Have you ever looked at an abstract art piece or oil
painting genre scene or pastel seascape and wonder, how'd they do that?! Chances
are the answer lies somewhere in mixed media. Art that tends to defy our eyes
does so for a reason--it isn't conforming to a set of rules based on its
materiality. Instead, artists blend media and materials to produce effects that
aren't by-the-book traditional.
|Phoenix by Chie Fueki, 2003, mixed media on mulberry paper, 60 x 84.
First of all, in mixed media art, colors are often very
bold. You can combine the intense hues of watercolors with pastels, which have
a rich look and feel to them. Or you can create an ink drawing and layer marks
made with oil sticks over top of it. The contrast of the rich black pen strokes
and the slick passages of oil are quite strong.
The surface of a mixed media painting can also be a lot more
interesting because there are a variety of materials and techniques used atop
it. A paintbrush loaded with pigment makes quite a different mark than a drawing made with a fine
graphite pencil or piece of charcoal. Laying down mixed media collage materials
immediately adds interest to a surface, and these inclusions can be as subtle
or as in-your-face as you want to make them.
There are a few guidelines for mixed media art. Oil paints
tend not to play well with others, so they should often be the last medium
applied to a surface. And if you are exploring mixed media artwork, bear in
mind that a plan of action is a good idea so you can
maintain the integrity of the surface. For example, you don't want to pile on
the paint, collage materials, and more on a single flimsy piece of paper. Make
sure you start with a surface that will hold up to all that you want to do to
||Double Pyramid by David Huffman, 2009,
mixed media on canvas, 72 x 60.
In the spirit of mixing media, the editors of American Artist
have created several new
eBooks that have just come available. To be sure the first one that caught my
eye was Create Dynamic Paintings with
. It is just up my alley in terms of scope and the freedom to
play with different media in one work. Enjoy!