Consider an aquarelle painting mostly done with watercolour and little touches of gouache.

May it be considered as mixed media because it includes more than one medium, or does it still qualify as watercolour? The same question about an oil painting done with oils and signed for instance using a different medium.

Thus, what are the criteria for qualifying as mixed media ?

2 Answers 2


It is all fine - choose whatever you think is important to communicate to your audience - that is, what you think will get your concept across.

Mixed media as a medium in the visual arts is not strictly defined.

With two mediums you can also opt to simply name those two (e.g. "watercolour and gouache"/"oils and ink"), so it's even clearer, but, again, it depends on what you want to communicate to your audience.

I personally wouldn't opt for mentioning the medium I signed in, because it's (usually) unrelated to the artwork as an individual piece (I rarely sign the front to begin with since I think it distracts from the work).


Combining different painting and drawing materials, rather than one medium.

Some examples could be:

  • Using heavy paper material for reworking into the painting
  • Oil pastels on acrylic, and watercolor paintings
  • Soft pastels used on watercolor paintings
  • Watercolor pencils and crayons
  • Charcoal working on top, in between, and into the paint
  • Pieces of cut up papers, and magazines added into paintings

The beauty of mixed media is that it is left open to the creator, and you don't need to be excellent at fine art or drawing skills to make beautiful art


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