Mixed media has intimidated me for a couple of years, it’s that strange feeling of wanting to learn but just not ready. Watching videos and reading blogs, there were so many variations and terms I was left with a feeling of overwhelming confusion. The product packaging doesn’t help either, no explanations, no examples and no other product suggestions. What is up with that? It left so many unanswered questions and created new ones. What is Gesso? How is Gesso different from texture paste aka modeling paste? Why is Italian ice cream now a mix media product? How does that work? Why buy these more expensive crayons when I can buy a box of Crayola for the same price?
In January, I decided, this is the “Mixed Media Year”! The year to finally process and understand this “mix media” craft. Luckily the Scrapbook and Stamping Expo comes to my area early in the year. It was there at the end of the day, where the “Aha!” moment came to me. It was amazing! I suddenly understood what went with what and how to use things. I needed that hands on class plus all the goodies they gave us, to finally have clarity. Upon returning I took to my computer to order products that just days prior were completely foreign to me. I was especially excited for the new Ken Oliver’s Color Burst in Caribbean Brights.
My week started off a little early because like Cookie Monster waiting for his cookies to bake; I was having a hard time waiting for my orders to arrive. Considering it was Easter Weekend, I grabbed the turquoise color burst bottle given to us in class and headed to the kitchen. Wondering how would this dye work on eggs?(Do not eat the egg if you do this, the dye is not food grade). Mixed with just water the color created a beautiful vibrant egg. (See pictures below) I compared it with the neon blue food coloring we usually use, for fun. Once the colors dried it was hard to tell them apart. Hmmm…..maybe there is a project there for the future. I love getting my kids involved in experiements which is why you see a little hand finishing the eggs or in his case “yegs”. (again do not eat eggs or any food dyed with color burst).
Finally, on Monday my orders started arriving including the new Caribbean Brights inks. They did not disappoint, as I talked about in Monday’s post Mixed Media Monday with New Ken Oliver’s Color Burst ink’s and on Instagram.
I mixed each and every color of this new set with modeling paste then used a new stencil with it which resulted in a card.
Water mist bottles were taken out of their packages and filled with combinations of water and Fuchsia, Tangerine and Turquoise. New stencils were tried out to make an interesting picture with gears. I used Gelatos with water and stamps on watercolor paper. It was all fun. It was liberating! I was reminded of Friday afternoon art time in school. Using different types of mediums, getting messy, using your creative thinking but most of all having fun!
But, what I love more than anything about these products, the time my little guy and I spent this week experimenting with them. These products make it so easy to incorporate him. He sits on my lap with the biggest smile with such open excitement and joy, I find myself not wanting it to end.
Here are a few “Cliff Notes” on mixed media if you have never tried it. I divide it up between using it as watercolor or as a solid base.
Watercolor use is versatile, many different color mediums can be used, creamy gelato crayons, distress ink pads or Color Burst dry inks. I would recommend using a watercolor paper pad or a very thick card stock if your project is paper based. There are so many uses such as color backgrounds for card,scrapbook pages, stretch canvas anything that will take the water base.
The more solid mediums give dimension on your projects. Here is my “cliff note” version of these mediums :
Gesso acts like a primer, it comes in a jar with options of semi transparent white, opaque white or clear. I have used Gesso on chipboard letters before applying a water based spray.
Texture or modeling paste have a thicker feel to them as their primary purpose is to create dimension. They are flexible which is great when you forgot to clean up right away. I easily peeled it off the stencil. I have seen texture paste mixed with distress inks, sprayed after it dries or as I did, mixed with the dry Color Burst inks.
With paste you need a tool or two…. stencils are used for a raised image or words. Rough fabrics like burlap create texture look in the paste. Use the your palate knife to create subtle textures. You will need a flat tool to spread the Gesso and pastes, a pallet knife or off set spatula are recommend but you could use a butter knife or any with a wider flat surface.
I hope sharing how fun it was to work with these mediums inspire you to try it or if you have it pull it out and play a little. Thanks for coming along on my mixed media journey.
Until next time…….