Mixed-Media Artist's Choice: 1 Painting, 5 Applications

mixed media art collage
Jane LaFazio's mixed-media collage using tissue
paper tracings of her original artwork.

cate pratoI have a friend who does beautiful watercolor painting work, mostly of wildlife. Ruth frames her paintings, sells them, and makes cards from them. But lately she's been wanting to do more with them, so she asked my advice.

Now see, this is why I like mixed-media art. You've got options.

I instantly referred my friend to the work of Jane LaFazio, because her watercolor work and Jane's are similar in style. And Jane is one of the best there is for combining drawing and painting with mixed-media techniques.

I showed Ruth how Jane takes her paintings (which in her case usually start as drawings) and turns them into collage images, motifs for prayer flags, stitched mixed-media fiber art, stamps, and other art projects. Ruth's work might not be appropriate for all of Jane's applications. But it's a good place to start.

Here are five ways you can take a drawing (or painting motif) and use mixed-media art techniques to create something new.

Start by tracing the drawing onto artist tissue paper using a permanent pen. To do so, place a clear sheet of plastic over the original artwork, then a layer of artist tissue paper or rice paper. This will keep the ink from bleeding through onto the artwork.

Paper Collage. Cut out your traced drawing and use soft gel medium (above and below) to attach it to a collage. Color the traced image if desired.

mixed media supplies
Tools for turning artwork into a stamp.

Printmaking. Rub the back of the tracing with graphite from a pencil. Place the graphite side down onto a soft stamp carving medium and traced over the drawing again. This will transfer the impression of the drawing onto the carving medium. Use lino-cutting tools to cut the stamp.

mixed media art fabric
Jane's floral artwork transferred and collaged
onto fabric.

Stenciling. Trace the outline of the drawing onto freezer paper, cut out the negative (or positive) elements of the tracing, and use the drawing as a stencil.

Inkjet transfers. Scan the drawn image into your computer and print it out onto Transfer Artist Paper. Then iron the image onto fabric, such as a vintage napkin.

Mixed-media stitch. Glue the tissue tracing onto fabric as in the paper collage technique above. When dry, free-motion stitch around the outlines of the drawing. Color with oil sticks, permanent pen, colored pencils, etc.

I can definitely see Ruth making fabric art and collages with her original artwork. We'll have to schedule an art date soon to play with the images and see what we can come up with.

In the meantime, I think I'll gift her with Jane's Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop video, From Art Journaling to Art: Drawing, Watercolor, and more Techniques for the Mixed-media Artist. In it, Jane shows how to take the stress of out drawing, painting, and keeping an art journal, then shares her ideas and techniques for incorporating your original art into mixed-media and sewing projects.

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Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques

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