Now that my hair is growing back, is it fair that I should find one…well, there? I guess after last week’s blog post its karma. Anyway, speaking of chins and skins, here’s a really fun technique that may appeal to all of you mixed media artists.

LET’S GET DOWN TO IT. WHAT THE HECK IS A ‘SKIN’? (Part One – Part Two next week).

If you haven’t heard of this term, it is common-speak among mixed media gurus these days. An acrylic skin can be very thick or very thin. Opaque or transparent. It is created on a non-stick surface, allowed to fully dry, then peeled off. It can be used in one large piece, or cut into smaller pieces and used in collage work.


**Sheet of plastic – one of those clear file folders works very nicely. Garbage bags and freezer paper work well, too.

**Fluid acrylic, any brand. Use up all of those odd bottled craft colors you’ve been hoarding.

**Possibly a palette knife.

Have you ever looked at the amount of dried acrylic paint on your palette and wished you didn’t have to waste it? Actually, you don’t have to throw it away. If you are using the right type of surface for a palette, you can simply peel it off and use it in your paintings.

Take a look at this photo.


This is the palette I showed you in last week’s blog post, the ArtQuest palette which is basically just a sheet of Plexiglas. When I want to use the paint on this palette for a skin, I keep building it up – just squirting paint on top of paint when I’m using it for a palette. And, as you can see here, it’s gotten quite thick and I’m able to lift it off pretty easily. I loosen it a bit at the edges and when it’s got a start, I can just peel it off. I don’t mind if it comes off in one large piece, or if it comes off in smaller pieces. I save them all by placing them on a piece of freezer paper.

TIP FOR STORING THEM:  Do NOT lay them on top of each other or they’ll stick together. If you get into saving these skins, spread them out onto freezer paper or other plastic and then place another piece of freezer paper on top to separate them or the little rascals will stick together.


Easy, peasy.

  1. Squirt paint onto the plastic (heavier plastic works better than thin). You can use as many colors as you wish. Mix them together, or not.
    TT0030116-3   TT0030116-4
  2. In the second photo you can see that I’m leveling it a bit with a palette knife, but this is not something you have to do.
  3. And now for the most difficult part: let it dry completely. I usually do them one day and let them sit overnight. Then the next morning, it’s fun to go down to the studio and see my new baby skins. (You’ve always wanted baby skin, haven’t you)?
    Here’s a photo of me and my baby skins.

You’ve just learned the basics of making a skin. There are so many fun things you can do to make some really cool ones and next week we’ll explore!

By the way, some of my favorite artists use them and you can check them out on Facebook or on their websites: Jennifer Stone ( and Patti Brady to name two.

One final tip that comes from Maria Luisa in Ocala. She told me about AWESOME cleaner that you can find at Dollar Tree. This cleaner takes off every bit of left over acrylic paint from your ArtQuest palette. I just tried it and it works like a charm – for only one thin dollar! Thanks Maria Luisa.

Thank you for reading, one and all. And if you have any cool ideas about using skins, please leave a comment. I’ll pass them on at the next blog.

Kathie xo

P.S. Don’t forget the special $100 off coupon for those of you who have signed up for the “Jumpstart Your Imagination” creative Mixed Media workshop (all new projects) on Madeline Island. Please note that the deadline on the coupon is Leap Day, Feb. 29th! The flyer for this class is immediately below. Then, below that is the coupon for you.


CLICK HERE for the coupon!

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