It is not uncommon for shoppers to find pieces of garden décor created from gypsum. However, has the thought of using gypsum as a mixed-media art medium ever popped into shopper’s or artist’s minds? It has, in fact, and mixed-media artists are taking full advantage of how useful gypsum is in their pieces.
What is gypsum?
Gypsum is a type of mineral compound often found near limestone deposits. This compound is commonly used to create drywall panels.
For gardening purposes, gypsum is added to soil containing high clay concentration. For art purposes, gypsum is similar to plaster of Paris. (Dick Blick sells a wide variety of gypsum casting medium, which can be found by performing a simple search.)
How can gypsum be used in mixed-media art?
Mixed-media artists are able to create interesting and detailed 3D works of art using gypsum material. Because it’s like Plaster of Paris, it can be molded and manipulated. Some mixed-media artists sculpt with this medium, while others create impressions (much like a garden stone) directly into the gypsum. Further, there are mixed-media artists using this compound to create direct carvings into.
More ideas for use of gypsum in mixed-media art:
- Use gypsum as a canvas for a mixed-media painting surface to paint directly onto, attach items using decoupage medium, and to attach found objects onto using a glue gun or “tough as nails” type adhesives.
- Affix elements and embellishments directly into the gypsum before it cures, and then further embellish with gold or sliver leaf, paint, carvings, and other collage elements.
- Attach a thick coating of gypsum to a piece of canvas board (or wood) using a putty knife. (Choose a quick drying mix for this application, and then place it on a stove so the heat will dry it quicker.)
Apply the gypsum in random areas of the piece, or along the edge. Then, create the mixed-media painting using the gypsum as a textural and moving background.
Where can mixed-media artists purchase gypsum?
Most art supply stores carry a variety of gypsum ranging from slow drying mixes to those that dry quickly. If artists are new to using this medium, it’s a good idea to use a slow drying mix. When inquiring about where this product is located in the store (unless this is an online purchase, of course), ask about which product is best for novices.