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Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch
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Prompt

Use hand painted paper collage to create a portrait of your room.

Core Ideas

Composition, pattern, collage, color, tone, depth

Recommended Courses

Supplies

Art Prof Caution

Utility Knives & X-Acto knives are extremely sharp and it’s really easy to cut yourself by accident!  Always wear a kevlar glove on your hand which is not holding the knife to prevent injuries. 

Art Supplies: Strathmore Bristol Board
Art Supplies: Scissors
Art Supplies: Gluestick
X-acto knife
Art Supplies: Mod Podge

Tools to make marks:  rubber stamps, combs, sponges, burlap, mesh, etc.

Process

Paper Preparation

1.
Mix acrylic paint on a sheet of freezer paper. Mix paint into many different colors.

Watch this video below for info on palettes and mixing colors in acrylic.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

2.
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.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

3.
Paint patterns over the first layer of paint.

Experiment with different kinds of marks using combs, rubber stamps, palette knives, and more.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

4.
On other papers, paint graphic, repeating patterns with a brush like zigzags or triangles.

Allow the papers to dry.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

Composition

1.
In your room, find a point of view you want to recreate. Take a photo and print it out for reference.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

2.
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.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

Collage

1.
Organize your painted paper into groups of light and dark pieces.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

2.
Using scissors or an x-acto knife, cut the painted paper to match the shapes you drew on your Bristol board.

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.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

3.
Lay out the pieces of painted paper on your Bristol board. Glue the big pieces on the Bristol with a glue stick.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

4.
Cut, layer, and glue smaller shapes on top of the big shapes

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

5.
Paint a thin layer of  Mod Podge to make a cohesive surface.

Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch
Painted Paper Collage, Lauryn Welch

Examples

Ro Antia

Ro Antia
Intern

“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.”

Cindy Qiao

Cindy Qiao
Project Assistant

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.”

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