Learning how to make mixed media canvas art was a goal for me this year. I’ve done a bunch of research and testing of different collage art ideas. Thought I’d share with you some of my favorite mixed media art tips and tricks.
- Mod Podge is an essential tool. Use it to attach paper to your canvas. It also works well as a sealer for the top, allowing you to easily add ink, gelatos, etc. Tip: Store your Mod Podge in a large mouth container with a screw on lid. This jar from Hobby Lobby is $2.50, and worth every penny. So much less mess than the original Mod Podge container. When you’re done, just screw on the lid.
- A hair Dryer or Heat Tool can be used to hurry up the drying process if you’re like me and impatient and want to move on to the next step.
- Faber Castell Big Brush markers are great for adding shading. If you apply them over sealed (non-porous) elements, you can smudge them a bit for easy shading. Once they dry, they’re permanent India Ink.
- Shading 101: Shade with a slightly darker version of the same color – so on the canvas below, I shaded the bird’s body with pink and his outline in blue.
- Use a 1 inch artist brush to apply Mod Podge to your collage canvas. I also use a smaller brush for detail work. I buy inexpensive artist brushes at Michael’s. Much easier than the sponge brushes I used to use and then throw away.
- Wash Mod Podge from your brushes with Acetone nail polish remover. I store some in a small glass Mason jar with a lid. A few swishes followed by a water rinse cleans built up Mod Podge from your brushes.
- Buy a large washable silicone mat for your table. They’re easy to wash, and many are also heat-resistant, so you can use them for hot glue projects, too. I’ve heard of folks who use silicone oven liner mats for this purpose, too.
- Use a kitchen drawer organizer to hold your pens, watercolor pencils and markers. You’ll be able to see them all at once, plus extend the marker’s life by storing them flat.
- Joint compound that’s used for sheetrock is an inexpensive substitute for modeling paste. Only $3.50 for 3 lbs. at Home Depot. I used it to make the grass in the canvas above. Just add acrylic paint and it can be any color you like. Add water to make it thinner if you like. Modeling paste adds texture to your canvas.
- Wear an apron when doing mixed media or collage art. I made this apron from a thrift store men’s shirt, and I love it! I followed this (odd) tutorial on YouTube.
For more mixed media collage and art canvas tips, please see my Mixed Media Board on Pinterest!