Dina Wakley Media (blackberry violet, night), Dylusions (black), Golden High Flow Acrylics (teal), Hero Arts Neon Paint Dauber (purple)

Paint pens:

fine tip (black, white and gold), medium tip (white, light aqua), and bold (bright aqua)

Other items:

8” x 8” MDF wood panel

Ultra Matte Gel


Baby wipes

Stabilo marks-all pencil (black)


Make-up sponge

Pallette knife

Various collage paper (my favorites are glitter tissue paper, handmade wrapping paper, my own handmade collage paper, patterned paper bags, insides of business envelopes)

You can see more from Nicole here:

Be Inspired, create and know that you are loved!



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Posted Nov 8, 2017
Headshot photo of artist

Hello there! I’m Shawn Petite

I’ve been teaching and creating for well over 25 years. About 15 years ago I found my art soul mate in mixed media, and it changed my life! I love the story that can be told by combining paint, texture, ink, paper and—really anything that you can imagine.

But what I’m truly passionate about is being your guide, walking with you step by step and helping you become your own hero in your creative journey.

Along my path, I’ve learned that the creating art also creates a healing space. Life can be messy and complicated and painful, but something about a paint brush can help heal your soul. I believe—no, I know—you are worthy of love, and I want to teach you to know that about yourself. Join me on this journey of art and inspiration!


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