What Is Gypsum And How Can This Medium Be Used In Mixed-Media?

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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.

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Garden décor created from gypsum – image by aliexpress.com

What is gypsum?

Gypsum is a type of mineral compound often found near limestone deposits. This compound is commonly used to create drywall panels.

What Is Gypsum And How Can This Medium Be Used In Mixed-Media?
Gypsum is a type of mineral compound often found near limestone deposits – image by mindat.org

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.)

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For art purposes, gypsum is similar to plaster of Paris

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.

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For art purposes, gypsum is similar to plaster of Paris – image by akramalhalabi.com

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.
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Use gypsum as a canvas for a mixed-media painting surface to paint directly onto – image by etsy.com
  • 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.)
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Putty knife – image by aliexpress.com

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.

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Gypsum can be purchased in store -image by aliexpress.com
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