A Guide To Our Mixed Media Basics
Hi Guys, in this blog we're going to dive into the various uses of a Mixed Media Artists best friends. They are a must and I couldn't live without them. Anyone guessed it yet? Yep, we're talking about Gesso's and Gel Medium and hopefully this will give you more insight into the different uses. So let's get started!
Gel medium in mixed media is predominantly used for adhering dimensional objects. It’s longevity and elasticity means’ that it is the perfect glue for keeping things where they should be. Once it’s stuck it’s stuck, you aren’t getting it off. When we say it’s a glue, we mean you can stick pretty much anything including the soles on your little ones’ school shoe, this has been tried and tested by myself.
It can also be used as a paint extender. Mix it with your paints to make them go further and to make the paint more translucent.
You can pop it through your stencils as a transparent paste. Add in a bit of Explosion Powder or Drunken Dust to create a glossy acrylic paint or stencil paste.
Gel medium can also be used to seal objects. Make sure you water it down to use it this way. It’s not completely waterproof but it does provide some protection and do be careful that you don’t use it over any water reactive projects as it will reactivate the colours underneath.
White Gesso provides a tooth so you can apply products to nonporous objects. It also creates an even base layer and a great starting point for any of your projects. It’s a must have in my eyes.
We all have the makes we get halfway through and decide we don’t like it. Do you know what you can do? Get the Gesso out, whack it over and start again.
You can also mix your colour mediums with it to create gorgeous chalk paints. My favourite medium to use is the Explosion Powders and Drunken Dusts. Check out our Explosion Powder Blog to find out more (the Drunken Dusts work the same).
We can’t forget my favourite and something you see me do on pretty much all of my mixed media projects, dry brushing. You’ve seen me do it a million times but if you are new here, dry brushing is something that I like to do over the top of my make once the colour medium has been applied to bring out all the details. Using a soft brush, apply a little onto your mat and stipple the gesso into your brush, swiping the majority off. Now swipe the brush over the top of your project gently. Keep building the layers up until you’re happy with the coverage and the look.
You can also create a limed effect whitewash with your White Gesso. To do this you would need to water your gesso down quite a lot. This would create a super weathered, bleached look to your project.
Transparent Gesso provides a see-through tooth so you can apply products to nonporous objects. It’s also great to use if you want to keep those naturally beautiful embellishments visible but want a little sprinkling of colour over the top.
It’s a fabulous collage medium, you’ve probably seen me use it hundreds of times to apply stamped tissue paper to a project. You can also use it over the top of your project to encapsulate the layers below, so they aren’t disturbed if you want to add more colour on top.
Again, you can mix your colour mediums with the Transparent Gesso to create a matt translucent acrylic paint. This would work with Explosion Powders, Sprays, Paints basically any of our colour mediums.
Black gesso again creates a tooth so you can apply products to a nonporous surface, but obviously this time it’s black. When using it, the colour will be more subtle however Black Gesso is most stunning when used with metallic mediums, whether they be paints, sprays or patinas.
Its fab to use as it creates automatic shadows and adds more depth to your project. I like to water it down on my mat, add it around my composition and spritz it with more water to create that subtle shadowing. Make sure you have some tissue close by when doing this to dab up any runs.
If you want the depth from the Black Gesso but the brightness from adding colour to the White Gesso, you can apply a base layer of Black Gesso and once it’s dry, dry brush the white gesso over the top. Once that’s dry add your colour and voila.
Just like the White Gesso, if you stuff up on a make you can apply this over the top and start again, it will cover pretty much anything.
And there you have it, that’s our Mixed Media Basics range. They are all a huge part of my daily crafting life and most definitely my most used PGG products.
If I’ve missed any techniques out (I’m sure I have), then please post them in the comments below. I hope this has given you a helping hand when using the Gesso’s and Gel Medium. If you’ve got any questions don’t hesitate to pop them below or message us via email.