Difference Between Mixed Media Art and Collage.

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In one way the difference is very simple: collage is a specific technique that can be used on its own or within a mixed media piece. So a mixed media piece might combine collage with acrylic/ink/charcoal. A collage would become a mixed media piece when other media were added. Maybe it’s a collage of magazine and fabric then details are added in oil pastel and it becomes a mixed media piece.

I love to use collage within mixed media pieces. Here are a few from my art journal:

However, the Tate Gallery, U.K. states that painting/drawing can be included in a collage so it would seem that there is somewhat of an overlap across mixed media – collage. Personally, I feel that once you have added other media such as ink/paint/pastel to collage then you have a mixed media piece.

Mixed Media in the Past

Although mixed media as a style is enjoying great popularity at the moment, it is not a modern phenomenon. Artists have been mixing media for centuries. Here are some examples:
  1. ‘The Witch Ankarut’ was painted in watercolour and ink around 1577 by unknown.
  2. ‘Chinese Lions’ was painted in the Momoyama style in ink and gold around 1580 -85.
  3. ‘The Kiss’ was painted by Gustav Klimt in oil and gold leaf around 1907.
  4. ‘Blue Poles’ was painted by Jackson Pollock in enamel, paint and glass in 1952
  5. ‘Camels’ was painted by Rivers in collage and oil in 1962.


Collage in the past

Collage itself has been around since the 12 Century. It is seen in the Cubist’s work and famously Matisse’s paper-cutting in his latter years.

Making of a Collage with Mixed Media Additions

Collage art journal page
Collage page

Having stamped on my tissue paper first I then applied this as if it were any other collage paper. I resisted adding any other media elements to make this as pure a collage as possible.

Comments on Difference Between Mixed Media Art and Collage.

  • 24Steps says:

    Thank you for the encouragement and I'm really pleased this has inspired you. I hope you thoroughly enjoy your mixed media course and would love it if you would come back and share some of your experiences. Hugs, Ceri xx
    2020-12-08 16:58:14
  • Fi says:

    Great inspiration as I begin my block of my art course in mixed media. Thank you!
    2020-12-07 23:00:20

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