Any work of art that incorporates a variety of media or materials is known as mixed media. Although the term “mixed media” is most commonly associated with visual art, it can also refer to other forms of media such as video, audio, or audience participation. Collage is the most common type of mixed media art, but there are also three-dimensional (3D) sculpture, installation art, and online interactive art.
Because collage art is a type of visual art that incorporates different types of paint and other materials, such as paper, fabric, and photographs, it is the stereotypical form of mixed media artwork. Collage artists use a variety of paints, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, and inks, as well as non-traditional materials like pencil markings, crayons, and even clay. The general technique for applying these substances is called “fat over lean,” and it involves applying the thickest substances last. Other materials used in collages range from organic materials like leaves and grass to synthetic materials like polymers and sandpaper.
Many of the same techniques and materials that are used in collage art can also be used in 3D sculptures. This type of mixed media artwork frequently incorporates a wider range of materials, such as metal, wood, and even large-scale objects like furniture. Mixed media sculpture, like collage art, frequently requires a base, also known as a substrate, to which the other materials are applied. The process of fastening the various materials together can be difficult, and some artists and viewers see it as part of the creative process.
Installation art is a type of mixed media art that involves the environment and, in some cases, audience participation. The goal of this art is to change a viewer’s perception of a space, such as a room or a public space. Installation art often incorporates a variety of media, such as painting and sculpture, as well as video presentations and sound recordings. Furthermore, it is usually larger in scale than traditional collages or sculptures.
Finally, online or computer-based interactive art is classified as mixed media art, though multimedia art is a more accurate term. This type of art usually involves a lot of viewer interaction, such as navigating through a project, clicking on various links or images, and listening to or watching various audio or video recordings. It combines visual, audio, and installation art elements, and it is generally accessible to a larger audience via the Internet. The audience’s large-scale participation is sometimes regarded as another “media” through which an artist can communicate.