7 Ideas for Mixed Media Art

If you are having trouble getting started with your mixed media art or need some ideas of what to do next or simply want to try a new technique or material, here is an idea-generating list to read through. You can use any combination of these ideas or put your own twist on them.

1. Watercolor. To create an interesting watercolor background, you can layer transparent colors over one another, allowing the bottom colors to show through. A transparent watercolor effect can be achieved by mixing the color with water before applying it to your surface.

2. Fabric cut-outs. Select some fabric that has simple shapes or motifs. “Paint” around the edges with a mixture of white glue and water to prevent fraying. After the glue has dried, cut out your shape using a pair of scissors. You can use this to decorate greeting cards, wall art, art journal pages etc.

3. Aluminum foil background, crinkly effect. For an interesting background, you can crinkle a piece of foil and then smooth it out by hand, and color it with permanent markers, shoe polish or ink.

4. Aluminum foil, dimensional design. Another way foil can be used in your art is by drawing a simple design on cardboard and going over the drawing with a line of hot glue or tacky glue. After it’s dry, cover the cardboard with foil and press gently around the glue lines (using a soft rag or cotton swab) to reveal the design. Go over it with paint or shoe polish and wipe off the excess, which leaves paint in the grooves and gives emphasis to your design.

5. Quilling shapes and designs. You can create beautiful dimensional art using strips of papers that are rolled, shaped, and glued together. You can buy precut strips of paper or cut your own using a paper shredder or a craft knife.

6. Nature finds. Take a walk outside and pick up twigs, weeds, bark, small stones to use in your art. Make sure to check for bugs or spiders before bringing into your house.

7. Paper doilies. Paper doilies are an inexpensive way to add texture and interest to your background. They can be painted, folded, and used to create art.

There are no limits to the things you can do with mixed media art, but sometimes you may get stuck and can’t think of anything to create. Use these ideas to help get your creative juices flowing again.