The Art of Mixing Media in Painting, Part I

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The mixing of media in painting is a complex art form. It can be one of the most challenging and rewarding ways to express your vision.

Mixing media in painting is not only a way to enhance your painting, but also to explore your painting’s potential. This process will force you to think more deeply about your subject matter and color value.

Trying different methods is an excellent way to learn and grow as an artist

Part 1 -This is the first in a series of posts on mixing different mediums to create art. I have been painting with oils and watercolors for years, but have only recently started to try mixing other media into my paintings. It adds an entirely new dynamism to the process and creates an entirely new set of problems. This blog will examine that process from beginning to end as I continue working on a painting that uses at least twelve separate media in its production.

Drop cloths, palettes, brushes, knives, sponges, paper towels, ink (both India and Sumi), charcoal pencils and oil sticks are all fair game. The image above is just one in what will be a large collection of progress shots as I work through this technique.

So far, this has been more fun than even I could have imagined and I hope you will come along on this journey with me as I attempt to produce a final piece which may or may not resemble the original idea.

The use of mixed media in painting has been around for a long time. It is not a new concept. In fact, it was used preciously in art history by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Édouard Manet and more recently Julian Opie.

The use of multiple mediums gives one the ability to create a more dynamic piece, allowing the artist to convey their idea in different ways. Using different mediums also offers different textures and effects which can help to create an illusion of space and 3D within the painting. The number of mediums used can range from just two (for example paint and pencil) to many more, including crayons, pastels and more recently oil pastels, collage, water colour, ink and even video.

Interactions between various media can also be achieved by layering or overlapping two or more elements on top of each other. For example, using charcoal to sketch over a watercolour effect or using oil paint to create a glaze over a coloured pencil drawing etc.

There are two different styles of painting that I am interested in exploring. One is the traditional way of painting by applying paint to a surface; the other is mixing paints with other mediums.

The first time I tried to combine mediums was in a landscape painting using colored pencil and watercolor. It was mainly a color study, but it became a little more interesting because of this technique.

I had painted several studies in acrylic using only that medium for the entire painting. I wanted to try something new, so I decided to make a landscape painting using only colored pencil and watercolor. The painting would be on illustration board and the colored pencil would be the only medium used on top of the watercolor.

In blending the two media, it created a third new medium to me, but one that I was able to manipulate quite easily. With this combination, there was no reason why I could not create an endless variety of colors and textures.

In the series of paintings I have been creating for the past couple of years, one of the things I have played with is mixing media. I love the way that you can take a painting into new directions simply by using more than one medium on top of another. So the first blog in this series is all about how to do that.

The basic idea is to use more than one medium on top of your base color. But it’s not as simple as just slapping another color on there, because if you do that, you’re not going to get a very interesting result. Use too much, and you’ll find that they mix together and you end up with mud.

In fact, I’ve found that there are three distinct ways to mix media; each has its own challenges, but each also has its own benefits. Here’s a brief overview:

I’m interested in art and I’m also a big fan of multimedia. So when I was thinking about creating a blog for this class, I decided to try something new. I have been painting for years, but with the intention of becoming a graphic designer, I haven’t explored different mediums too much. I’ve always loved the look of watercolor paintings and photographs and thought it would be interesting to mix them together.

Tattoos are another thing that I have always been interested in. The idea of incorporating them into my blog seemed like a good idea as well! The theme of the blog is based on being different. As most people can see from the picture below, my husband and I have matching tattoos which symbolize our relationship – so why not paint him as well?

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