Mixed Media Projects




Bring Anything You Find Of Interest!

Students ask what they should bring to Mixed Media Class. Everything that they may be interested in working with, is my response. That includes found papers, magazines, oil pastels, pen and ink, pencils, acrylic paints, water color, sketch book, fabric, AND anything that can produce texture when glued down on cardboard (and oh yes, glue.)

There is no limit to the materials one can used in a mixed media project. This particular area of study is open to a broad range of ideas, skills and techniques. A mixed media project has several advantages. It invites beginner and advanced alike to become acquainted with different art media and materials as well as presents an exciting opportunity to research new methods and explore different perceptions of how many things can come together to produce a creative artwork.



mixed media, multi media, art materials, art exploration "Mixed Media Study1"

Paper, oil pastels, acrylic paint, pencil

by Lois DeWitt

What Is Mixed Media?

Mixed media, sometimes referred to as "Mixed Mediums of Mixed Materials," defines a way of working creatively with a broad range of materials, including found papers, seeds, leaves, sand, twine--the list is endless. Much of what is thrown away and ends up in the landfill is excellent material for mixed media artwork.

Working this way requires the student or artist to see everything as a possible ingredient for their artwork. The technique of collage can, in mixed media, be expanded to include shells, driftwood, twine, sheet metal, plywood, etc. And mixed media is not limited by two-dimensions. Found materials like rebar, PVC pipe, scrap lumber, Plexiglas and plastic cartons can comprise mixed media sculptures.

The Possibilities Are Endless!

Combining a variety of materials (assemblage) creates new and exciting artwork! One of my students found several cardboard cylinders in a dumpster and decided to assemble them into a sculpture for a mixed media project. She cut the cylinders into rings 1 inch wide with a hack saw, glued them together to form a circular filigree which she then sprayed black. The effect of a wall of 87 rings was beautiful and amazing!

A Different Way Of Seeing and Working

Working with many different things that are not usually considered "art materials" requires the student to see differently. The skill for combining disparate objects must be learned and not only requires a visualization of combinations, but also research in how to physically put them together. If there are no guidelines for combining materials that have never been put together, the student must rely upon intuitive composition skills, looking closely at how the materials interrelate.

Working this way requires a certain artistic confidence that often comes from working on several mixed media projects and establishing a set of personal guidelines that dictate the development of the artwork.

Sound Interesting? Watch My Video!

I have created a video of working with my students and then doing a mixed media project which consists of three studies on paper and then working on canvas, using the ideas and information from the three previous studies.

I find that by doing paper studies first helps solidify and strengthen ideas and methods for working on canvas. I explain how to set up all of the materials I will be using, how to prepare the paper and then I give a step-by-step explanation of how I am developing my mixed media project.




"Mixed Media Painting"

Acrylic paint, oil pastels, pencil on canvas

by Lois DeWitt


By watching this video, you will learn how to work with a variety of materials. Because the method is so broad, you will be able to substitute, if you want, your own collection of materials in place of what I use.

Because the main goal of this mixed media project is to experiment with materials, content is not addressed (that's for another video!)

Ready to begin? Great, let's go!

Click here to watch my "Mixed Media Projects" video.




Real Feedback



When I saw your Ezine article, at first I thought it said, "Are you ready for college?"

and I was looking to go back to school. Then I read you article on collage and found it interesting. So then I took the collage

lessons on your website and had a ball!

I've been collecting collage stuff ever since and have gotten interested in journalizing.

Beth Taos, NM

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Thank you for sending the links. I live in Sunnyvale, California. I came upon your site when I was searching the internet for some ideas for developing lessons for a free art class I wanted to offer kids in my neighborhood.

Best regards,Saba

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Your demos are great. What a fine way to get used to working with oil pastels. Dave Cornwell

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I liked to draw in grade school. The teacher scolded me for "doodling" on my note pad and I had to stay after!

I always felt that was unfair and when I saw the doodle lessons on your website I knew I had to get back to art and find the artist in me again.

Doodling Doris Schanks

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I really enjoy your classes. It has really helped me improve my skill with various

materials. Also, I love your voice on the videos...very relaxing.

Gena Smith





Found materials (burlap) collage by Burri

Collage made of cut-up paintings) by Dubuffet

Collage/Assemblage (painted wood scraps) by Nevelson



Collage (doll parts)by Arman