Mixed Media Art Tips: Environmental Themes
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Use of natural materials
  2. Depicting climate change
  3. Recycled materials in art
  4. Highlighting endangered species
  5. Capturing beauty of the environment
  6. Protest art and activism
  7. Representation of pollution
  8. Mixing techniques for environmental themes

Creating art that not only captures the beauty of our world but also highlights the environmental issues we face is a powerful way to express our love for the Earth. With environmental-themed mixed media art, you can combine various techniques and materials to bring your vision to life. This blog will explore some tips and ideas for creating environmental-themed mixed media art.

Use of natural materials

One of the most authentic ways to create environmental-themed mixed media art is by using natural materials. Mother Nature provides us with a treasure trove of elements that can be incorporated into our artwork to give it an earthy, organic feel. Here are a few ideas you can explore:

  • Leaves and Flowers: Dried leaves, flowers, or even seeds can add an interesting texture and depth to your art pieces. You can press them into clay or glue them onto canvas to create a unique collage.
  • Wood: Driftwood, twigs, or even bark can be used to create a rustic, natural look. Think about carving a message into a piece of wood or using twigs to frame your artwork.
  • Stones and Pebbles: These can be used to add a 3D element to your work. You could paint on them or arrange them to form shapes or patterns.

Remember, when collecting natural materials for your environmental-themed mixed media art, ensure you do it responsibly. Don't disturb natural habitats or take more than you need. With just a bit of creativity, these natural elements can transform your artwork and make a bold statement about your commitment to the environment.

Depicting climate change

Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and art can be an effective tool to express this concern. When it comes to environmental-themed mixed media art, there are various ways to depict climate change.

One approach can be to use contrasting elements in your artwork. You could show a vibrant, healthy forest on one side, and a barren, deforested area on the other. This stark contrast can really drive home the impact of climate change.

Alternatively, you could focus on specific effects of climate change, such as melting ice caps or rising sea levels. For instance, you might use a mix of blues and whites to depict a melting glacier, or create a series of paintings that show coastal cities at different stages of flooding.

Through your artwork, you can capture the urgency of climate change in a way that's more powerful than words alone. And who knows? Your environmental-themed mixed media art might just inspire others to take action too.

Recycled materials in art

When it comes to environmental-themed mixed media art, using recycled materials is not only eco-friendly—it's also a great way to add depth and uniqueness to your artwork. By reusing materials, you're essentially giving them a second life, and also making a statement about waste and consumerism.

There are countless ways to incorporate recycled materials into your art. You might use old newspapers, magazines, or books to create interesting backgrounds or collage elements. Or, you could use discarded fabric scraps to add texture and dimension to your pieces. Even everyday items like bottle caps, tin cans, or broken electronics can be transformed into compelling art materials.

Remember, the goal isn't just to use recycled materials for the sake of it. Instead, try to consider how these materials can enhance your artwork and convey your environmental message. So the next time you're about to throw something away, why not see if it has a place in your next mixed media art project?

Highlighting endangered species

Let's take a moment to talk about how you can use your art to shed light on an urgent issue: endangered species. This is a powerful theme in environmental-themed mixed media art. By highlighting the plight of endangered animals, you can help raise awareness and spark conversations about conservation.

Here's an idea: you can create a series of portraits featuring endangered animals. By giving each animal its own spotlight, you're giving them a voice—something they desperately need. To add depth to these portraits, why not include facts about each animal, or depict their habitats in the background? This can help show the audience the urgency of the situation.

Another approach could be to show the animals in contrast with elements that symbolize their threats—like plastic waste or deforestation. This can help convey the harsh realities these animals face, and provoke a powerful emotional response from the viewer.

Remember, art can be a strong tool for advocacy. So don't be afraid to use your skills to make a difference for these endangered species. After all, it's not just about creating beautiful art—it's also about using your art to create a more beautiful world.

Capturing beauty of the environment

Now, let's talk about another aspect of environmental-themed mixed media art: capturing the beauty of the environment. While it's important to highlight the challenges our planet faces, it's equally important to remind people of what we stand to lose. Showcasing the beauty of the natural world can inspire others to act and make changes in their own lives to help protect it.

One way to do this is by creating landscapes. You could focus on a local area that you love, or a majestic place you've visited. Think about the colors, the light, the texture—try to convey the essence of the place and the emotions it evokes in you.

Another idea is to create pieces featuring the small wonders of nature, like a close-up of a leaf, or the intricate design of a spider's web. Small details like these often go unnoticed, but they're a huge part of what makes nature beautiful and fascinating.

Finally, remember: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Don't worry if your interpretation of the environment's beauty doesn't look like a traditional landscape or nature painting. What's important is that your art helps others see the beauty of the world from your perspective—and motivates them to help preserve it.

Protest art and activism

Art has always been a powerful tool for expressing ideas and sparking change, and environmental-themed mixed media art is no exception. As an artist, you have the unique opportunity to communicate complex issues through your work, raising awareness and encouraging people to take action.

Creating protest art is about more than making something visually appealing—it's about making a statement. It's about using your art to represent the urgency of the environmental crisis we're facing and the need for immediate action.

Consider focusing on a specific issue that resonates with you. Whether it's deforestation, plastic pollution, or the extinction of bees—your passion will shine through your work and impact those who see it.

Don't shy away from being bold and confrontational in your art. Remember, the aim of protest art is to disturb, to stir, to provoke thought and hopefully, action. Whether you choose to create a stark representation of a polluted landscape or a powerful abstract piece that symbolizes the fragility of our environment, your art can inspire change.

Ultimately, your role as an artist extends beyond the canvas. It's about using your art as a platform for change, and turning your creativity into activism. The impact of your environmental-themed mixed media art can be profound, starting conversations, changing perspectives, and even influencing policy.

Representation of pollution

Environmental-themed mixed media art also provides a creative platform for showcasing the effects of pollution. It's a tragic reality of the modern world that's often overlooked or dismissed. As artists, we have the unique power to shed light on these issues, and make them impossible to ignore.

You might be wondering—how can I represent pollution in my art? Well, there are countless ways to approach this. But remember, your goal is to create art that not only looks striking but also sends a clear message about the harmful effects of pollution.

One effective way is to literally incorporate elements of pollution into your artwork. This could be anything from plastic bags and bottles to oil smears or even scrap metal. By incorporating these materials, you're not just creating a visual representation of pollution—you're using the very items causing the issue to drive your point home.

Alternatively, you could use your art to depict the before-and-after effects of pollution. For example, you could create a vibrant, healthy coral reef on one side of your canvas, contrasted with a bleached, dying reef on the other. This stark comparison can be incredibly powerful, and it's sure to make your audience stop and think.

However you choose to represent pollution in your environmental-themed mixed media art, remember the importance of your role. Your artwork can bring attention to an issue that is often overlooked, and ultimately, inspire action towards a cleaner, healthier world.

Mixing techniques for environmental themes

Creating environmental-themed mixed media art often involves using a combination of various artistic techniques. This fusion of methods can result in some truly unique and impactful pieces. But the question is—how do you effectively mix these techniques?

Firstly, consider the theme you're working with. Whether it's deforestation, pollution, or climate change, each subject can lend itself to different artistic methods. For instance, if you're focusing on deforestation, you might want to use collage to depict the stark contrast between lush forests and barren land.

Watercolor could be an effective medium to illustrate the beauty of the natural world, its fragile ecosystems, or the consequences of climate change. The fluidity and transparency of watercolor can create a sense of vulnerability, making it a powerful tool in your artistic arsenal.

Texture is another aspect you'll want to play with. You could use anything from sand, bark, leaves, or even recycled materials to give your artwork a tactile quality. This can make your work more immersive, inviting the viewer to not just look, but to touch and explore.

Lastly, don't forget about the power of color. You can use color to evoke emotions, highlight specific elements, or create a visual narrative. For example, vibrant greens and blues can represent a healthy environment, while grays and browns can symbolize destruction and decay.

Remember, the beauty of mixed media art lies in its versatility. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new techniques. After all, you're not just creating art—you're also telling a story about our environment.

If you're intrigued by the idea of incorporating environmental themes into your mixed media art, you might be interested in the workshop 'Using Nature and Photography as a Form of Meditation' by Louis Bever. This workshop will help you explore the connection between nature, photography, and mindfulness, enhancing your creative process and incorporating environmental themes into your art in a meaningful way.