During the talk I gave at the sketchclub on sketching and sketchbooks, we also talked about using mixed media. Some people beginning painting imagine that if they use for instance, watercolour, then they must use only watercolour - or at the most pen and wash. There is a perception that this is more 'pure'.
In actual fact using a mix of media can mean far more exciting paintings. There isn't any particular merit in keeping a painting purely to one medium - though there's also no rule against it :>D
I love the extra visual language possible by using another medium - the velvety texture of Unison pastels used with watercolour - the range of marks is so much more varied all those lovely things watercolour can do plus the direct bold marks of pastel :>)
This plein air sketch was done on a day of clouds and sunshine - a sudden flash of sun lit up that line of trees and a distant field and I was able to put the glowing colour in with pastels over the darker colour of the paint - a few minutes early they had been dark and gloomy.
detail from a large mixed media painting in oil paint on paper, charcoal and unison pastels. Vivien Blackburn
Not the first mixture you'd think of - but I really liked the way the pastels and charcoal related to the oil paint.
And of course there are the coloured pencil over charcoal experiments I did recently -
detail from recent paintings in the seascapes series with coloured pencil over charcoal
Below is an experiment with an underpainting of the beach at night done in a mix of ultramarine and raw umber acrylic paint with soft colour added with polychromos and Lyra coloured pencils, keeping the underlying blue/brown greys coming through.
detail above ................... and the finished painting below
below: Again sketching plein air on a drizzly, misty day - this one used watercolour, coloured pencil, ink, tippex, chinagraph pencil and oil pastel - and it's only about 6 inches square! I needed to work fast as I was with the family and this mix allowed me to get down what I wanted fast.
Charlestown, Cornwall, mixed media sketch - Vivien Blackburn
I've used coloured pencils along with watercolour for a very long time but only recently started experimenting with using it alongside so many other media - I've recently been discussing with Gayle http://pencilsbrushesdogsandcats.blogspot.com/ the way she uses glazes of acrylic over coloured pencils - something I mean to try out soon :>) - do look at the beautiful results she achieves with this technique.
Do you find that talking about your work to others or on your blog triggers new ideas for paintings? That crop at the start of this post has made me want to do a series of abstracts :>D
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