advanced photoshop
Mar
20

The magic of mixed media

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by aliceafrancis

In Issue 118, our Creative Design Masterclass gave you an exclusive look into the techniques behind some of the most stunning artwork out there

In Issue 118, our Creative Design Masterclass gave you an exclusive look into the techniques behind some of the most stunning artwork out there. One artist who featured is pro illustrator and graphic designer Igor Šćekić (www.fusionfactory.net), whose mixed media art strikes a perfect balance between traditional and digital methods.

“[The] great thing with mixed media is that in the process of creating the artwork, you can use whatever elements you want,” he tells us. “It could be 3D renders, vector elements, hand-drawn elements, textures, scanned materials, digitally painted elements, fractals….whatever you want, as long as they are all connected with a common atmosphere. This can be achieved with the use of an overall colour connection, shading, textures or effects.”

Here he reveals how he made this unique mixed media image by combining a hand-drawn illustration with digital techniques…

The magic of mixed media

Step 01

I started by drawing on paper with a black fineline pen. I decided to go with a surreal plant growing towards the sky. The shading was created with small, black dots. Once the drawing was finished, I scanned it into a computer and opened it in Photoshop.

The magic of mixed media

Step 02

I placed the image on a beige background and set its blend mode to Multiply so that only the black lines were visible without the white background. The image size was extended to give it more space. A lot of small details were painted with a hard brush to give the artwork a more organic feel.

The magic of mixed media

Step 03

I started painting directly in Photoshop on layers set to Color or Overlay blending modes. A few gradients were also used on the lower edges to give a nice gradation to the image. Cloudy colouring effects were achieved with the use of watercolour textures created on paper and in Corel Painter software. The watercolour layers were added using Multiply or Color Burn blending modes so that dark line work could be seen. Overall colours were adjusted with different adjustment layers (Color Balance, Selective Color, Levels and Curves). Here I wanted the colours to feel psychedelic.

The magic of mixed media

Step 04

After finishing with the colouring, I decided to give more cohesion to the work by creating a common texture for the whole piece. For that purpose I made a few textures with different artistic techniques in Corel Painter, such as oil. A few of these textures were assembled together with the help of blending modes and layer masks to erase unnecessary parts.