Art is incredible because it can be created by anyone, with anything. Artists today choose to express themselves and idea through other methods than charcoal, pens and watercolour. The new trend of using unusual materials to express ideas and send certain messages has become widely used by contemporary artists. To create thought-provoking art and differentiate their work from others’, artists have come to use more and more intricate materials for their work by the day. Below is a list of some of the most unconventional mediums that artists use to make their art pop.
Today, the unconventional art scene is dominated by recycled materials. With a growing audience for the environmental concerns, artists today try to make use of items and products they no longer need, of trash and scrap materials. Everything that can be thought of as junk or trash, is widely used by contemporary artists today. Complex sculptures made of scrap metal, magazines, plastic bottles, discount ribbon, and so on can make great art pieces as artists start to develop their senses and skill of working with different materials. Erika Iris Simons creates incredible portraits of music artists by using cassette tapes. Kyle Bean’s “What came first?” sculpture is another impressive example of this technique. The artist has created the sculpture of a chicken by using, you guessed it, eggshells. Although this doesn’t answer the century-old question, it does make proof of the artist’s creativity and innovative spirit.
Conventional materials used in unconventional ways
You can create unconventional art by using conventional materials. By reinventing the way these materials are used to create art, artists are basically re-inventing art itself. For instance, Herb Williams is known for using Crayons in unusual ways. He cuts them, and uses them for his artwork. From “paintings”, to sculptures, Herb creates incredible art.
Others, like Jackson Pollock, used to drop and drizzle regular paint on regular canvas. However, he followed no rules when it came to applying it. A series of other artists are using their body parts to apply paint. For instance, hair makes a great replacement in Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen’s case. Her entire body is her paintbrush, and while using regular supplies and mediums to create her art, she is far from being a conventional artist.
Large-scale use of unconventional tools
Many artists today choose conventional mediums for their artwork, but they express themselves by using unconventional tools. Amy Shackleton is the perfect example of this scenario. The Canadian artist uses regular canvas for her vibrant creations, but the technique used is far from being conventional. The artist squeezes paint straight out of a bottle for her creations.
Michelle Brown is another artist that uses traditional methods, but unusual tools for her art. After she applies blobs of paint on her canvas, she squeezes them with pieces of paper to reach the final product. Mike Bernard, on the other hand, creates art by applying paint with pieces of cardboard, instead of a painting knife. This helps him reach the desired texture and effect.
Other painters, like Sophie Munns, use strings covered in paint for their contemporary art. This helps them achieve the desired line effects, without even touching a brush. Fabienne Verdier, on the other hand, uses mops to apply paint to her working surface, which let us tell you, has impressive dimensions.
How can beginner artists achieve the desired results in unconventional mediums?
As you can observe, you are not limited anymore by the mediums and techniques you use when creating art. Your possibilities are endless, and you can now use your creativity to express more successfully what crosses your mind. But let’s see how you can make better use of different mediums and techniques in your process.
Try to use on coloured paper
For beginner artists that want to spice a little their creations, coloured paper is a great example. Your paper colour can vary from beige and creams to greys, blacks, and even psychedelic colours like bright pink or neon green. To create the desired effect, choose suitable colours. Contrasting colours always work best. For instance, if you use black paper, draw with whites, beiges, creams or vibrant colours. You will achieve a great visual effect by playing with colours in this manner.
Textured paper, to kick life in your artwork
Artists can choose from a wide selection of textured paper to reach the desired effect. From machine-made textured paper, which will have a regular surface texture, like bumps, for example, to handmade textured paper, which will have a more irregular surface, and other mediums, you are not constricted by any rules in the process. For instance, you can source your textured paper from tearing apart packaging, hunting for scrap paper that you cut or glue and assemble to the desired dimensions.
Tissue paper makes a great art medium
Use tissue paper to paint on or create different sculptures with. You can scrunch and glue together multiple pieces of tissue paper, you can create a highly textured surface, where to express your creativity and unique approach on painting. To emphasize the texture in your medium, use light strokes. Dry-brushing works wonderfully to create this effect. On the contrary, if you want to soften the crevasses in your painting medium, load your brush with paint.
Adopt wallpaper in your painting process
Painting on wallpaper will help you create a more textured, but regular painting. However, you will have to approach this technique with care. You first have to select your wallpaper carefully. Its pattern and texture can easily overpower your own creations, which will create the opposite effect. Will take the attention from your art and put under the spotlight the wallpaper you choose.
Artists today use their creativity to find new ways to express themselves. Salvaging scrap items and products has become common practice in artistic circles since it can offer the perfect outlet for different projects. From sculpture to painting and drawing, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding unusual mediums to create incredible art.