Mixed Media


Margaret Chodos-Irvine

Raúl Colón

Ezra Jack Keats

Yuyi Morales

Melissa Sweet

Brendan Wenzel

A crop of Raúl Colón's José! Born to Dance. Click through to enlarge.

Mixed media is a combination of two or more media in an illustration.

Mixed media refers to a work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media. For example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a "mixed media" work. When many different media are used, a sturdy foundation is used to support the layers.


Cover. Click through to enlarge


Process art. Click through to enlarge


Final art. Click through to enlarge

Margaret Chodos-Irvine: My House is Singing

To create her illustrations, Margaret Chodos-Irvine transferred color from one surface to another, building the images up gradually from flat layers of color. For her linoleum block prints (linocuts), she cut the image into sheets of battleship linoleum, rolled ink onto the surface, and printed the image onto paper using an etching press. Images with multiple colors use multiple blocks, each printed with a separate run through the press. Her mixed media relief prints evolved from a desire to maximize color, texture and shape. These methods include a nontraditional combination of printmaking techniques. A wide variety of materials are used to create layers of color and pattern and, similar to linocut, each block is printed by rolling ink onto its surface, then the ink is transferred onto paper using a press. Anything she could ink up and run through her press became a likely candidate for an element in one of her prints. Some of her mixed media prints also involved other printmaking techniques, such as Chine-collé, collography, and monotyping. She always looked for new things to experiment with in her printing.



Cover. Click through to enlarge


Final art. Click through to enlarge


Crop. Click through to enlarge

Raúl Colón: José! Born to Dance

The mystery of the creative process comes through in this picture-book biography of dancer José Limón, born in Mexico in 1908. Reich's (Clara Shumann: Piano Virtuoso) poetic language evokes the sensual experiences of childhood that inspired the boy's artistic yearnings, while Colón's (My Mama Had a Dancing Heart) artwork, in earthy tones, captures a mood of sober intensity.

Colón’s style developed through experimenting with different mediums. Using an etching instrument that was meant for scratchboard art, Colón instead decided to use it with his colored pencil and watercolor pieces.

"I start a piece by covering my watercolor paper with a light wash of Aureolin (yellow). I then pencil in the image. I add halftones and darks usually with multiple browns and sepia washes. I etch lines onto the paper using the “scratcher”. Finally, I put layers of prismacolor pencils and lithograph crayons. The paper’s texture allows the layers of color underneath to show through, giving the piece a certain warm glow. The etched lines also allow more color to show through.”





Cover. Click through to enlarge


Process art. Click through to enlarge

Ezra Jack Keats: Zoo, Where Are You?

Keats used collage and tempera to illustrate this page. He got his paper for collage from children who sent him scraps, and also from trash cans, fruit stores and anywhere that hds interesting paper. “The ratio between the use of painting and drawing and the use of collage should be determined according to the judgement of the illustrator with every new book. Each new manuscript presents a challenge and an adventure; and I look forward to applying this technique in fresh and appropriate ways.”

"Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983)." Something About the Author, edited by Anne Commire, vol. 57, Gale, 1989, pp. 77-87. Something About the Author, login.ezproxy.lib.umn.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SATA&sw=w&u=umn_wilson&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CVJFTDG451565456&it=r. Accessed 7 Dec. 2016.

Gale Document Number:GALE|VJFTDG451565456


Cover. Click through to enlarge


Final art. Click through to enlarge

Yuyi Morales: Viva Frida!

“...The illustrations are rich and complex. They offer a rich subtext that compliments the overall story and adds dimension and subtlety. Also, through the three dimensional mixed media of photography and art, the pages have depth and vibrancy utilizing colors and themes from Frida Kahlo’s own artistic style. For example on the second page we see a Frida Kahlo doll in traditional dress with flowers in her hair, propped on a cobblestone pathway looking into the jungle with a Diego Rivera doll walking away from her holding paint brushes. Additionally illustrated images are combined with photography on the ‘I dream’ page showing tiny drawn images of herself dancing around the Frida doll’s head. And the most compelling page is the “And Create” page as the illustrations is of the doll in the process of a self-portrait that Frida Kahlo was so known for. ....” Morales created a doll in Frida Kahlo’s likeness, embroidered the flowers on the doll’s handmade dress, and composed props, marionettes, and puppets to set against the backgrounds she painted.The puppets were made from steel, polymer clay, wool, acrylic paints, photography and digital manipulation. Tim O’Meara, photographed the 3-D spreads.


Cover. Click through to enlarge


Process art. Click through to enlarge


Crop. Click through to enlarge.

Melissa Sweet: Balloons Over Broadway

“With the art, I was emphatic that some of it be three-dimensional in order for the book to feel like Sarg’s studio with toys and paraphernalia everywhere. I tip my hat to everyone involved at Houghton. To meld photography with paintings in the same book is a feat and they did it with aplomb. Once the book went to press, I think we all inhaled for the first time in months.”

“Sweet also asks herself, ‘What is the one word that defines this person?’ For Balloons over Broadway (HMH, 2011), Sweet’s tribute to puppeteer Tony Sarg, the word “movement” came to mind. Using the vertical height of the book, Sweet was able to convey the movement of Sarg’s enormous balloons floating high above the parade route.”






Cover. Click through to enlarge.


Click through to enlarge.

Brendan Wenzel: They All Saw A Cat

The illustrations in They All Saw a Cat were rendered in almost everything imaginable: coloredpencil, oil pastels, acrylic paint, watercolor, charcoal, Magic Marker, and number 2 pencils.

“I do actually begin with number 2 pencils! Once things float around in my head for a bit, I dive into sketches, which are usually the kind of chicken scratch no one can make sense of but me. Final art I typically create using a good deal of watercolor and cut paper, which I then composite and fine-tune in the computer during the later stages of the process.

I do however love using new materials whenever possible, as they encourage me to play more while I work. If this is successful it can add a spontaneity to the illustrations, that I feel can be vital. Luckily, I had many chances to play while working on They All Saw A Cat, as each image provided the opportunity to explore the creatures perspective with unique materials and approaches.”

From: https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2016/08/they-all-saw-a-cat-an-interview-with-brendan-wenzel.html

Mixed Media