Looking for a way to create an interesting background for your mixed media art? You must first decide your general theme. Do you want a rustic and natural look or does your art need a bright and colorful background? Here are some ideas.
Corrugated cardboard. You can add a wonderful, natural look to your art by using corrugated cardboard. Remove some of the paper from the cardboard so the wavy lines can be seen. This is a good way to recycle some of the cardboard that you have been saving.
Old textbook or songbook pages. You can find old books at library sales, yard sales, and thrift stores at very low cost. Pages can be ripped, sanded, tea stained, painted with watercolors, and used to create wonderful backgrounds.
Textured fabric. I like to use fabrics like burlap, denim, or muslin to add texture to my mixed media backgrounds.
Modeling paste. You can create many great dimensional textures for your art using modeling paste and stencils or other elements like plastic mesh. If you don’t want to buy the pasta, you can make your own. There are a variety of modeling clay recipes online.
Paper napkins. Paper napkins are available in a wide range of patterns, designs and colors and offer an inexpensive way to decorate almost any surface. You can decoupage the entire napkin on your background or cut out certain parts to enhance or act as a focal point in your art.
Technical creak. This is a good technique to use when you want to add an aged and weathered effect to your art. The basic idea is to apply paint to the surface and after it is dry, apply a coat of white glue or crackling medium and cover it with a paint that contrasts with the color of the first coat.
Foil. Add texture to the foil by crumpling it and then smoothing it out by hand. It can be colored with alcohol ink, nail polish or permanent markers.
Shelf lining. I like to buy shelf liners at the dollar store to use as a background in my art. I will often spray paint it before use. Note: I usually spray paint over newspapers, which leaves a beautiful design that can be used as a background in other projects.
There is no shortage of materials that you can use to create your mixed media backgrounds. Decide what type of art to create and choose colors and textures that complement your finished piece.