Mixed Media Primer: Learn to Paint Faster, Fix Problems, and Have Fun Making Art Staff Pick

Kendyll Hillegas, Artist & Illustrator

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9 Lessons (60m)
    • 1. Introduction to Mixed Media

      5:01
    • 2. Types of Media

      3:15
    • 3. Media Characteristics

      4:04
    • 4. Evaluating a Medium

      11:02
    • 5. Combining and Layering

      8:11
    • 6. Choosing Media

      7:25
    • 7. Demo: Hummingbird

      7:42
    • 8. Demo: Robin

      11:01
    • 9. Wrap Up & Class Project

      1:58
42 students are watching this class

About This Class

If you hear the term mixed media, what comes to mind? Collage? Textural abstract pieces? The incorporation of non-traditional art supplies and found elements?

Mixed media is indeed all of those things, but at a baseline level, it's simply a broad category that encompasses any work of art that’s made with more than a single type media.

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In this class I'm going to share my process for using mixed media as a professional illustrator making detailed, realistic work. As a freelancer, time is a precious resource and if I'm under a deadline, I have to be able to deliver, even when I hit a snag or get thrown a curve ball. Strategically choosing, combining and layering different media to solve specific artistic challenges and achieve the aesthetic I'm after is one of the most valuable tools in my toolkit, and I'm excited to share it with you!

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For example, there are times I want to quickly and easily create a large wash of color, so I use watercolor which is great for large washes. Then, I might want to add some refined detail and add light over dark, so I use colored pencils on top of the watercolor. Then, I might want to tweak the texture by adding some softness, so I’d incorporate soft pastels. Lastly, I might want to add some bits of opaque white or lighter highlights so I’d use gouache. 

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Understanding and using mixed media in this way lets you:

  1. Choose the best tool for the job
  2. Speed up your process 
  3. Save pieces that might otherwise be ruined
  4. Have fun experimenting!

We’ll learn how to use mixed media this way with:

  1. A basic overview of different types of media
  2. A discussion of the characteristics and strengths of common art supplies
  3. An introduction to combining and layering different types of media
  4. A discussion about how to evaluate and choose which media you should use
  5. Narrated demos of 2 of my favorite mixed media combinations

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Please note, the main focus of this class is the actual mixed media technique and how to apply it to specific artistic goals, but we won’t be going over basics like composition, color theory or how to draw realistically. As such, this class is best suited for artists who have some experience drawing or painting already.

After completing this course, you’ll be ready to choose, test and combine different media to achieve your artistic goals. With practice, you’ll be able to work more quickly, and to save and finish pieces that you might otherwise have considered ruined or lost. I hope you'll join me in the class and learn to unleash the true potential of mixed media!