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 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!