Mixed media art, refers to art pieces, generally wall art, that features more than one medium. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, a medium is the main material used by an artist in its work. The most common type of mixed media is a canvas which contains paint art, combined with collages, ink or even common tree-dimensional objects such as beads, vintage keys, gear trains, clock dials and so on. The great thing about mixed media art is that it allows a lot of freedom. Seemingly untalented people can try creating mixed media. Even without knowing any technique or having any painting skill whatsoever, if they let their creativity run wild, anyone can create mixed media art. Mixed media is often used as a way to create unique decorations and it can be a great idea for adding a few artsy touches to your home without many expenses. However, if you want to do it like a pro while also making sure that it lasts, there are some mixed media art techniques that you can try.
The background can often be the most important part of a mixed media art piece. As such, it deserves the utmost importance, and most of the mixed media art techniques refer to it.
If you are unfamiliar with decoupage, you can try its most basic technique which involves printed napkins and Gesso. Start by choosing some beautiful napkins that you want to use as background. Make sure to take 3-layered napkins and unfold the layers as you will only be needing the top layer, the one with the print. Next, paint the background of your future art piece with Gesso, be it a canvas, a piece of wood or anything else. After applying the Gesso, gently stick the napkins to it. You can use a sponge in order to prevent the development of air bubbles. Gently tap the napkins with the sponge until they are nicely spread on your canvas. At the end, apply another layer of Gesso in order to fix the background. Allow it to dry and then move on to creating the rest of your artwork. Instead of paper napkins, you can also use textured paper place mats, old book pages or even magazine cutouts.
Although it may sound boring, a paint background is the most versatile type of background. You can create different results with watercolors, acrylics or oil paints. You can drip, pour or splash the paint on the canvas and there are also numerous techniques that you can try in order to give your background some texture. For example, you can try some palette knife painting techniques for more versatility.
Tips regarding mixed media
There are numerous mixed media art techniques out there. However, make sure that when you are reading a tutorial, you are using solely the artist’s technique and not his ideas as well. Moreover, don’t limit yourself to simply the techniques you find online, but come up with your own techniques. You can also join mixed media art groups in order to discuss your hobby with others like you and perhaps find solutions for some problems that you may encounter along the way. As far as mediums go, there is not limit. Start with things that you have around the house like old keys, beads, vintage buttons, vintage spoons, old magazines and so on. Furthermore, explore painting techniques that add depth to your art such as the palette knife painting technique.