I often get asked the question What is Mixed Media? I get it, its confusing and is one of those things that can mean different things to different people depending on your experience and preferences in creating.
In art we can often categorise ourselves and the art we are viewing into something we understand so we know how its made. Typical categories are either acrylic, oils or watercolours…or one of my loves coloured pencils. These days with the 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 therefore I guess it just explains to people that you haven’t JUST used watercolour or JUST used acrylic you may have also 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 and find out techniques that work for them as two examples of Mixed Media artists will likely produce two very different types of works.
In my classes, i teach the general techniques, the supplies … which things go well together, what are the steps, which items should they mix with what? I also teach freedom in that I encourage people to experiment with new ways of working based on the subject and style they like to work on. The techniques can be adopted modified and played with once you know the fundamentals but overall there are so many possibilities. Basically, its about how to get their ideas to come to life in a new way rather than be restricted by the “categories” that they may have worked to in the past.
Often as we work in a term class, once the initial demonstrations and techniques are explored and people are encouraged to take their new skills to their subject they sometimes will start to revert back to their familiar favourites and caught up in where they were stuck before so the second half of the terms is also about building confidence and working out how the mixed media works for them 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 other things – 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.