What is really Traditional Mixed Media?
By definition, Mixed Media refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed. By extension, Traditional Mixed Media is artwork in the making of which more than one Traditional medium has been employed.
By Traditional medium we understand different painting and drawing materials, including 2-dimensional found objects and unconventional medium such as glitter, house paint, sand, etc. Mixed Media is the place for works where you have wandered in the garage for that precise tone that watercolors won't achieve, where your cup of coffee and your markers meet, where your eyes sparked as you thought "But what if I add this...?"
The Category definition states clearly: "Art created by using multiple traditional, but not digital, techniques in a combined manner".
Did you see that? "...but not digital..."
That's right. Traditional Mixed Media is the place for works that combine different Traditional media in one artwork, not artwork that combine Traditional with Digital media. As always, color and contrast corrections, cropping and added borders or watermarks are accepted as a process destined to improve the presentation of your Traditional piece, but not beyond the point where the work ceases to be recognizable as a Traditional artwork.
At this point I see many hands raised, asking an often-asked question: "Where is the correct place for artwork that mixes Traditional and Digital Media, then?".
Well, truth be told, there isn't. There is no separate category for this, and this is where your honesty as an artist comes in. You have to ask yourself: "Is my work a distinguishable Traditional artwork, or does it rely more heavily on the Digital aspect?". Take a second to think about it, and then choose the right Category for it. Use the Artist's Description, explain what you did and how you did it, include the materials you used. People are often amazed by the results you have achieved with unlikely supplies, and might even give someone a new idea.
There are shady areas, of course. Painting over photographs or found images, or scanning an ink-lined piece and then coloring the print with traditional media gives excellent results for some artists, and they are good examples of edge-of-the-razor Traditional Mixed Media. Traditional linework digitalized and then painted or airbrushed using a tablet or other digital means to the point where the Traditional source is a minor part of the final image belongs, however, more in the Digital > Painting and Airbrushing category. Ask yourselves the question, and be honest.
Traditional Art > Mixed Media Feature
If there are Traditional Art categories you'd like to see featured in a new Traditional Spotlight educational article, drop me a note!