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From Mundane to Masterpiece: Create Stunning Art with Collage and Paint Techniques

In this tutorial, I'll guide you through the mesmerizing process of painting over a collaged background known as a masterboard while exposing little windows of the original collage.

Let's dive in and discover the magic of this unique mixed-media art form together!

Master board mixed media background technique

You might remember that I taught you how to make a collaged masterboard background not long ago.

The technique I'm about to show you is perfect for masterboard backgrounds. With masterboards, you combine as many different collage and color marking supplies as you feel right. This will leave you with a busy, textured background epitomizing mixed media.

What types of materials should be used in a mixed-media collage?

Creating a mixed-media collage is an exciting process that involves the use of various materials. Here are some basic supplies you may need:

  1. Support Surface: This could be a canvas, wood panel, art journal, or sturdy paper, depending on your preference.

  2. Adhesives: Common choices include glue sticks, gel medium, or mod podge. The best adhesive for you will depend on the materials you're using in your collage.

  3. Scissors and Craft Knife: These will be necessary for cutting out your collage elements.

  4. Collage Materials: This could include various paper types (magazines, newspapers, scrapbook paper, old books), fabric, old photos, postcards, dried flowers, buttons, or anything else you might want to incorporate into your art piece.

  5. Paints and Brushes: Acrylics are popular because they dry quickly and are versatile. You'll also want a selection of brushes for applying color and adhesive.

  6. Drawing Tools: Consider pens, markers, charcoal, or pencils for adding drawn elements to your collage.

  7. Stencils or Stamps: These can add extra visual elements to your collage.

  8. Sealant: An acrylic medium or varnish can seal your work when finished to protect it.

  9. Palette Knife: This can be useful for spreading adhesive and creating exciting textures with paint.

  10. Palette or Mixing Tray: For mixing your paints and possibly your glue.

Remember, the fun of mixed media collage is that you can use a vast range of materials - so feel free to experiment with supplies beyond this list!

With this technique, you can also use any mixed media background (at least two different mediums). I think masterboards work exceptionally well for this window technique.

First, you'll want to create freeform shapes using the acrylic paint on the masterboard.

Painting on a collaged Master board background

Fill in the spaces around between the shapes and let dry.

Creating windows for a collaged background

Once dry, go around the edge of the shapes with a watercolor pencil.

Use watercolor pencils on mixed media art

Now get a water brush or a paintbrush dipped in water and go around the watercolor pencil lines, making them blurred and smudged.

Use a water brush for watercolor pencils

And voila!

I sent my masterpiece as a postcard in an art swap I had joined.

Mixed media, art using collage background

As this is mixed media, you don't have to stop once this technique is done. But if this is where you're calling it good, seal your work with some acrylic sealer.

What are the steps to seal and preserve my mixed media collage artwork?

Sealing and preserving your mixed media collage artwork is an important step in ensuring the longevity of your piece. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Let it Dry: Ensure that all artwork elements are completely dry. This includes any adhesives, paints, inks, or mediums you've used.

  2. Remove Loose Pieces: Gently shake or brush your artwork to remove any pieces that might not be fully attached. If necessary, re-adhere them properly.

  3. Choose the Right Sealant: Depending on the materials you've used, you might need different types of sealants. An acrylic medium or varnish, even Mod Podge, is typically an excellent all-purpose option for many types of mixed-media art. You can usually find these in spray form at any store that sells art and craft supplies.

  4. Test the Sealant: If you've used various materials in your collage, it's a good idea to test the sealant on a small, unnoticeable area first or on a separate piece with the same materials. This will ensure that the sealant doesn't react negatively with any of your materials, like watercolors, if you use materials that bleed when wet. This is when a spray sealant would work best.

  5. Apply the Sealant: Using a soft brush, apply a thin layer of your sealant across the entire piece, ensuring all parts are covered. Be careful not to overwork the sealant, as it may start to become tacky and create streaks. Or use a spray sealant with one quick pass at a time.

  6. Let it Dry: Allow the sealant to dry fully. Depending on the sealant you're using, this may take several hours to a couple of days.

  7. Apply Additional Coats: If necessary, apply additional coats of sealant, letting it dry thoroughly between each coat.

  8. Store Correctly: Once your piece is thoroughly dried and sealed, store or display it away from direct sunlight or moisture, as these can cause damage over time.

Remember that the specific steps may vary depending on the materials and sealant used. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using sealants or other art supplies.

I hope you've been inspired to embrace the beauty of painting over collaged masterboards. By leaving those charming little windows to the underlying collage, you've added a touch of mystery and depth to your artwork. Remember, mixed media art is about breaking boundaries and exploring new possibilities. So, let your imagination soar and continue to experiment with different techniques, colors, and textures.

What unique elements or personal touches would you incorporate into your own masterboard painting? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

Make sure you visit all my mixed media background tutorials!

Fun, mixed media technique using your premade, collage backgrounds

Mixed media technique using a Master board background


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