When It’s Okay to Get Salty | A Mixed-Media Art Idea

Darlene Olivia McElroy is back with a new Cloth Paper Scissors Art Lesson, and this one is spicy! Download the mixed-media art lesson here to see how you can use kitchen staples such as salt and cinnamon to add texture and color to your artwork. Here’s a sneak peek to whet your appetite. 😉 ~Cherie

Mixed-media art ideas | Darlene Olivia McElroy
Aaargh Said the Parrot (mixed media, 12×12) by Darlene Olivia McElroy. “This painting is about tropical beaches, so the use of a sanded stencil seemed the perfect way to add an accent,” she says.

Spicing up Your Mixed-Media Art by Darlene Olivia McElroy

Creating art is like cooking. In both art and food preparation you want texture, color, and elements that complement each other. My paintings are created with very thin layers of paint, collage, and transfers. I like to add to the narrative of the painting by adding dimension with unusual textural interest. I tend to paint in a thin manner, so my textures are often added when the painting is fairly complete. As a mad-scientist artist, I also believe art supplies can be found in the most unusual places. This mixed-media art lesson shows you how to spice up your art, create a fast-and-easy faux-rust look, and add an aged effect to your textured pieces of art.

I’ve always wanted to be an artist who painted with thick paint in large bravura strokes but, alas, my natural and comfortable way to paint is very thin. So the mad scientist in me has found ways to add texture. I use the most unusual products as accents and to give my art “sweet spots” for the perfect look. I use salt on my canvas to age it or add texture, or I might even raid my aquarium products to use with my stencils. I use any trick I can to add dimension to my art. There is no thinking inside the box when you’re an artist!

Mixed-media art ideas | Darlene Olivia McElroy

Mixed-Media Art Technique: Sanded Stencils

Adding texture to a piece of art adds visual interest that brings the viewer into the painting. I incorporate many different techniques to accent my paintings. Sand is one. It’s easy, plus it works well with wet acrylics. Many different kinds of ready-to-use sand are available, varying in color and the size of the grit. Aquarium or decor sand, which is what we are using for this project, is easier to work with because of their fine texture.

Mixed-media art ideas | Darlene Olivia McElroy
Step 1

1. Apply soft gel medium through a stencil with a palette knife, and then carefully remove the stencil.

Mixed-media art ideas | Darlene Olivia McElroy
Step 2

2. While the gel is still wet, sprinkle sand over the stenciled design. I used a spoon for this. Let dry.

3. After brushing off the excess sand with a dry brush, apply decorative elements to the stenciled area with soft gel medium. ~Darlene

Download this mixed-media art lesson for only $3.99 and discover Darlene’s techniques for making faux rust using kitchen spices, aging with salt, and adding texture using stencils with salt, spices, powdered graphite, and micro beads. Get started today!


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


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