Sherry DiPaolo

Inspiring People through Art



The Basics of Backgrounds

The basics of backgrounds is all about the basics of creating mixed media backgrounds.  Creating art is easy and fun and it will make you happy!  In this class I will teach you how I create and layer my backgrounds and show you a bunch of really cool mixed media techniques that are great for making art.  I'm also going to teach you about using different types and sizes of canvases and watercolor paper, collage elements, brushes, adhesives, and so much more.   So join me and together let's get happy with art.



Video Lesson Outline

Class Title: The Art of Mixed Media, and what it really is.

Class Description:  This class will teach students what Mixed Media is in terms of a definition and then how to actually do it.


This class is going to teach you what mixed media art is.  When I first heard of this art form I was confused as to what it meant.  I didn’t understand the words Mixed Media.  This class will define this art form and show a variety of different examples.  This class will explain how broad mixed media art can be, so that the students in this class can take their new found knowledge and be able to express themselves through their own mixed media.  Students will discover that there is no wrong way to do a mixed media art piece and that anything goes. 

The students will come out of this class knowing what Mixed Media is, what types of supplies and tools are needed to do it, how to find inspiration from anywhere, and the basic techniques of putting down the first layer(s), aka background, of a finished piece.  The students will be encouraged to follow along with the demonstration but deviate from it to whatever feels natural to them.  The techniques are easy to master but the end result is always different from one person to the next.  However, if a student wants to follow along and create the same piece from the demo they will be able to do that too.

The class project is going to be a finished background.  The students will start with a blank white canvas or paper and will create a layer or layers on it until they are happy with how their piece looks.  This will include adhering paper of varying types with paints and other mediums to create the final background.

This class is geared to students who have never done mixed media and also students who have just started or are fairly new to mixed media.  In addition advanced students would benefit because they will get a glimpse into my style of mixed media which may be “new” to them.  This class will inspire and invoke creativity in all the students, not matter their skill level.


Welcome Video - Talking Head - 2-5 min

Welcome to my class!!!  I’m so glad you are here with me.  My name is Sherry and I am the Artist behind Sherry DiPaolo Art.  I have been created Mixed Media art for over 10 years now and I LOVE IT!!!  It is my passion and today I want to introduce you newbies to this amazing and beautiful art form, and some of you not so newbies I want to share my love for Mixed Media with you and hopefully spark something in you to continue to create your amazing works of art.

Lesson #1 – Mixed Media what??  - Talking Head and slides with pictures of Mixed Media art examples - 5-10 min

Definition of Mixed Medianoun - the use of a variety of media in a work of art.  Mixed media is a term used to describe artworks composed from a combination of different media or mediums/materials. 

Definition of Media/Medium - Medium can refer to both the type of art (e.g. painting, sculpture, printmaking), as well as the materials an artwork is made from.


Show slides of examples of different types of Mixed media art in various forms.  Show my work over the years.  This visual of examples will better explain what mixed media it.

Lesson #2 – How to make it work?  The Tools of the Trade - Talking Head and Slides with text and photos - 10-15 min

So now that we all know what Mixed Media is we need to learn what tools and supplies we need so we can make the mixed media magic come alive. 

Discuss what the background is and what it will look like.  Then deconstruct via words what the background is comprised of. 

·       Is there paper, tissue paper, ephemera, etc. and how does it stick to the canvas/paper?  What kinds of paper and ephemera can you use and what is ephemera?  Explain Collage and what it means.

·       What types of glues can you use to make these things stick? How are they different (look, feel, application process, cost, etc.). 

·       Is there paint? What kinds to use (acrylic, watercolors, oils, inks, Indian inks, etc.) 

·       If you use paint what do you need to apply it with?  What are some common types of brushes and tools that are used to apply paints, inks, etc?

·       Stamps, rubons, doodling, stickers, flowers, metal pieces, etc.  Discuss all of the different types of items that many people don’t think are used in art but are and what are they.

With all of these supplies I will show pics of them and I will hold actual pieces of these supplies up on the video as well.  I will show some demos on scrap paper or pick up a piece of finished are and point to what I am talking about.  I will provide a detailed supplies list with links to the stores where I’ve purchased my tools or amazon.

Lesson #3 – Putting it all together - Physical Demo - 30-45 min

Here I am going to demo the creation of one of my mixed media backgrounds.  I will be discussing where I get my inspiration from.  I will demo how I start a piece and how it evolves.  I’ll talk thru this demo throughout and when I’m doing any long, slow and repetitious parts I’ll speed up the video so the student isn’t sitting there bored and clicks away.


CLASS PROJECT - Project Description

The students in this class are going to create a background on either a piece of mixed media paper or a canvas.  They will use the supplies they were instructed on and the techniques they learned to create it. 

I want my students to work along with me during the physical demo and then either finish up with me or set aside and finish later.  They will then need to post their finished project on the class board. 

They will be instructed that the 2nd class will be coming out soon (which I may film right away while working on the demo for this class) and then we will be using these backgrounds and adding to them to make a FINISHED piece of art that they can hang in their home and be oh so proud of. 

**NOTE** I am planning on giving away a matted print of my work to one of my students.  Thinking that maybe I'll do drawing from those that post their project.  As an incentive to finish the project.





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