Mixed Media exploration.

Lately I  have gotten a lot of questions about what art supplies I use for my works on paper. So in this blog I would like to share with you my favorite art supplies for this series. 

When I discovered the world of mixed media it really opened up a lot of opportunities for me. It wasn’t necessary to just use one kind of paint, but I could also use collage, paper, pencil, charcoal, ink, pastel, encaustic wax, watercolor, oil pastel, molding paste, gel medium, painting on canvas, paper, wood, and so on. It made it fun to explore all kinds of mediums together and see what worked for me.

In this blog I am going to share the supplies I use the most at this moment.


For my latest paintings I love working on paper. I can achieve a watery effect without compromising the quality of the paint. And I can also create a painterly feel to it. This combination is very appealing to me.

My favorite paper to work on is 300 gram (140lbs) watercolor or mix-media natural white smooth paper. I love Hahnemühle Brittania, Canson or Fabriano.  The paper has to be able to handle the water and paint well, so 300 gram is the minimum weight I use.

I usually don’t tape the paper down with painter´s tape, because I do not like the white border. So I use paper clamps to keep the paper in place on my wooden board. This way it also prevents the paper from buckling.


I start my paintings by drawing out the portrait with a water soluble Lyra graphite pencil. You could also use the Stabilo All graphite pencil for this purpose. I don’t like to use the black Stabilo, because it is too dark for me. I love the subtle grey shade variations I get when I fix the drawing with gesso.  


After I finish the drawing, I fixate it with thinned out white gesso. This way the graphite drawing will stay in place once I start to paint over it. It also gives it the beautiful grey tones I like and it fades out the drawing. I love to leave some of those marks in the final painting.

I sometimes use clear gesso, but this leaves a more grainy layer to work on.

For my gesso I use Liquitex and/or Talens.

Acrylic paint.

For my paints I use a limited palette in the following colors: Pyrolle Red, Naples Yellow, Phtalo Blue (green shade), Titanium White and Carbon Black. I do not only use the heavy body, but the fluid and the high flow paints as well. 

I premix my skin tones on a glass palette before I start to paint. To keep the paint moist I mist a little water over them.

The brands I use are Golden and Sennelier Acrylique. I really like to use a good brand of paint because I found out that it makes so much difference in the painting process. Also, the colors are so beautiful and vibrant because they contain a lot of pigment, and since I sell my work, I really want the buyer to have a good quality painting which they can enjoy their whole life.

Using those brands doesn’t make you a better painter, but it does help with the process and you don’t want the paint to work against you.

The high flow paint is an acrylic ink from Golden. It allows me to create such a gorgeous watercolor effect without losing the deep dark black color.

Charcoal pencil.

In between painting and to finish the portrait with some mark making to my liking, I take a charcoal pencil and create some line work. I love to use the Generals Sketch and Peel charcoal pencil, soft or medium. I like them especially because of the peel off layer. You never have to use a knife to remove the wood. Just peel off the paper layer and sharpen it on some sanding paper.


After using the charcoal I fixate it with a fixative. This way, the charcoal won´t smudge or smear all over the portrait. My go-to brand is Conté a Paris Fixative or Gerstaecker´s home brand, which I am very content about.

Well, I really hope you will find this helpful and if you have any questions please don´t hesitate to ask them!



This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the great tips!

    1. I’m so happy they were helpful to you Darlene!

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