What you need: Canvas, Glue, Paper, Colorants, Tools, Embellishments and an idea.
Lots of people use Mod Podge and I do as well….. sometimes. It is cheap and easy to find. That is really the only advantage I see. Mod Podge is very watery which leaves things goopy and wet. That means it is easy to gets lots of wrinkles if you aren't careful about getting them out. I've seen people use watered down Elmer's glue as well which would basically be a homemade Mod Podge.
I prefer Gel or Multi-Medium as a glue. It works great on paper but you can use it to glue just about anything. I am talking big bulky items will stay in place. Lots of companies make Multi-Medium- you will find it in the fine art supplies. Golden makes a great product but it is pricy. I used an entire jar + for 7 canvases I recently covered and at Michael's it is $15/jar. That is certainly more than the few dollars for Mod Podge but I like the end results that much more. My absolute favorite Multi-Medium- by far- is Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Multi-Medium. It has a really nice constancy making it easy to spread out and the finish is perfect. The problem? It is harder to find. Claudine recently announced that Hobby Lobby would be carrying some of her stuff signature products so it might become easier to get ahold of. For now it is readily available online. By the way, her paints are terrific as well; they have the consistency of Golden paints without the price.
Multi-Medium, like Mod Podge comes in different finishes. Matte, semi-gloss, and glossy. Which one you use is entirely a personal preference; I prefer matte- and this might be another reason I don't really like Mod Podge because even the matte is sort of shinny.
To apply the glue…expect to get messy. I use a disposable foam brush and my hands. Yes, you get messy and you will have to stop and peel every so often if you don't want big glue boogers on your canvas. While texture is desirable…not all texture is good texture.
To begin you will needs lots of cool papers to form the base of your canvas. Vintage is always better but I don't have a big stash of vintage so new works too. I use a combination of maps, tissue paper, book pages, very lightweight cardboard, receipts, tickets, patterned scrapbook paper, out of date airline maps and papers (remember hubby is a pilot) ….anything will work here. You will be covering it all with paint and paper and stuff so have at it.
Once the base is complete you will want some patterned scrapbook papers to built the image you are creating. More on that in another post.
|mixed media pack|
I prefer Golden paint but it is pricy at $8 for a few ounces or Claudine's Studio line but they aren't available locally. Most people would recommend cheap acrylic paints for beginning mixed media projects. As in the kind you find at Michael's for $1.99. Me? I would never say that because I hate the way they feel on my hands and arms as I work with the canvas. They are so dry and scratchy it literally drives me nuts. I happy to report that Martha Stewart's paints feel like Claudine's or Golden paints with the rich, creamy texture that doesn't drive me insane after it dries. They come in lots of gorgeous "Martha" colors and different finishes including satin, gloss, pearl, glitter, metallic, glow-in-the-dark and chalkboard. Martha's paints are self-priming so they be painted on almost anything without a lot of prepping. Best of all, they aren't very expensive and are available locally at Michael's and JoAnn's, as well as online. Michaels.com has a color finder if you want to check out the colors before you head to the store.
This would be the vague area of mixed media because "tools" can mean anything from a commercial stencil to an old roll of toilet paper. I collect things and throw them into a big plastic storage bin as I find them. Items commonly used are: bubble wrap, stencils, mesh, old cardboard tubes (aka toilet paper tubes), rubber stamps, inks, modeling pastes, sandpaper…the list goes on and on. Anything that you can use to get texture onto the canvas.
|Molding Paste Texture|
Again this is a vague topic because some people don't add much by way of embellishments outside of the color. Me? I love to add glass glitter, ribbons, rub ons, scrapbooking supplies, rhinestones, fabric, flowers….on and on. Anything goes again. It's "mixed media" after all so MIX your MEDIA.
Donna Downey offers lots of free videos on her website as well as sells mixed media products. She also offers workshops and online classes. She hosts "inspiration Wednesday" by posting free video how-to's. Be warned, like me she is very scattered in her artistic process, she drops things, has to go ask her husband to open jars, forgets stuff…..just like me.
Claudine Hellmuth also posts video tutorials on her blog. Claudine is the real deal- she's nice as can be (I met her at CHA) and an actual artist with the credentials to back it up.
On to the photos:
Be sure to cover the entire project with a final layer of multi medium before setting it aside to dry.
Let it dry for a few hours or over night. I like to glue up a bunch because this is the messy part and once you get mess you might as well keep going.