Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mixed Media Art for Beginners

Mixed media art brings together all of your artistic skills, even if they're not as great as you'd like them to be, to create pieces that will release your creativity. This form of crafting is perfect for those who "can't draw" or don't have a fine arts degree, but still want to make something. Many of us need to ability to create something as part of fulfilling an inner need. So continue reading to see if this mode of creativity suits you.

What is Mixed Media Art?
Mixed media art is a term used to describe the bringing together of a multitude ("mix") of different elements ("media") in a variety of different ways. So many different art and craft techniques and forms are covered by this overarching title. Collage, scrapbooking, altered books, artist trading cards (ATCs), handmade greeting cards, sculpture and painting on canvas are just an example of the different forms that Mixed Media Art covers.

And then there's the range on media: Firstly the ones that come straight to mind; paints, papers, cardboards, pencils, images, glues, crayons and glitter, to name a few. Then there are the more obscure media, like washers and other hardware items, buttons, fibres, bees wax, pages from an old book and the list goes on. When you begin to look around you with your "mixed media glasses" everything becomes a potential target for adding into your mixed media art.

Materials to get you started
You don't need to spend a lot of money to begin your first mixed media project. By using items around you, you free yourself up from worrying about wasting money by using your "good" stuff. Cheap and free materials allow you to concentrate on creating.

Firstly you will need a substrate; something to paint or draw or stick things onto. An old notebook or card board from a cereal box will get you started. Then we want to decorate it, give it a few layers, tell a story (even if no one else knows what it is). Adding some paints or gluing down background papers will begin to fill the empty space. You could even do both - either paint first, then add the papers, or glue the papers down and lightly paint over them. There are no "right ways" to tackle a mixed media piece.

Next add a focal point - often images of people easily bring a sense of the project to the observer. Stick this down then add some embellishments. Today there are a huge range of commercially available embellishments around, but we are beginning with a simple affair, so find some old buttons, some shiny sequins, a glitter pen, some lace, anything that "speaks" to you. Add these to your project. Don't get too caught up about where is the best place to put them, just find a place that appeals to you. After all, that is who we are really creating for - OURSELVES.

What next?
Get started! And check out the wonderful array of websites and blogs where others are showing off their mixed media pieces. But try not to get too overwhelmed - everyone had to start somewhere. Mixed Media Art is a great place to start.

Happy creating!


  1. would love to see some of your art on your blog..

  2. Thanks for the comment on my recent journal page! Yes, I drew and painted the girl on paper and then collaged her in my journal.
    Thanks again!

  3. Hi Michelle, your new blog is just what the doctor ordered for me. I am your second follower and would be thrilled if you came and followed me along my creative journey as well. I feel I can learn a lot from you and look forward to lesson number 2 ;) Thank you for the Mixed Media Art link..I have saved it and will take a look at it closer later. Thank you again and I am so excited about this world called mixed media :)
    p.s. I am not new to blogging, just new to the mixed media blogs and challenges etc. I have a lot to learn :)


  4. If you like this, you have to check out

    *smiles* Michelle

  5. Thank you for your kind comments! Your post is very comprehensive and I'm sure that you will inspire a lot of us in this MM journey, Kristin :)

  6. Michelle, this is a very clear and concise explanation of mixed media art. I am going to send your link to my granddaughter, who is creative but doesn't seem to be talented in drawing. I think it will encourage her to proceed in making her own kind of art.

  7. Thanks for your lovely comment and I enjoyed this insightful and instrctive post!

  8. Thank you for coming and commenting on my blog today. You are off to a great start on yours. I too hope to see your art here as well. Mixed media is fun!!!

  9. Hi Michelle. Thanks for stopping by...this is a great description of mma...i wasn't sure originally if digital was included but i see it is. i'll be around probably some times more than others...i've so loving this but i find it's very time consuming. i'm hoping to be able to find an excuse to spend more time on this....if it can incorporate photos & our live story it will work well for my blog so that's a good start:)

  10. thanks for coming my my blog.. u are always wecome!

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog...
    Good luck on your new blog! :-)