Daily Archives: November 25, 2020

Timeout for Art: Mixed Media

study for ceramic sculpture

Mixed Media is just what it says: a mixture of art-making materials, combined for effect. When combining paint, applied with brushes, with more restrictive drawing tools, it’s impossible to be too rigid in your expectations. When approached with a sense of adventure, it’s a lot of fun, and a good way to loosen up.

Paint, applied roughly, can give texture and “tooth” to the picture plane that will change the way that drawing materials will take to the surface. Some materials – charcoal, graphite and soft pastel, for instance – can be rubbed and smudged to obscure lines. Oil pastels will become liquid when painted over with turpentine or other solvent. Areas that become too dark or dense can be covered with a splash of paint for a fresh start. Marking tools can be used to scratch lines or detail into wet paint. Linens, papers and other collage materials can add another dimension.

The nature of mixed-media presents archival challenges. Oil and water based products do not mix well for the long term. Some papers and other materials break down over time. Those things don’t concern me. Though there are some very good – and very serious – mixed media artists, working in both two and three-dimensional formats, I am not one of them. I enjoy the process of art-making. I appreciate various methods and materials. Mixed Media is a fun way to explore both, in a not-too-serious way!