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Readers Respond: What are Your Thoughts and Tips on Mixed Media Painting?

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  • Do you love or hate mixed media paintings? What do you think is important to remember when working with mixed media? What makes a piece successful and what ruins it? What type of thing do you enjoy including, and what has been disastrous for you? Help others learn by sharing your mixed media tips, or simply share your thoughts.

    The letting go dilemma

    Mixed media for me is the most difficult thing to do. Because I vaguely feel it is indispensable to have a vision of your future work before the beginning of its process. Because I have difficulty accepting a certain dose of spontaneity during the work. I do not know why but Iam afraid of the "letting go" which is for me a kind of...act of madness and annihilation! Maybe a problem of motion of censure: I like to have the illusion of mastering everything about my creativity, beyond doubt. And mastering everything, about my relationships with others too, which also ends up driving me... mad. So via a startling shortcut: mixed media or psychoanalysis?
    —Guest Yover

    Coloured Pencils and Markers

    I don't know whether you would consider it mixed media, but I enjoy mixing coloured pencils and markers. I first apply the coloured pencils and then go over them with my Copics or other layout markers. It makes the drawing look a bit like a painting...
    —ulla.hennig

    Mixed Media Texture

    I am learning to make and use texture in my abstract painting class. So far I have used, in different paintings, sand, sawdust, ash. All cleaned (soaked overnight in water and baking soda to kill bacteria and thoroughly rinsed - to get rid of salt in sand - then dried). I mix with gesso primer and PVA glue. Cheaper than bought, gives different types of texture effects, and doesn't seem to shrink as much. I use this texture in some abstract paintings where I want this type of effect. Good for dry brush technique over a background wash as the paint is just picked up by the texture. I have also seen textures used to good effect in realistic paintings. Main thing is to use where it fits the subject matter, then it can be very effective.
    —Guest Sandra

    Wonderful Concept

    I absolutely love experimenting with different mediums for different effects. For example, wax crayons used on flowers in water colour give a subtle highlighting and also more freedom to use bolder brushstrokes. Though sometimes I do feel that it is like cheating. Mixing different mediums does make painting easier but in some instances like indiscriminate use of texture in oil painting instead of using wash technique makes the painting ugly.
    —Guest meera ahuja

    Paint as Glue

    Undiluted acrylic paint has enough binder in it to work as a good glue, so don't feel compelled to add more, which may dilute/influence colours.
    —Guest Josie

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