I love mixed media art as it gives you so much freedom and there are no set rules or a right way of doing it. It allows you to tap into your creativity and do whatever you like on the page, using your favourite art supplies.
Looking at a blank canvas or page in your art journal can be a bit daunting so I thought I’d share 5 ways to get some paint on it and achieve your first layer in your mixed media piece.
I either work in my art journal, which contains watercolour paper pages so it can take paint, or I work on sheets of watercolour paper, mixed media paper or canvas boards (as opposed to stretched canvases as the boards provide a nice hard surface to work on).
Something to bear in mind is that the first layer may not look like anything special or wow because it is only the first in many layers. I think of it as a foundation layer of paint.
I normally choose to use either warm or cool colours for each layer as if you try to combine both, you can end up with mud but it can be fun to experiment! In the most basic form, warm colours are considered to be reds, oranges and yellows where as cool colours are blues, greens and violet.
1. Using watercolours
This background was created using a wet on wet technique by making the watercolour paper wet to begin with using a brush and water and then using the brush to add different watercolours to the page. Because the paper is wet, the paint tends to naturally spread, giving some interesting effects.
2. Using acrylic paint and a brayer
This background was created by putting some different colour blobs (technical term!) of acrylic paint on a brayer (a mini rubber roller) – I tend to use fluid acrylics but soft body acrylics or craft paint will also work well – and then using the brayer to spread the paint. You can have fun with this and go in different directions and mix different colours using the brayer to create some interesting colour mixes. I like to leave patches of the white paper or canvas to give texture.
3. Using watercolour pencils
I coloured patches of watercolour pencils up and down the page until the page was covered in colour then I used a wet paintbrush over my colouring to activate the pencils. You could do the same with water-soluble crayons like Neo Color 2.
4. Using acrylic paint and a sponge
For this background, I put some blobs of acrylic paint on my sponge and then moved the paint up and down the page using the sponge, swapping colours each time.
5. Using a solid acrylic paint background
To make this background, I just grabbed a paint brush and painted a solid colour background – this is a good option when you’re going to add lots of additional texture. My paint brush picked up a tiny bit of a darker colour, which was a nice happy accident as it threaded through another colour!
In the next blog post, I look at adding texture to your page or canvas, using lots of things you can find around the house.
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