(This is the tutorial that appeared on the Flourishes blog last month - just wanted to make sure to post it here too!)
Mixed Media is a growing art trend that has reached even into the papercrafting world. As a basic concept, "mixed media art" is a visual piece in which the creator combines more than one type of art medium. Mixed media art often includes an element of dimension, texture, or collage.
If you're curious about starting, but the very term Mixed Media frightens you, It may be because you have a mental image of bright and splashy or dark and grungy projects that aren't your style. I want to encourage you that there are simple principles of mixed media that anyone can apply, regardless of your signature style. One article that I ran across asks the question, "What defines mixed media?" The answer? "You do."
Here's a list of art supplies you may use or have around your crafting area - if you have used any 2 or more of these together, guess what?! You have done mixed media.
- Pencils - wax, oil, watercolor, graphite/charcoal, chalk/pastel
- Pastels - chalk, oil
- Markers - watercolor, pigment, water-based, acrylic
- Pens - ink, glitter
- Pigments - Gelatos, watercolor crayons, metallic rubons
- Paints - watercolor, acrylic, oil, poster, tempera
- Inks - dye, chalk, distress, reinkers, pigment, hybrid
- Powders - mica, pigment, chalk
- Sprays & airbrushing
- Dimensionals - embossing paste, gesso, fabric, found items, papers (collage, piecing) , ephemera
- Heated elements - encaustic, embossing
- Obviously there are lots of ways to do this - here are just a few:
- Begin with patterned cardstock
- Collage or piece patterned papers on a cardstock panel
- Paint, spray and/or ink solid cardstock or other durable paper
- Be aware that water-soluble mediums may run or bleed through if you use a watery medium on top of them. You may need to heat set or allow time for complete drying between layers of color.
- Again, there are lots of options here, and no limit to the number of layers or elements you add in this step:
- Paint or dab ink through stencils
- Rubber stamps, especially text or patterns (Versafine and Colorbox Fluid Chalk inks work very well in this step).
- Add texture with found objects such as textiles, punchinella, plastic canvas, bubble wrap, etc. Stamp with them using ink or paint, glue them on, etc.
- If you're stamping or painting directly to your panel, this can be done by adding a layer of lighter-colored paint or paper.
- If your panel is already light in color, you can mask off one area for your focal image or text, then darken other areas.
I hope these simple guidelines will give you some courage to try mixed media your way! If you need more inspiration, the Mix-Ability Challenge at Splitcoaststampers offers weekly mixed media challenges to get your creative wheels turning. Thank you for letting me share!