An Introduction to Mixed Media Art

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

I’m super excited to share with you the first of my sit down chats about art forms, mediums and techniques. This is a chance for us to get in behind the scenes and explore all things technical and creative as I talk you through some of the techniques and materials I use and experiment with day to day.


Today, our cosy couch sesh is all about MIXED MEDIA ART.



Say what now?!

It’s simple: taking different mediums e.g. sketching, gluing, digital media, painting etc, and bringing them all together in a smorgasbord of creative goodness. Mixed Media Art is the ultimate place to start, even if you’re new to all things creative and don’t have an artsy bone in your body.


Mixed Media Art is the ultimate place to start, even if you’re new to all things creative and don’t have an artsy bone in your body.

Take a look at my recent Frida Khalo mash up.



Recycled wall paper, edited print outs, acrylic paint, wood stain, raised stencilling… you name it, it’s on there. It may be a panel piece but it also doubles up as a plant stand and a key / general bits and bobs hook. Why the hell not?


Why is mixed media art my bag? It’s twofold really:


  1. As an artist, I’m passionate about quirky and innovative ways to upcycle and recycle. Mixed media art allows you to get experimental with using any combo of materials and mediums with zero restrictions. Start looking at the wealth of materials and resources you’re surrounded by and think what they could become rather than dumping them in the mixed recycling bin.

  2. If there is an artistic box, mixed media art is definitely outside of it. The scope of the style is endless and sooooo accessible. If the thought of getting artistic makes you break out in a cold sweat, this is the medium for you. No rules here. Even oil and water can get busy. There is no right and wrong, so you can let those creative juices flow all over the page. Or the canvas. Or the wood. Or whatever the hell you wanna use.

A smorgasbord of creative goodness.

A great example of this freedom in action are the range of versatile products by one of my fave suppliers: Bormawachs. They do an awesome variety of waxes, stains, chalk paint, enamel and water based enamel. I like to use the whole lot in a single piece.


Don’t limit yourself.


If you fancy checking them out, go to www.bormawachs.com. No, I’m not sponsored by them in any way. They’re just the bomb. Not sure how to use these materials? Don’t panic. I gotcha. We’ll go through these techniques in future couch sessions.



The resources for your new piece are all around you. Here are some of my go to’s:

  • Old book pages – cut out sentences, draw on them or just cut and position the leaves

  • Old wall paper

  • Vintage maps

  • Plastic gems

  • Magazine pages or print outs

  • Small models or toys

  • Gold leaf (or any colour leaf)

  • Used stencils


If you wanna take it to the next level, you could use something of historical or cultural interest. Or something that’s just damn quirky or unique. The other day I found a slip of paper that turned out to be an old post notification from 1969. How cool is that? It’s in my ‘to use’ box. Cannot wait to find the right project for that little gem.



The other day I found a slip of paper that turned out to be an old post notification from 1969.

Imagine: you can memorialise a seemingly inanimate object that has meant something to someone at one point. Apply the same logic to old mystery photos, ancient written postcards, or any document. GDPR considerations apply. Obvs.


Printed out your fave pic and found that’s its a tad pixilated? Don’t sweat the small stuff. In fact, this is an opportunity in itself to draw over your print out and enhance it in your very own customised way. Consider getting detailed with some fine line pens or bold with some chalk pens. Don’t forget the humble colouring pencil, but don’t scrimp on these bad boys; get a good quality one or go watercolour. They tend to be the best.


For the most part, there is NO need to get fancy. Raid your kids’ water colours, steal their crayons, and grab their glue; it’s a free for all.


But by far, the most important thing is to HAVE FUN with it. After all, what’s the point in getting risqué if you’re not enjoying it, right?


If you're interested in mixed media art and want to learn more, then please subscribe below and share to spread the creative word.



Written by Kat Smith



©2017 by Catherine Mia Designs.