Mixed Media Fine Art

Abstract photographs on canvas, hand embellished with acrylic

If you appreciate original paintings but want something more innovative and contemporary (and more affordable!), you’ll love what we have for you.

Now you can own a unique, hybrid class of fine art that seamlessly blends modern digital imaging with the characteristics of traditional media.

“Wow, is that a photograph? …or a painting?”

We hear this often. Over many years, I’ve developed a distinctive artistic vision and an unusual creative process. The result is my abstract mixed media work, which combines digital photographs, printed on canvas, with acrylic over-painting.

And although these works begin as open edition reproductions, they are finished by hand, so each is one of a kind.

Here’s how they’re made:

Stage 1. Designing with the camera

First, my artworks all begin life as high-resolution digital photographs. I love fine art photography and making pictures within the camera is always my goal. As such, the digital images aren’t heavily manipulated—maybe a slight crop here, some colour adjustment there. But the aim is to stay true to the original capture.

Stage 2. Pixels being born into the real world

After selecting the best photographs from each shoot and making a few minor enhancements, the perfected images are printed on fine art canvas using archival techniques (aka giclée reproductions):

  • High-density pigment inks provide rich, vibrant—and very accurate—colour
  • Canvas manufactured to museum conservation standards
  • Several coats of protective veneer applied to every print

This proven combination results in very high permanence ratings, which means the prints will not fade or change colour after decades—even centuries—have passed. What’s more, the coatings protect the print during the embellishing process.

The canvases are mounted on top-quality, wooden stretcher bars.

And at this point—when typical canvas reproduction jobs may be finished—the real fun begins!

Stage 3. Metamorphosis into mixed media

I hand paint the surface of each print using acrylic gels, texturing mediums and varnishes. The picture is embellished by following its natural contours, textures and tonal values.

Most of the painting is done with many layers of transparent acrylic. But some photographs have details that can be made truly spectacular with special texturing gels added. I often use acrylic paints mixed with

  • iridescent and metallic additives
  • lava flakes
  • glass beads
  • blended fibers
  • natural sand
  • foil transfers – metallic, iridescent, etc.

…and other exotic materials. These make the photograph’s original textures and colours literally leap from the canvas!

Tools and techniques

Using a variety of brushes, sponges, palette knives, trowels and other painting tools, I builds up the painted finish in many layers, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next. A single work may take weeks to complete.

While I’m painting, I play off the original image, mimicking the existing graphics with brush strokes, sponge daubs, maybe scooping paint onto the print using a palette knife. I usually put on thicker layers of acrylic over the lighter areas of the image; for example a bright highlight might get a thick dollop of paint to make it really pop in the final piece.

Finishing touches

Each artwork is hand-signed by me, the artist, and a Certificate of Authenticity is provided. The works are carefully packed and delivered ready to hang.

Toughness built in

My creative process results in finished artworks that are lightweight yet rigid and extremely durable. The surface is scuff- and scratch-resistant and waterproof. They can even be cleaned using a damp cloth!

So, is it a photograph, or a painting?

You choose. Either way, these will look fantastic adorning your walls!


Contact us today for a custom quotation
on your own mixed media fine art!

or click here for examples of abstract photographs
that look gorgeous using these techniques


Note: New commissions are made to order, but some works may also be available for purchase from existing inventory. Ask us for details.

Abstract Mixed Media - The Unicorn In-Situ

Closeup of The Unicorn by Nat Coalson

Hand Embellishing

Closeup of Eternal Cycles by Nat Coalson

Nat Coalson Studio Painting

Kapur Residence - Abstract Mixed Media by Nat Coalson, In-Situ

Fall Impressions (Closeup) - Abstract Mixed Media by Nat Coalson

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