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Author Topic: What is Mixed Media?  (Read 3060 times)

nolan

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on: September 17, 2016, 03:24:57 PM
The official definition of mixed media is :
Quote
a variety of media used in an entertainment or work of art.

but what if you draw the outlines with pencil, then paint with oil or acrylic - is that not then also mixed media?
or what if you paint a watercolour painting and add a few dots of white gouache at the end for highlights - is that still a watercolor painting or should it be classified as mixed media.

Have you say on the topic, and also ask you questions regarding what is considered mixed media, below


mea hamo pena

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Reply #1 on: September 17, 2016, 05:10:24 PM
Thanks for setting up the space and getting the ball rolling on this topic, Nolan.

Quite a while ago, I entered a watercolor monthly challenge and said that I had used watercolor pencils to highlight it.  It then had to be disqualified and , I believe, it got moved to mixed media.

My thought is that watercolor should be watercolor no matter whether it comes from the tip of a pencil or from a tube, or from a cake!  If I were to brush the watercolor from the tip of the pencil and then apply it to the paper with that same brush, would it have remained a watercolor piece?

I guess what I am asking is -- Isn't WATER the medium, not the brush, or pencil, or palette knife that is used to apply it?

aloha

mea

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Annie.

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Reply #2 on: September 17, 2016, 06:11:30 PM
I have thought a lot about this.  Used to think it was simple, when I thought mixed meant using pen, paints, plus gluing something in it!

I have come to decide that it should be base on the medium used (i.e. what supports the pigments), so water, oil, acrylic, pastels, graphite, etc.  Then when there is more than 1 we can say mixed. 

But perhaps the small fraction of a non-prominent medium should not make it mixed.   E.g. few pencil strokes in a watercolour, an acrylic simple background of an oil painting (like 'My first tulip'), 2 drops of guache in a watercolor, etc.

The instrument is part of the technique, and should not be a consideration to define a medium.  So to me watercolour pencils, watercolour tubes, and watercolour tubs are all watercolour... and the medium is water.

So for our monthly challenges, it always intregued me that colour pencils and graphites feel under the same labels.  In the case of the monthly challenge, it is based on the instruments... so pencils and pens, brushes and palette knifes, then mixed can be a combo of media or mixed techniques.

Saying that, any definitions may go for a competition.  It is up to the organizers to set up the rules.

My daughter had a most beautiful painting disqualified because it was painted on a board canvas (those Nolan uses often for painting lessons) they would only accept stetched canvas... okay, except they did not tell ahead of time, there were a number of desappointed artists at the opening.

I fear they maybe as many definitions as they are PB members...
Cheers, Annie
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”    ― Plato


Sheryl

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Reply #3 on: September 17, 2016, 08:37:12 PM
To me Mixed Media means something different..I would use not only paints but a paste,lay down papers even fabric if need be thus building up layers to create the effect I required. I would then use found objects to create another visual even using print methods...and then I may de-construct the painting altogether. I tend to work in abstract
 . :painting: :)
sheryl


OZartlover

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Reply #4 on: September 18, 2016, 03:34:59 AM
I think this is a very good description of Mixed Media.  To me it involves, papers, gel medium, stamping, layers of texture by various means of media and raised embellishments or fabrics/lace etc.  The simple use of watercolour pencils for an outline doesn't fit Mixed Media at all, as you can use the brush straight onto the pencil and get the same result.


mea hamo pena

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Reply #5 on: September 18, 2016, 08:08:37 AM
Good conversation growing here on this topic.

Hey, fellow PB-ers, what do you think Mixed Media is?

aloha

mea
A day without art is like a day without sunshine.


Annie.

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Reply #6 on: September 19, 2016, 01:07:28 AM
Maybe when I dip my oil paintbrush in my coffee!   :2funny:

Interesting that I use to think it was the mix of paint with other crafty stuff.  I think I change with a previous discussion on PB and what type of work was submitted on the challenge.  Once I submitted on the mixed medium 'the fern' topic, and I used glitter and paper to the painting, making it 3D.
Cheers, Annie
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”    ― Plato


Val

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Reply #7 on: September 19, 2016, 09:46:41 AM
This was a tough topic when I was first setting up the challenges. Using any 2 or more mediums would constitute it being mixed media. Pretty self explanatory.   :) That was the simple part. Where all of the controversy came into play was when the idea was brought forward that literally any use of anything other than the single chosen medium would put it into the mixed media category. What was being referenced here was the use of even a pencil outline would negate it being 'pure'.   :doh: Which when taken in that microscopic outlook means that the majority of world renowned painters/masters, both past and present, were not as they were professed to be...and in fact were multi media artists!  :faint: Where does one draw the line?  :confused:

I shall endeavour to shed some light on how I finally made the various decisions for our challenges. Keeping in mind that I wanted a fair and easy to understand  system for all of our members from, and especially, the complete neophyte, right through to our master artists. Our challenges were set up to be a 'friendly' challenge, not an art competition.

Keeping that in mind, I am working on a special challenge which will be added in December's line-up. It will only be run during the month of December.  :-X Sorry, not even the 'Clark Boys' are privy to this one!  ^-^

Now back on topic.....

Our original 'painting' challenge consisted of 1/watercolour, 2/acrylic, 3/oil. It was very easy back then, 3 mediums....pick one!  :heeha:   A simple outline which was not to be an integral part of the finished work was deemed acceptable.
The original  'drawing' challenge was even easier..... 1/pencil (graphite)  :yippee:    ;D   This section has also grown to encompass more types of drawing medium.

That brings us full circle back to the multi media. The simplest to explain.... use a minimum of any two + mediums..... and Have at it!!!  :yippee:

For the sake of simplicity, as the introduction of new mediums started popping up on the forum, They were  slotted into the various challenges. True, quite a few actually fit in more than one category, but the friendly challenge was still the objective, so tried to keep things as simple as possible.

Feel free to contact me with any queries or suggetions/comments. Go on then, I can take it!  :knuppel2:    :2funny:
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


Annie.

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Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 10:45:40 AM
I was waiting for your response Val, knew it would be interesting to read  :coffee:

Truly an interesting open question, isn't it?  With no right or wrong answers.

But why taunt us with the Dec challenge?  :confused:  :'(  Now how will I sleep at night???  I fear we may have to use kitchen food or make our pigments with outdoor plants (indoor in Canada   ;) ) and dig up clay from under the snow, having to set a fire for a few hours to taugh the frozen soil   ::)   

Oh my, oh my, my imagination is running off ahead of me  >:D
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 10:47:22 AM by Annie. »
Cheers, Annie
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”    ― Plato


Val

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Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 03:00:00 PM
Keep your eye out for the October newsletter.... I'll be passing along the announcement to Mea.  :whistle:
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


Annie.

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Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 04:39:32 AM
Hum... Oct for Dec?    Now my brain is spinning like  :crazy2:

Chat in October, tata for now.
Cheers, Annie
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”    ― Plato


mea hamo pena

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Reply #11 on: September 20, 2016, 08:02:07 AM
Thanks, Val, for that detailed explanation.

I am still stuck with my original question, though, about watercolor pencils. The pigment from them to me would be the same as the pigment from a tube or pan of watercolor paints. 

I have far less experience in art than most of you but my brain says watercolor is the medium no matter whether the color comes from tube, pan, or a pencil tip.   If I were to use some pan colors and some tube colors on the same painting, would that be mixed media?

How do others fell on this question?

aloha

mea (I think my college logic professor would be proud of me right now.)




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Annie.

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Reply #12 on: September 20, 2016, 09:45:15 AM
What about this for logic?
Paint = medium + pigment

Media (the plurial of medium) are:  water, oil, acrylic/latex, chack, gum/wax, etc.

To me, saying that watercolour pencils and watercolor tubes makes a mixed media painting, would equate to saying that using oil paints with walnut oil and oil paints with linseed oil created a mixed media painting.

What are the experts saying?  I cannot wait for the Clarks to jump in... they must be waiting to see what we come up with.

Mea, this is a great question... hope you can put one up every month.
Cheers, Annie
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”    ― Plato


Steve Weatherwax

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Reply #13 on: September 21, 2016, 04:33:28 PM
I agree with Mea, watercolor is watercolor regardless of if it comes from a pencil wherever. The medium is water. And the belong in the painting category. But how about water soluble graphite? It is used just like a watercolor pencil. Its just that it is monochromatic. Would this  put it in the painting category or graphite?

My concern is colored pencils. But just because they are in pencil form, they have more in common with pastels and other media of the painting category than they do with graphite/charcoal/pen.

It is also my opinion that any graphite drawing that includes either charcoal or carbon (including 9xxb pencils) should go in mixed media. Also, a pen and ink drawing that contains a wash should also go in mixed media. Colored pencils belong in the painting category. Thoughts?

Steve W


mea hamo pena

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Reply #14 on: September 21, 2016, 05:05:22 PM
Wow, Steve, this is a really complex issue.   Everyone's opinion seems to make sense. 


Maybe we will need a challenge category for "I'm Not Sure What Category This Belongs In."

Lots of well thought-out contributions to this thread.

Maybe there is no definitive answer.

aloha

mea
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 06:00:37 PM by mea hamo pena »
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