By Miss Katz, Resident Artist in Melbourne
Let’s talk a bit about mixing and matching your paintings with random stuff you find! Mixing in new elements can give a drawing a whole new and different spin, pull it in a different direction and make the end result a bit more interesting to look at. Like a little strange art-patchwork-family.
When it comes to including different elements, it’s all about contrasts. You can use as little as you want and play it safe or go completely wild. Sky is the limit!
Everything can become a part of your painting. Use some papers, rough ones and smooth ones, old, crumpled or shiny and new or even some fabric (I scanned shirts in the past), browse through your old schoolbooks or the photos you took on your latest vacation. You can even use the old dried flowers you got when you graduated. Scan that stuff if you work digitally or glue it directly to the paper. Old, random doodles can become useful, too! Magazines and materials from that pile of trash you thought you’d never use again are your friends here as well. Interesting textures are everywhere!
Giving your work a new look can work without different materials, too. You can even mix art styles. If you always loved the opulence of Rembrandt’s oil paintings but your heart also beats for David Shrigley’s work, be daring. Mix those two! The results can be amazing. Let’s say your style consists of minimalist ballpoint drawings, what about bringing in some acrylic paint? Or give your realistic paintings an unexpected edge with a random, flat coloured, two-dimensional shape.
If you want to start with baby-steps, just go for strong complementary colour-contrasts. Red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow, whatever happens to strike your fancy. Even mixing shiny and matte things can be a good start. When I first got into it, I always created some ink drawings that I combined with shiny gold nail polish. It was just a random choice because I didn’t have gold paint around my house and I ended up liking it so much that I finished a whole sketchbook with ink and nail polish. My room still smells like acetone but…worth it!
Experiment, be as daring or as cautious as you want to be. Your canvas won’t judge you and if you’re not satisfied with the results, just hide your newest work in the cellar… you know, in the corner where you store all of your other dark secrets.