Online Course: Inspirational Mixed Media Art Techniques

This online mixed media workshop will investigate exploratory methodologies, techniques, and approaches in mixed-media art. Throughout this mixed-media workshop, exciting in-depth demonstrations will be shown, providing an extensive array of visually-stimulating mixed-media art project possibilities for artists to explore. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional mixed media techniques will be covered. For artists who are looking to push their mixed-media ideas and work to a new level, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Comments about this class from the instructor:

I structure my online classes differently than what is detailed in the Artists Network University guidelines. Instead of just making comments once a week on finished work, I review work in-process everyday during the work week. I believe it is more important to help artists, both seasoned and new comers, along the way than to simply comment at the end. This has proven to be a very helpful approach for many that have attended my online workshops in the past. Every week, I will have readings from the book and a project to work on. In addition, there are videos and other demonstrations that I will have for you. On Tech Tip Thursday of every week, I provide technical information to build skills that are being introduced. Fun Friday is a weekly inspirational posting where I share thought-provoking and insightful articles, creating food-for-thought as students work over the weekend. The Weekend Wrap-up sums up the work for the previous week and draws attention to special areas of interest by the attendees. Since there are no grades given for this workshop, there is absolutely no pressure to meet the deadlines that are posted in the class. I encourage my students to work at their own pace. It does not matter to me if you finish the project for week one during week one or week four. I want everyone to feel comfortable working and not worried about meeting deadlines. Here are some articles featuring work generated in the last few online workshops. The artists who attended generously share their experience and their wonderful mixed-media work!

Also, click here to check out the reviews and art created during the July offering of this course!

Start Date:

July 22, 2014



Course Materials:

Workshop Length:

4 weeks


Lisa L. Cyr (bio)

View Course Schedule


What You’ll Learn

  • How to build a tactile working environment utilizing both additive and subtractive processes
  • How to tone the painting surface in imaginative ways
  • How to employ custom tools for signature mark-making

Who should take this workshop:

  • Artists of all levels who are interested in knowing how mixed media art techniques can add that magical, transforming element to their work


  • Art Material Safety Guidelines: read page 5 and seek manufacturer information on pages 122-123. Some processes used in the book Experimental Painting use printers, scanners, copiers and other equipment in alternative ways that may void manufacturers’ warranties. The experimental processes covered have been developed by the artist/author/instructor and no guarantee of fitness is offered.
  • White acrylic gesso
  • Acrylic matte medium
  • Acrylic gel medium
  • Masonite – 1/4″
  • Various papers (handmade or commercial) and printed ephemera
  • Brushes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Molding paste
  • PVA (pH neutral) glue
  • Wax paper
  • Brayer
  • Painting knife with flat edge at top
  • Painting roller
  • Sponges with an irregular pattern
  • Painter’s tape
  • Water-resistant silver tape
  • Mailing tube

Check out this great preview for Lisa’s new book, Experimental Painting!


In order to be successful with this course, attendees should:

  • Read all assigned pages from the book Experimental Painting by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr
  • View assigned links, showing additional demonstrations online that are created by the artist/instructor for attendees’ enhanced knowledge

All assignments must be submitted through the Blackboard System for evaluation. To expedite responses to questions, contact the instructor via e-mail.

Course Syllabuswdu-REGISTERNOW.fw

Introduction: Experimental Mixed Media Painting

  • Work as Play: read pages 6-7 and watch video
  • An Exploratory Process: read pages 9-13 and watch video

Session 1: Mixed Media Collage & Paper Techniques

  • Conceptual Ideation and Development: read pages 15-19
  • Collage Techniques: read pages 42-45
  • Creating Custom Paper: read pages 74-75 and go to Making Custom-Treated Paper
  • Employing Additive & Subtractive Processes: read pages 50-53

Homework Assignment: Onto gesso-primed Masonite, create a collage using various commercially available, handmade, or custom-treated papers and printed ephemera that have been creatively ripped, punch, riveted, stitched, or cut to create a dynamic composition. Try masking the collage with painter’s tape, adding gesso dripping and texturing with a painting knife, and peeling back the layers or incorporating faux metal to areas. Make sure to have a theme or concept in mind.

Session 2: Unconventional Working Tools

  • Experimenting with Alternative Working Tools: read pages 21-23
  • Altered, Repurposed, & Custom Tools: read pages 24-27
  • Faux Surfaces, Finishes, and Patinas: read page 88-91

Homework Assignment: Create a custom roller (pages 28-29) or employ an altered or repurposed tool (pages 24-27) and use it to texture a gesso-primed Masonite working surface with molding paste (see steps 5 – 7 on page 29 for adding molding paste to a flat, single-surface working ground). Once fully cured (overnight), try some of the faux surfaces, finishes, and patinas on pages 88-91. Make sure you allow for a subject or focal point in your work.

Session 3: Transforming the Surface

  • Transforming the Surface: read pages 63-65
  • Resists, Blotting, Lifting & Dissolving: read pages 66-69
  • Marbling using Self-Leveling Clear Gel
  • Printmaking with Ordinary Objects
  • Automatism & Freeform Painting: read pages 70-73

Homework Assignment: Onto gesso-primed Masonite, create a painting that responds to instrumental music, sounds from nature, or background music (no voices) from a favorite movie. Try different painting instruments and techniques, painting to the heartbeat of the music. Make sure your colors correspond with your feeling about the music. Create three abstractly painted backgrounds.

Session 4: Altering the Topography of the Visual Landscape

  • Unique Constructs and Assemblage Accents: read pages 85-87
  • Using Layered Panels & Mixed Surfaces: read pages 34-35
  • Building a Tactile Working Environment: read pages 39-41
  • Playing with Cloth
  • Dimensional Substrates & Treated Surfaces
  • Working in Bas-relief: read pages 96-101
  • Three-part step-by-step demonstration covering several mixed-media techniques: texturing the working ground, employing ink transfers, transparent and opaque painting, monoprinting, creating multidimensional accents, using die-cut and debossed paper, infusing pattern and texture, employing a patina, dry brushing, sponging, sgraffito, spattering, custom debossing using a handmade stamp, altering hardware, and adding a patina to vintage assemblage accents

Homework Assignment: Onto a single or multi-dimensional working ground, create a mixed-media work that incorporates the third dimension in some way. You can also utilize any of the other mixed-media techniques that we have used in class so far. The piece should have a concept to which your choice of materials and techniques helps to support.

Go to the Create Mixed Media Interview with the Artist:

Free Bonus Materials: Articles, demonstrations, wallpapers and more:

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