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Book review: Mixed Media Painting Workshop

Wow!  This book is so packed with information that it seems like a full semester class, not just a workshop!  Mixed Media Painting Workshop by Jean Pederson is a great book for the collage artist who wants to work more painting and mark making into their pieces.  This is another beautiful volume published by North Light Books, so you already know the quality is high.  And then you dive in and are immediately in danger of drowning in the amount of knowledge that Jean shares.

The first chapter is a very in-depth exploration of water media and how they work together.  Gesso, gels, pastes, and other media are examined along with how they affect acrylic and other paints: watercolors, gouache, and inks.  Issues of transparency and opacity, and viscosity are discussed in some detail, and there are many helpful charts along the way.

The second chapter is just as detailed as the first, and deals with the substrate: board, canvas, and various papers.  From there, Jean moves into creating texture (or its visual appearance), two chapters on collage, an exploration of shapes and subject matter, and then a final chapter on composition, color, and theme.  The chapters on collage focus on how collaged elements relate to and interact with painting.  Painting is always primary in this book, so I don't want you to get the wrong impression.

By Jean Pederson
Throughout the entire book, there are extremely helpful charts and example paintings to help you keep everything straight.  There are also exercises for you to try for yourself, to reinforce the concepts.  There are lots of example pieces from other artists besides Jean, so you do get a lot of variety in the way the water media is handled.  But look at that piece above...her work is exquisite!

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That looks like an amazing book with lots of information in it... going to get this one for sure!
That sounds like a must-have reference book for anyone confused about what media to use when and with what. Like me ;-)
Excellent review by a wonderful writer and artist! xox jean