Traditional and Digital Mixed Media
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Thiefoworld's avatar
By Thiefoworld   |   Watch
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Published: January 24, 2013

Fix That Miscat! is a series of articles aiming to  help you distinguish between galleries that are commonly confused or  abused in the category system here on deviantART. In this occasion we'll  talk about Mixed Media, both Traditional and Digital.

Mixed Media

Mixed  Media within deviantArt refers to artwork in the making of which more  than one medium has been employed. For example, a drawing that combines  color pencils, watercolors and inks in the same canvas.

To  be considered as Mixed Media, an artwork needs to combine 2 or more  traditional or digital mediums. However a big misconception is that  Mixed Media refers only to artworks combining digital AND traditional  and this is not entirely true. The combination can also be between traditional mediums only or digital mediums only and in fact, when you intend to submit to this category, you'll find that  you'll have to choose between one of the following:

Traditional Mixed Media

In Traditional Art, Mixed Media involves the combination of two or more traditional techniques such as oils, pastels, watercolors, charcoal, pencils, collage, acrylics, ink, etc.

Digital Mixed Media

In Digital Art, Mixed Media involves the combination of two or more digital techniques such as digital painting, vector, vexel, 3D, photomanipulation, fractals, etc.

One of the most common situations when it's difficult to determine if an artwork should go into one category or the other it's with Photomanipulations. To read more about the differences between Photomanipulations and Digital Mixed Media click here

So, what about combining both Digital and Traditional?

As explained earlier, Mixed Media is a combination of mediums, which can be between traditional only or digital only, so what about those that combine both?

deviantArt doesn't have a gallery dedicated to these pieces that combine both digital and traditional techniques, so it's up to you to determine which one is more predominant and then choose the more appropiate category. For example, a drawing done with pencils, scanned and then added other digital elements alongside other heavy edition should go to Digital Art.


If the traditional part of the artwork is more predominant, by adding just some minor digital elements and other minor adjustments, then it should go to Traditional Art

I hope this makes it more clear about what is and what isn't Mixed Media. Stay devious! - Thiefoworld & Astralseed

Who takes suggestions for these categories?

Digital Art > Mixed Media
Thiefoworld & RezaBisuto

Traditional Art > Mixed Media
Astralseed, STelari, deshrubber & SRudy

anonymous's avatar
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whitewolf1157's avatar
Am I allowed to uses these pictures to responded to! I am an art student and I would love to respond to these but I feel like I need to ask. After all the pictures will be placed in my book for an examiner to see so I might as well ask┐(´д`)┌.
Thiefoworld's avatar
Do you mean the deviations I used as example? In that case you would need to ask permission to their respective authors. 
Emerducklings's avatar
EmerducklingsHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you:D (Big Grin)  I couldn't figure out where to put my drawing. This really helped.
yasaman73's avatar
yasaman73Student Photographer
I need some reference about this subject(mixed media)anybody can help me?
Sven-Tu's avatar
Sven-TuStudent General Artist
Brilliant. Thanks.
KALgraphics's avatar
KALgraphicsStudent General Artist
Thank you, you helped clarifying this issue for me
TenchuandAnimeluver's avatar
TenchuandAnimeluverStudent Traditional Artist
I wanna do both! I have a lot more to learn! ^^
nekoluver15's avatar
this was so helpful!!
ArtByCher's avatar
ArtByCher Traditional Artist
Magenta-Fantasies's avatar
Magenta-FantasiesProfessional Digital Artist
That's very helpful; I've been wondering this for years. :D

I still think there should be a specific category for Mixed Media art that is both Traditional and Digital, though.
Kerunou's avatar
Combining digital and traditional media is amazing and I commend anyone and everyone who can do. Fusing the primary human aspect behind art with today's modern capabilities is the best of both worlds. Why do one when you can have both. :)
Raph1966's avatar
Raph1966Student General Artist
This is good to know. I recently did a pastel (traditional) work and retouched it in digital. Just a layer of Corel "pastels" to darken it. Otherwise it's still the same old traditional work. Thanks for clearing things up for us. :D
rjonesdesign's avatar
rjonesdesignProfessional Digital Artist
This is still confusing. In my case, I am told I should put all my vectors in mixed media (99% vector, 1% raster for outer glows or flares, which are non-destructive, as Illustrator redraws them when sized). You state here that using vector and a vexel technique in the same piece makes it mixed media. I don't think my work should be mixed media at all since it is all in Illustrator using vector elements, its the filter that I put ON the vector element that makes it not vector?
I was told to put my work in vector and hope the vector gm doesn't move all my work to mixed media. So am I a vectorist, vexelist, or a mixed media artist?
I have always considered myself a vectorist because I work primarily in Illustrator. Anytime I use a Photoshop raster effect, I call it vexel, and everyone was happy before. I'm tired of having to fight to stay in vector and vexel. :(
Thiefoworld's avatar
But you are talking about effects done IN illustrator aren't you? I'm not a vector expert, but those should count as vector elements :o I would ask ^ChewedKandi, the Vector CV about this though, but in my opinion, if they are scalable they should considered vectors.
rjonesdesign's avatar
rjonesdesignProfessional Digital Artist
Ugh, she is the one that has always wanted my art out of the vector gallery in the first place. I'm so tired of this, I already moved most of my art to scraps and now this, so I don't really belong in ANY gallery at dA. Why can't I just be a vector artist?
Thiefoworld's avatar
If you consider your art to be vector, then go for it, keep your work in the vector category, don't mind what me or anyone say :)
rjonesdesign's avatar
rjonesdesignProfessional Digital Artist
Doesn't feel much like dA support to just call myself something I already know the vector gm doesn't agree with and just hope I'm not removed.
dA should support artists.......not suppress creativity in my opinion. I don't even feel like drawing anything now.
eurekasfray's avatar
"An in depht explanation"
Oops, you have a typo :)
Thiefoworld's avatar
I dunno what you're talking about :shifty: thanks
eurekasfray's avatar
Suuure :D you're welcome
tvlookplay's avatar
tvlookplayHobbyist General Artist
so is my artwork mixed media since i only use one photo and a lot of brushes?? :P
Thiefoworld's avatar
According to [link] yes, because in order to be considered a photomanipulation, it needs to combine two or more photographs.
tvlookplay's avatar
tvlookplayHobbyist General Artist
:crying: so i have to change all my dark,fantasy works into mixed media?? :cry:
Thiefoworld's avatar
You don't need to, but maybe you could consider it for your future submissions :)
anonymous's avatar
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