Mixed Media usually means work on canvas that combines paint, ink, collage and often many other techniques that contribute artistic effect. These especially include found objects such as printed paper, fabric, photographs. In mixed media, in the application of materials, layering strategies are important. Sufficient drying time must be allowed between application of layers. The slow drying layers such as oils should be applied last. Found objects can be applied at anytime, but especially toward the end when there is no intent to modify them. In general, mixed media work requires a sturdy foundation.
Assemblages, which date from early Cubist constructions, are made of preformed natural and manufactured materials, objects and fragments not clearly intended as art material. Many works employ limited mixed media such as in the use of water soluble colored pencil to assist in creation of fine detail. Also, using water soluble oil paints is some mixed media works can create a variety of desired effects.
Many techniques are employed in mixed media assemblages. Some of these include creation of special background colors, antiquing, reshaping or modifying found art objects before or after they are added, special edge effects including sponge applications in collages, use of old credit cards or hard wood to apply paint in special regions of the assemblage. In many cases artists will create their own stencils when the same object needs to be represented in more than one assemblage or drawing.
Multimedia art is quite different from Mixed Media. The former may combine both visual as well as non-visual effects.