What Is Mixed Media Art?
Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, with something to suit everyone – Mixed Media can sound pretty scary especially to a novice crafter, however once you understand the concept of mixing different mediums together, it is an excellent addition to your crafty skills list – and you really do not have to be an Alchemist to achieve your artist goals! Check out Ann Marie Vaux’s introduction to mixed media art below, and try your hand at the creative movement that’s taking to craft world by storm!
What is Mixed Media Art?
Mixed Media is a form of visual art that has a combination of elements that combine to add eye-catching interest and texture to your project. You often see paintings that have had texture added for effect, whether it is paint splatter, collaged items, or sand mixed in with the paint; all these ideas can be used in paper mixed media crafts as well.
Mixed media art is a collaboration of different items, including acrylic paints, fabrics, clay, wood, sand, heat embossing and inks to name a few, all brought together to make unique creations, and produce textured art. Just about anything can be used to create mixed media… you do not have to stick to your arts and crafts stash! You could add photographs, clay pieces, tiles, epoxy resin… the art supply is endless of items to incorporate into your work, to make your own masterpiece!
The idea is to try different techniques and items together, and not be afraid of how far you can go with your own ideas! All of the techniques can flow over into journaling, cardmaking and scrapbooking, as well as many other forms of crafting… your only limit is your imagination!
When it comes to mixed media, litetrally nothing is off-limits; you can experiment with 3D Embossing Folders, Deep Die Dishes and ready made Texture Pastes. Stencils are a great way to add texture and a very easy option, for creating impact, too! A stencil can be used with texture pastes & powders, ink, or your paints, to add a great mixed media effect to your project.
Once you start experimenting and incorporating mixed media techniques into your creations, whatever they are, you will find that there is no right way or wrong way to do it, and definitely no rules. It is fun, and allows your creativity to go in different directions while trying new things!
Blending and mixing are 2 great ways to add texture to a project – try blending your embossing powders together to make a unique colour! This is a good place to start if you are new to it all, or find it overwhelming. Or, for more advanced mixed media artists, you could mix your ink and spray mists together, then add texture powder to produce a one-off texture paste, then add gold embossing powder and wax chippings, and heat up to create something wildly different! The embossing powder will melt and the wax will melt into it, creating a unique blend of texture… there are so many possibilities when it comes to creating mixed media art!
Jewellery items, such as beads, bezels, and chains are great additional items to add to your mixed media. Watch parts, including cogs and hands then take you into a new area of Steampunk mixed media… a whole new area to explore and have fun with!
One more thing that mixed media is great for, is giving you the total flexibility to add everyday items into your art projects; think bottle caps, string, small coins, tickets, as well as so many other things you may have lying around! Even household items such as bleach, salt and shaving foam can give distinctive results and are very impressive when they are used to make artistic backgrounds. Bleach, if used with precautions, can cancel out colours when you use dye based products, giving a tie dyed effect in fabric that could be used for clothing, as well as mixed media art. Salt can soak up colour from water paints giving a mottled or speckled effect after it dries, and shaving foam can be used with liquid ink to create a random ink print on paper or fabric.
If you want to make something that is individual and out of the ordinary, then mixed media is everything and more! With no limitations, rules or boundaries, you will find yourself looking at everything, wondering if you could include that in your next artist creation..!
I would recommend not over thinking it, but just doing it -after all, arts and crafts is about having fun, being individual, and enjoying yourself!
For more mixed media inspiration, check out the articles, projects and tutorials right here on the Create and Craft blog!