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Mixed-media painting is a more common practice than a lot of artists give it credit for. In fact, most artists mix media without even thinking about it. Doing a charcoal or pencil sketch on your canvas before applying paint? Technically it’s mixed media. Combining washes of watercolor with pastel in an urban landscape painting? That’s mixed media art, too. If you desire to mix up your art and try your hand at some mixed-media painting techniques, Artist Network‘s free eBook profiles two artists who blur the edges between media to create fascinating work.
This genre of painting combines different painting and drawing materials and methods to create one unique piece of artwork. Discover the endless possibilities that come with mixed media artwork. This free eBook is sure to inspire you with the amazing techniques and abstract art ideas from skilled mixed media artists.
What’s inside this guide on mixed-media painting techniques?
Whether you are a veteran collage artist or have yet to mix media in your work, this free collection of techniques to create outstanding paintings is one you’ll turn to again and again. Let mixed media artists Janet Cook and Russell Irwin guide you through a journey to create one-of-a-kind art.
Janet Cook’s paintings of New York City pulse with life and rhythm, partly due to the fact that she is able to mix the vibrant colors of pastel with the expressive fluidity of water media. For Russell Irwin, painting is more like mosaic art, as he uses mixed media collage elements like torn paper in combination with acrylic paint to form a richly textured surface on his paintings. Irwin acknowledges that this process forces him to approach his work as if it was abstract art, where the relationship between shape and color dominates. When you download these free art lessons, experienced mixed media artists will guide you through techniques to create stunning mixed media paintings.
Combining Water Media and Pastel
Janet Cook layers pastel over bright water media underpaintings to create scenes that positively pulse. Color plays a central and complex role in Cook’s work and is one of the first characteristics viewers note about her lush mixed-media landscapes and detailed mixed media portraits. Cook feels that no medium meets the challenge of working with intense and saturated colors more than pastel. “Pastels are such a great way to trigger an artist’s imagination, especially in his or her use of color,” she explains.
Mixed Media Portrait: Choosing Colors that Best Reflect Light
To assess value clearly when painting a mixed media portrait, Cook likes to squint her eyes to eliminate color. When working from a photo, she will first print a black-and-white version. “I don’t think it matters what color an artist uses as long as the value is correct,” she believes. “This philosophy, in essence, frees me to use any color I want.” Learn more tips and techniques Cook uses to create a one-of-a-kind portraits within the tutorial.
Mixed Media Landscape: Layering Pastels to Emanate a City Scape
Cook prepares a landscape painting by applying layers of pastel. She seldom blends pastels, preferring instead to crisscross colors of the same value to create simultaneous contrasts that make the colors more complex and the work more vibrant. She leaves approximately 5 percent to 15 percent of the underpainting showing through to imbue the piece with a sense of harmony. At this stage, she always works from a black-and-white photo, so as not to get seduced by the local color.
Mixed Media Collage: Layers of Painted Paper Bonded with Acrylic Paint
Russell Irwin’s paintings are more like mosaic art: mixed media collage elements layered with acrylic paint tell a tantalizing story. Irwin spends months interviewing friends and associates of his subject, ransacking archives and picture collections, and generating scores of drawings and sketches. He finally pares down all of this information to a group of pivotal images organized in a fluidly layered space, where they hang and shimmer like memories.
Mixed Media Collages: Demonstration of Mosaic Art Elements on Wood
Irwin began this painting by preparing a hollow-core wood door panel with gesso. He worked from two palettes: a plastic one on which he mixed acrylic paints and one on the floor, where he scattered torn pieces of paper. He adhered torn papers of varying weights, textures, and colors with acrylic matte medium. Irwin applied the layers of paper in a process he describes as “thoughtful, intellectual, purposeful, but also visceral.” For this work, he applied little acrylic until the final stages. Follow the step by step demonstration to create a mosaic art collage.
Learn inspiring mixed-media painting techniques from artists with this free download.
Learn how to present depth and texture to your artwork and transform your ideas about art. Creating textures is not about following a process or working within boundaries; it is about seeking out new styles and techniques in a spontaneous manner. Discover mixed-media painting techniques that can become a breakthrough in your art.