I often get asked the question what is mixed media? I get it .. its confusing its one of those things that can mean different things to different people and it is kinda ambiguous cause it leaves you guessing but I guess that’s kind of the point.
In creating art we can often categorise ourselves and the arts into something we understand so we know its either acrylic or oils or watercolours…or coloured pencils for that matter. These days those with the huge huge huge variety of art supplies from various manufacturers we are spoilt for choice and don’t just have to use 1 set of materials to create.
Jump in mixed media I explain it as being when you use two or more different types of media in your work. These can be any two or more (and quite often is) and therefore its just explains to people that you haven’t JUST used watercolour or JUST used acrylic you might have used as well charcoal, pastels, pencils, inks, collage and any other materials by sticking in on with glue, mediums etc. etc. to create different effects.
The variety is vast and so is the imagination so its really up to artists to just experiment, find out techniques of how using these different materials together works and then experiment with them till they find something they love to do.
In my classes I find people come to learn about the techniques, the supplies …which things go well together, what are the steps, which items should they mix with what? Basically, its about how to get their ideas for a work come to life just as much as it is how to experiment and “play” with lots of ways rather than be restricted by the “categories” that they may have worked to in the past.
I have observed, often as we work people will start to revert back to their familiar favourites and start to get lost, caught up in where they were stuck before, I urge them to break out of their usual tools and methods and try some new ways to work most of all to give it a go “you can always paint over it!!!” People always comment on how freeing up has brought up a new energy, new ideas and new ways of working as there really isn’t too many “rules” but I will warn it often does involve purchasing new materials that you fall in love with!!
Mixed media can be all the above and many things, I think above all its about experimenting with materials, seeing how they work together in various combinations but most of all how you enjoy using them! I hope this helps if you were unsure!!
Below are some examples of mixed media from my classes and my artworks, as you can see they vary so much!!!- Please leave a comment below.