The following list of materials are optional, feel free to select as many options as you can/want, including any additional arts and craft supplies you may have on hand.
Paper with different textures (e.g., construction, copy, watercolor, pastel, etc.)
Paint (any kind)
Natural material (e.g., leaves, sticks, moss, rocks, sand, etc.)
Pens and/or markers
A variety of different sized boxes
Old T-shirts, smocks or aprons to protect youth clothing
A large table or group work space covered with drop cloths or tablecloths to protect surfaces as needed
Cardboard (placed out to cover the table space)
Youth create a collaborative mixed media scene.
Say, “We’re going to explore creating mixed media artwork today by creating a scene such as an ocean, forest or city. Media are things like colored pencils or paint. Creating a mixed media artwork means you are using more than one type of media together in one piece. You will have a chance to explore different media, what they feel like and what you could do with them together. There is no right or wrong way to do this!”
Share all the media youth have to work with. Informthem that they can mix the medias together however they want. For example, adding sand to paint or using duct tape to put sticks together.
Say, “Let’s decide what scene we will make together. Who has an idea?”
Allow youth to decide on a scene together.
Discuss the different objects, animals, people, etc. that would be in this scene. For example:
An ocean scene could have water, waves, fish, sea creatures, boats, swimmers, submarines, kelp, reefs, etc.
A city scene could have buildings, roads, people, cars, bridges, tunnels, buses, parks, etc.
Say, “Great. You’ll create this scene on this piece of cardboard. Now take a moment to pick out the first type of media you’d like to use to create our group scene.”
Allow youth time to get their media.
Encourage youth to start by covering the surface of the cardboard with color and media.
Remind youth that they can make the scene multi-dimensional by building on each layer.
Prompt youth to get a new type of media after a few minutes. Continue this, allowing time for youth to try different types of media to create elements in the scene.
Encourage youth to explore different ways they can use the media, for example:
Paper can be ripped, folded, glued or taped
Pastels can be smudged over paint
Moss or leaves can be added to paint
Sponges can be used to apply chalk, pastel or watercolor
Fabric can be rolled, folded, torn or glued
Support youth to observe each other and see how they can add to the group scene.
Encourage youth to change where they are standing around the table as they add to different sections.
Prompt youth to use all media available to them.
Use guiding questions to help exploration. For example:
“Have you tried ... ?”
“What happens when ... ?”
“What do you notice here ... ?”
Allow youth to continue until the cardboard is filled or for as long as time allows.
Step 3 (Optional)
Say, “Now take a step back and walk around the table to look at all the different parts of our scene. Find another media and add something new to our scene.”
Allow youth more time to add another element to the scene, contributing to the group’s work.
Continue this project over multiple days if interested or as time and schedule allows.