Creating Layers in Mixed Media Art
Creating layers and depth in mixed media art is what draws me in; I love to look at a piece and discover hidden text and scratchings; areas where two colours have blended in an unexpected way; an unusual word or expression that conjures up images of far off times and places.
It has taken me many years to fully appreciate the complexity and depth of the mixed media art collages and paintings I see in the glossy magazines. And I often wondered why my pieces didn't reflect the same depth and character. After much study and trial and error, I have discovered that the way to get lots of layers and depth and intrigue is to add these layers one at a time. With a little knowledge you too can learn to create gorgeous mixed media pieces.
Gesso and Paints
If in doubt, begin with a layer of gesso; Always a good place to start. This provides a good surface that our paints and other layers will adhere to. Remember that this gesso layer can also be used to add some texture and creating marks and words and scratchings in the wet gesso will provide interest as the layers are built up.
Paints are the best way to add layers and colour to our mixed media art pieces. When starting out, choose two or three colours that go well together. And have a little black and white on hand. From these humble beginnings, great arty things can happen.
Using old book pages and interesting fonts and texts add another dimension to our mixed media art collages. Add some pieces under the gesso. Save the more interesting pieces to add nearer the top of your collage. Tear, cut shapes, add with abandon; this is the fun part of creating mixed media art so play and lose yourself in the creative enjoyment.
You can stick these paper pieces down with a glue stick or PVA. For good adhesion, mixed media artist prefer to use gel medium that can be used to glue down pieces and to cover each piece, ensuring adhesion and providing the platform for the next layer.
Once your painting and paper layering are at a stage you are happy, then it is time to add the finishing touches. Embellishments can include wonderful found objects, like old bottle caps or buttons or beads or more modern types found in your local scrapbooking or craft store.
Consider carefully before adding these final items. It you want them to sit on top of your layering then leave the underneath paint and glued layers some time to fully dry before adding them.
I hope these few points have sparked a creative thought or image. With a little knowledge and practise, creating wonderful mixed media painting or collages is possible.
For more inspiration
- Creating layers with Gesso | Mixed Media Art
Creating a Mixed Media Art collage, painting or background is all about creating layers and IF IN DOUBT - Start with Gesso. Use this versatile undercoat to begin.
- Creating Layers with Embellishments | Mixed Media Art
Using embellishments you already have is a great way to complete your mixed media layers artwork.
- Bundling up the Creating Layers tips
Creativity at your fingertips with many different methods and tools to create layers in your art journal, mixed media collage, canvas or altered book.
And some more
To create rich mixed media art we add many layers - some seen and some hidden. Here is your go-to guide for what to add next!
This book gets into the "How" and "Why" of the techniques and effects of the works you admire.