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Digital Art > Mixed Media: 

What is and isn't "Mixed Media"

This article was originally posted by IreneLangholm. Since the actual article is no longer available, this is a backup version from the original article and released with permission from and full credit to Irene.

What does this mean?

It means that those of you who use more than one digital technique, there's a home for these creations :aww:


This article covers the gallery descriptions, the descriptions of the so called basic art forms as well as includes some help on how to determine if your gallery contains Mixed Media pieces.

Gallery Description: Digital Mixed Media

This new gallery is meant to hold deviations that have been created using at least two of the following DIGITAL art forms: Paintings/Drawings/Airbrushing, Photomanipulation, 3-Dimensional, Fractals and Vectors / Vexels - from here on referred to as basic art forms. The basic art forms should be clearly distinguishable in the piece, meaning they should be present in roughly equal parts. Traditional art forms mixed with digital work should not be posted here unless there was 1. more digital than traditional work done AND 2. you used more than one of the basic art forms.

This makes the gallery ideal for matte paintings (use of photomanipulation and painting) or terraspace art (use of 3D rendered landscapes combined with painting and/or photomanipulation to “extend” them into a space scene).

Only images consisting of two or more of the above mentioned basic art forms are to be posted here. If your image consists only or mainly of one of those art forms, it should be posted in the respective gallery. That also holds true for paper sketches that are painted using a graphics program (such as Photshop, Paint Shop Pro, etc) as well as drawing/doodling/sketching onto a photo – the first of those two examples should still go in Digital Art > Paintings & Airbrushing while the second one would fit best into Digital Art > Miscellaneous (because drawing on a photo is not a photomanipulation either!). If you have used filters or plug-ins to alter your digital creations, they should be submitted to Digital Art> Miscellanous.

For example

If you have started with a photomanipulation and decided along the way to add vector elements, both need to be prominent features of your art for the image to be posted in Mixed Media – adding two tiny vector flowers for instance doesn’t make it a mixed media piece, but rather it should still be a photomanipulation.

Please note

Just like anywhere else on deviantArt, the use of copyrighted material is prohibited. If you use third party material you must have written permission from the owner of the original piece (be it a render, a photo, a painting or whatever) to do so or it must be clear from stating the source that the image is considered stock. In the case of stock, be sure to include the proper credit and adhere to any rules the stock source may have defined. Also see FAQ #157: Can I use things created by other people in my submissions?  Please be advised that there are websites out there that pretend to be offering free stock when in fact they have no legal claim on the material!

What should NOT be posted in Mixed Media?

:pointr: If you have only used a little bit of a second art form (or if the secondart form is not listed in the basic art forms above at all) your deviation should not be posted in Mixed Media. That includes (but is not limited to): doing a sketch using one program or scanning it and painting the colors in digitally (this should go in painting!), adding some brushes to a photograph or playing with a series of filters on a scan or photo (both should go in Miscellaneous).

:pointr: If you mix traditional and digital art, you need to determine which of the two you used more and place your deviation accordingly. Neither the traditional nor the digital Mixed Media galleries are to be used to post traditional/digital mixes!

:pointr: If you do Manga/Anime art or Cartoons/Comics, please use the respective galleries to post your art. These galleries have been created to keep all these things in one place where they can be found and not just as another option that you can use whenever you feel like it. This also holds true for wallpapers (Customizations> Wallpapers) or Designs & Interfaces (such as websites, CD or book covers etc.)

:pointr: Adding text or scribbles on a photograph is not photomanipulation and also not digital mixed media - they should be submitted to Photography (text as in adding a title and the deviant's name - only if the photo was taken by the deviant), Visual Poetry (found in literature - only if the text is a poem written by the artist) or Digital Art > Miscellaneous (everything else).


I know that some of these guidelines may feel rather sketchy, but please take the time to think about what you did to your image and what you used before dumping it into the next best category that catches your eye! (That goes for any category btw, not just for Digital Art > Mixed Media!)

When placing your deviation, think about what you did: 

Did you use photos? Did you use vectors? Did you paint something? You are the only one who can tell exactly what you did so please take the time and place it correctly so others can find it where they expect to find it!
If you want to place it in Digital Mixed Media, ask yourself: how much of one and how much of the other basic art form did I use? Is it really Mixed?

The Mixed gallery is NOT the place where you put your stuff if you don’t know where to put it after thinking about it for two seconds. And if you believe you should put it in Digital Art > Mixed Media, but have a feeling people will not recognize the different media you used, then please leave a description in the 'artists comment' – that’s what it’s there for (among other things of course). This will also prevent me from moving your deviation based on what I see.

To help you decide

Here are the descriptions for the basic art forms as listed in the gallery description:

:pointr: Painting/Drawing/Airbrushing:
This involves using a mouse or graphics tablet along with a graphics program to create paintings or sketches directly in said program. Programs used include: Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, the Gimp and others.

:pointr: Photomanipulation:
The use of photographs (in most cases more than one) which are then altered via a graphics program is considered to be Photomanipulation. Be advised that using filters or plug-ins is not a Photomanipulation and all deviations altered in that fashion should not be put here or in Photomanipulation, but in Digital Art > Miscellaneous. Also, using post-processing techniques like photographers would be able to apply in a darkroom is not a Photomanipulation either but still considered Photography. These techniques include, but are not limited to, changing hue, saturation, color, contrast, levels, desaturating, inverting,…
      Photomanipulations can be performed in programs such as Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, the Gimp and others.

:pointr: 3-Dimensional:
      Scenes or objects created through the means of rendering software that lets you set up the object and its environment (including position of objects and camera, light, atmosphere etc) as a first step. When you are ready, you have the option of rendering the scene in higher resolution for displaying your work. Programs used include: Poser, Maya, Cinema 4D, 3dsMax, Blender, Daz Studio, Terragen and others.

:pointr: Fractals:
      Fractal images are created using mathematical formulas. Their characteristic features is that it consists of a geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole (it is self-similar no mater how far you zoom in). Programs used to create fractals include: UltraFractal, Apophysis and others.

:pointr: Vectors/Vexels:
      The difference between a vector and a vexel lies in their nature: while a vector uses vectors to store the image information, a vexel stores the information in raster format. For the purpose of the Mixed Media gallery, the difference is negligible though. The reason for this is that as soon as you add another art form to vectors, you need to raster the image thus converting it to a vexel basically. Both art forms have in common, that their looks are similar: imagine a picture composed from basic shapes filled with solid color, a gradient or a pattern, that when stacked upon each other form your picture (' posterized look' ).

Even more help

Perhaps this is still too abstract, so if you like, I have conducted several interviews with Mixed Media Artists that will show you different examples of Mixed Media work:

Assorted monthly selections:
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 1 
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 2
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 3 
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 4  
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 5 
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 6
:bulletblue: Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 7
:bulletblue:  Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 8
:bulletblue:  Digital Mixed Media Monthly Vol. 9

:bulletred:  Educate: Digital Mixed Media

In Conclusion

If you find you have some Mixed Media art in your gallery (after reading the above description), feel free to move it over. But please be sure that it is Mixed Media. I will be monitoring the gallery closely, especially during the next few days, and I will move anything out of it that doesn’t conform with the gallery descripton!

Thank you for reading through this and if you’ve got any question don’t hesitate to ask via note [link] or comment :heart:

From a News article by the lovely `kuschelirmel [link]

This article was originally posted by IreneLangholm. Since the actual article is no longer available, this is a backup version from the original article and full credit goes to Irene.

For additional articles:

Digital Art - Mixed Media : What is and isn't Mixed Media
Original article by the wonderful `IreneLangholm. Since the old article isn't available, this is a 'backup' for which asked her permission to post it by retrieving the old one. Also has some new and other articles about it by others and updated ones.
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Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013   Digital Artist
:nuu: I've been miscatting! I thought traditional coloured digitally would go there, but now I know where to move them. Thanks!
Rovanna Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013   Digital Artist
:nuu: I've been miscatting! I thought traditional coloured digitally would go there, but now I know where to move them. Thanks!
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
No problem.
Though, if most of it is digital colouring, and all in all, the traditional sketch is little to none left, you might as well put it to any of the other digital category since the mixed media won't be the effect here.
ScatteredAshe Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome, so glad you were able to get this! Thank you! :iconsquishhugplz:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
No problem! C:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Typography created with more than one digital medium has its own gallery as well :)
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
They go to the Miscellaneous category under Typography right? :)
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Not necessarily. The gallery is sorted for content, not for medium. The category you submit to depends on how it looks and its intention
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
Yes, of course those would come first. I mean, if all it doesn't fit those and are mixed media then no? :D
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Thats why it has a Miscellaneous sub-cat, for works with main focus on typography, but not fitting to other sub-cats :)
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Yep. \o\
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