Tools to make marks: rubber stamps, combs, sponges, burlap, mesh, etc.
Cover entire sheets of the mixed media paper with a base color or gradient, using a wide brush. Make sure your paper isn’t too thick so you can cut it easily later. It’s okay if the paper warps.
Paint at least five different tones of paper. Paint some papers with thick paint, and paint some with paint that has been watered down.
Allow the papers to dry.
On other papers, paint graphic, repeating patterns with a brush like zigzags or triangles.
Allow the papers to dry.
In your room, find a point of view you want to recreate. Take a photo and print it out for reference.
On a large piece of Bristol board, using a pencil, loosely sketch the composition of your photo.
Block in all the walls, floor, ceiling, and large objects, and don’t worry about details.
Extend the edges and corners of the walls, floor, and ceiling through any objects in the way, as if the objects were transparent.
Organize your painted paper into groups of light and dark pieces.
Look carefully at your photo and make a note of whether those shapes are light or dark in the space you are working from.
You want to cut your pieces bigger than your objects. You can always cut your pieces down smaller, but you can’t add the paper back once it’s gone.
Cut, layer, and glue smaller shapes on top of the big shapes
“I have little experience in working abstractly; collages are one of my artistic nightmares. I remember making three collages during a summer art program and confusing everyone with them. I force myself to make at least one collage every month, but they look more aesthetically pleasing in the trash can, at least in my opinion.
Thus, this time, I am super excited to give it another go. After I selected my composition, habitually I tried to plan the colours and even patterns out on the page. However, I realized that I would have much more fun letting them work themselves out (one of the perks of working in a style that you are not familiar with is that there’s no pre-established expectations pressuring any specific result).
I then experimented with random colour mixes and patterns, my favourite being using a palette knife, dipping it in every colour on my palette and dragging them across the paper. I have only recently became obsessed with the visual excitement and satisfaction incited by flatness and colour blocks.
Although the messiness of colour and patterns in my collage and the lack of a glaring sense of dimensions were slightly unsettling at first, I began to appreciate that I have let myself loose and experimented with bold colours and shapes.”
“Making a painted paper collage was a very new way to prep for collages. I’ve done my fair share of high school magazine collages, hating every minute of looking through years of pre-picked through magazines trying to find the right color for my piece. By making the materials for collaging, I found myself enjoying the experience a lot more, as if I wanted more of any color or pattern, I could just paint it.
I really liked making my piece, but had difficulty choosing what details to include or not. I focused a lot on shapes overall, and started by trying to work with a proper perspective, giving up halfway through, once I had collaged over my lines. Overall, I remembered how messy I get with mixing paint and glue.”
“I was so excited for this project because I absolutely love collage. But I think what made this project more than ‘just another collage piece’ was the subject matter. The process of photographing and choosing an aspect of my own room as the subject made the piece personal and more important to me.
Another part of this project that made it more personal was painting the actual collage material. There was something so relaxing and therapeutic about just painting patterns and mixing colors. As I started piecing together the different patterns, I loved to see how they contrasted each other. Like most collage pieces, the final piece was unexpected, in the best way.”