Day 1 - Experimental mixed media summer school

To keep developing and growing I go on as many courses, classes and workshops as I can. This Summer I'm joining a bunch of talented misfits at the Cheltenham School of Fine Art.

Focused on mixed media, its a great opportunity to experiment, test and try out new and exciting ways to combine media, materials and techniques. And there's no pressure to achieve a final masterpiece.

Today is Day One and a gentle introduction into how you can manipulate a canvas to incorporate textural elements. Once you've decided upon your composition... and before you even pick up a paintbrush you need to think about all the potential shapes and forms you want to incorporate. By applying gesso thickly first you can create marks the size of craters (!) - extremely gestural strokes along with deep sgraffito (scratches into the surface). A thin application allows you to affix pieces of collage and you can use anything from newspaper, tissue paper, music sheets, wallpaper, comics and even fabric, envelopes and old postcards. More fine marks that can be made by pressing mottled wallpaper, etc onto the wet gesso.

The next three daily blogs will feature numerous images of loads of different techniques... of which they're too many to mention but I go some way to try. Its a great starting point if you've never attempted a mixed media approach before or at the very least its a good refresher... enjoy!

Heavily gessoed crumpled tissue paper

Collage element pressed onto gesso

Music sheet paper

Heavy gesso marks with extra collage material

Tissue paper pressed flat onto gesso

Heavy gesso strokes

Various ink, watercolour, wax crayon, oil pastel marks
with collaged elements

Please take note that your art may flourish from reading this blog :)


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