Mixed Media Art

According to Tate, Mixed media is a term used to describe artworks composed from a combination of different media or materials. Mixed media is all about breaking the boundaries between different art forms.

For example, you can add sculpture to your painting, or draw on top of photography prints.


The use of mixed media began around 1912 with the cubist collages and constructions of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and has become widespread as artists developed increasingly open attitudes to the media of art. Essentially art can be made of anything or any combination of things.


Cubist art of the 20th century often depicted three-dimensional objects from different points of view at once, by fragmenting and redefining the different viewpoints.

"Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" by Pablo Picasso

Then, Akunyili Crosby uses collage as a media that can help bridge the culture of her native Nigeria with her adopted culture in America. She uses photos, paint, coloured pencils and charcoals, and even textiles to create strong textures that incorporate the different parts of the painting. 


"And "We Begin to Let Go" by artist Akunyili Crosby

Finnabair is an art journaler who uses prominent collage in her art to interpret mood and tone. Her art employs strong texturing and an eye for overall design and composition. 

Later on, London-based Nikki Farquharson uses bold colours and print-like designs for the inked collage effects of her artwork. The style uses photography and clean line-art in a combination of colours and textures.


Dancing Shirts by artist Brett Sperling 

With mixed media, anything goes. However, you will need to take some ordinary precautions, such as making sure that your foundation (base layer) is sturdy enough to accept whatever you throw on top of it without buckling or bending. You may also want to do some smaller tests to examine how the media work together, to make sure you can achieve the desired effect.

The different mixed media art options:

  • Mixed media painting
  • Mixed media collage and paper craft
  • Mixed media sculpture
  • Mixed media photography
  • Mixed media art journal or book
  • Mixed media cards

Blue Ocean by artist Pascale R 

Mixed media paintings frequently take the form of integrated collages, where objects, photos, and words are integrated into the painting. 

The liberating experience of mixed media painting can really add vitality to the artwork.

Artists need to look at everything as a potential canvas. 


Reference: Tate and Format

Pictures: Canva

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