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Mixed Media Art: Part 1

Mixed Media Art Supplies

April 25, 2024

Hello art lovers! A while back I chronicled my journey with a course on watercolor painting. You can go back and read that series, but this time I want you join me as I work my way through Universal Class's Mixed Media Art class with instructor Nancy Filip.

"Mixed media? What's that?" I hear you ask. Mixed Media art is when you combine more than one medium to create a piece of art. For example, you could make a painting with a watercolor background, but then draw in all of the buildings with colored pencils. Or you may want to create a collage of cut out newspaper clippings and splashes of color from acrylic paints. It can range from simple (pencil drawing you color in with markers), to extremely elaborate (a metal sculpture welded together and covered in spray paint).

As with any new skill, it's best to start small. Try painting a simple abstract painting of random shapes and colors. Then trace in those shapes with a black permanent marker. Like so:


As you can see, I just slathered a bunch of acrylic paint in a variety of colors onto a piece of watercolor paper. I didn't have a plan. I was pretty free with the application and whatever happened, happened. Then I looked at the piece and tried to imagine what shapes were there. I then outlined those shapes in a black permanent marker. Voila!

Want to try something more complicated than just outlining some paint? Another assignment in the Mixed Media class from Universal Class is a watercolor and collage piece. Like this one


There are quite a few more things going on in this piece than the abstract art. The materials I used were watercolors, a picture of a bird to help with the outline, a glue stick, and sheets of papers from a daily calendar. You first want to start off with a base of some watercolor blue for the background. While that's drying I printed off a picture of a bird, tore up several pages of my daily Marvel calendar, and pasted those little pieces to the picture of the bird, generally keeping the same color scheme and shape. Then, I cut out the bird, pasted it to the (now dry) watercolor background. For the final touch I painted in those pine needles to tie the bird and branch to the background.

If you're interested in learning about these lessons and much more, try signing up for Mixed Media Art at Universal Class.

And check out some of our Mixed Media art books from our Online Catalog!

The Complete Book of Mixed Media Art
Crafty Birds
Creative Wanderlust
Artful Adventures in Mixed Media

Barbara Jo
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