Mixed Media Abstract Art

The intrigue of abstract art is quite pulling to the artist, as most of us are so hung up on the discipline of line drawing, shading, and the human form. But in looking at abstract mixed media art, such as that by Jean-Michel Basquiat, we often are so inspired to create such masterpieces, only to have no idea where to begin.

So this month, I thought I’d show you a step by step on how I created some beautiful mixed media art.

You’ll need:

Acrylic paint

blank canvas

Yasutomo Oil Pastels

Yasutomo Sumi Ink in Ultra Black

Ink pads

Stencils (your own, or purchased)

Niji Splash inks

vintage ephemera (I used a kit that you can purchase HERE)

Matte Medium

Workable fixative


Start with a layer of messily painted acrylic paint on your canvas. Use a paint brush, or use your fingers, even.


Gather some of your favorite vintage ephemera or scrapbook paper, and glue it on using matte medium. I use matte medium because it enables you to paint or draw over it.


Next, get your oil pastels out.


Just have fun with this. You can scribble, or write words if you wish. After you’ve done this, you cah choose to spray a layer of workable fixative over it, to enable more layers of paint, ink and the like.

IMG_20131007_083119 IMG_20131007_083510

Next, do a layer of stenciling. I used sequin waste, and my own handmade stencils. You can use rubber stamps on this as well, if you wish. Think messy. If you use pigment ink, you’re going to want to spray a layer of workable fixative.


Next, drip some splash inks on the top. This is done by squirting splash inks, and then tilting the canvas so that the ink drips down the canvas.


Using the oil pastels, I went over and did another layer of doodling and scribbling, followed by workable fixative, then painted on some sumi ink, to bring all the colors together, as you see in the picture.


Finally, I went over that layer with an additional layer of stenciling, using pigment based ink, and sequin waste, followed by more doodling with oil pastels.

After that, the final layer was a layer of block printed repeated stamping, over the canvas. I used a hand carved block print of my own design, but you can use whatever you wish. To apply the block print image, you may choose to use block printing ink, which is what I chose.

And that’s it! You can really go to town with this, and just do your own thing. Following the above steps will give you a beautiful abstract painting that is truly your own design.

Thanks for checking out my project!


2 thoughts on “Mixed Media Abstract Art

  1. There is something very freeing about mark-making with oil pastels, isn’t there?

  2. Love the colors Diana!

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