The simple addition of paint, pen or ink can transform a collage dramatically when all else fails and it needn’t be copious amounts of anything. A great source for ideas is most students ideas books where designers of all kinds use them to create mood boards in very often exceptionally creative ways. The pages are often overflowing with mini masterpieces of collaged creativity to inspire any and all who gaze upon them. Why is it then that mixed media is, like pastel artists regarded as a poorer cousin to a painter or sculptor. There really can be no less skill involved as the great masters of the last two centuries have proved.
Above are just a few examples of the extraordinary pages of other people’s sketchbooks which I always find fascinating to thumb through. Mine are woefully bland by comparison but maybe 2022 will see a change in that as my new challenges take shape. You don’t have to restrict yourself to pen or paint. Explore further with textiles, plastics, metals like washers and watch cogs, sew the into a canvas; sew on a canvas! As the name suggests, mix it up to add texture.
Talking of mixing things up, here’s a handy sticky recipe especially for mixed media which I shared with a purist in pottering on a recent course. My feeling was it fell on deaf ears but maybe not.
Plaster of Paris powder, PVA glue and acrylic paint. Mix to your desired consistency apply however you like and leave to dry. Once dry you can scratch more textural design marks into it, add more paint, use printing stamps and by dividing a patterned tissue napkin you can apply that design too. Add threads, sequins, whatever you like. Just one rule clean up as you go and don’t forget to have fun!