You are on page 1of 20

how to make a collage

4 free mixed media


collage techniques
presented by cloth paper scissors ®

1 3

4
2

1  collage to order:
create with words 3 
objects of my desire:
making sewn paper
collage collections
susan black

2  jenny cochran lee


the elements of collage:
putting it all together
nicole paisley martensen 4 
reverse collage painting:
a bright spot on a winter day
holly christine moody
In “Objects of My Desire: Making
Sewn Paper Collage Collections,”
Jenny Cochran Lee explores how to How to Make a Collage:
turn paper scraps into collage art 4 Free Mixed Media
treasures. Collage Techniques
presented by
Finally, Holly Christine Moody
Cloth Paper Scissors®
offers an easy collage project that online editor Cate Prato
will help you whittle down your
decorative paper stash in a fun creative services
Division Art Director Larissa Davis
way. In “Reverse Collage Painting,”
Photographer Larry Stein
you make a paper collage on

w
a substrate, apply gel medium, Projects and information are for inspiration and
­personal use only. Interweave Press is not ­responsible
hat is collage art? A and then paint over it. The magic for any liability arising from errors, ­omissions, or
whole lot of fun! At happens when you swipe away mistakes contained in this eBook, and readers should
proceed cautiously, especially with respect to technical
the most basic level, some of the paint to reveal the information.
you can make a collage with paper, collage designs below. © F+W Media, Inc. All rights reserved. F+W Media
glue, and a substrate like a canvas grants permission for any or all pages in this eBook to
With How to Make a Collage: 4 Free be copied for personal use.
or watercolor paper. But once you
Mixed-Media Collage Techniques,
expand your supplies to include
you’ll learn how to use a variety of
other media like paint, stitching,
materials and approaches you can
photos, and marking tools—the
use to make similar collage projects
sky’s the limit.
or mix and match to create your Where mixed -media
In How to Make a Collage: 4 Free own.
Mixed-Media Collage Techniques,
Warmly,
artists come to play
you’ll discover four different
approaches to collage from expert
mixed-media artists.
In “Collage to Order: Create with
Words,” Susan Black shows how Cate Prato
to play with paper and typography Online Editor,
to make a collage that captures Cloth Paper Scissors Today
a favorite sentiment or a special
name.
Nicole Paisley Martensen uses a
variety of mixed-media collage
techniques and transparent fabric
layers to blend spontaneity and
technical construction in “The
Elements of Collage: Putting it All
Together.” clothpaperscissors.com

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 2
Adapted from
Cloth Paper Scissors®
September/October 2012

collage to order
create with words
How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com
©F+W Media, Inc. 3
m at e r i a l s
• Watercolor paper (I prefer
hot-press, bright white watercolor
paper.)
by susan black • Pencil

a
• Eraser
s a former graphic designer, I’ve always had a big love for typography
• Tracing paper
and for using words to communicate visually and creatively. Add to • Tape
that love a big pile of vintage books, a few old atlases, a stack of decorative • Decorative papers: sheet music,
patterned, colored, etc.
paper, a shoebox of tissue paper in vivid colors, scraps of wrapping paper,
• Watercolors
postage stamps, some paint and drawing pens, ink, scissors, glue, a passion
• Paintbrushes, detail
for collage, and “poof” my own typographic mixed-media style began to • Craft knife
emerge. • Cutting mat
• Scissors
I love combining typography with works perfectly to capture a favorite • Glue (I like to use Zig® glue pens
pattern and paper and then drawing and/ inspirational sentiment, a line from a and gel medium.)
or painting on top. This piece “Call for poem, a child’s name for easy wall art, a • Drawing pen, fine
Art” was commissioned for Cloth Paper special date, and just about anything else • Gouache or acrylic ink, black
Scissors magazine, but this technique you can think of. optional
• Light box
commission notes: If you’ve ever • Scanner/copier
considered working on commission pieces,
follow along to get a few tips on the
process.

directions
note: I use a small, tabletop light box and
have found it to be an indispensable tool.
If you don’t have a light box you can use a
window and lightly trace your final design
onto the top layer of watercolor paper so
you’ll have an indication for positioning
the letters.

commission notes: Once a client


contacts you about the commission, meet
with them or exchange emails to get a
sense of the final piece.

1. Roughly sketch or trace a few ideas in


pencil on paper, refining the design as
you go. (Figure 1) Add patterns to the
letters, like the leaves in the top row
Figure 1
“L” and the rose pattern in the letter
“A.”

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 4
commission notes: Now’s the time to
get some client feedback. You may have to
tweak one or two elements. If you do, make
sure to run the final piece with the changes
by the client.

2. Once you have a design you’re all


happy with, redraw the design to size
or use your scanner and computer (or
photocopier) to enlarge the design and
then print it out in the size you want
the final art to be.

3. Redraw your design on a piece of


tracing paper. This will allow you
to audition the decorative papers
beneath the tracing paper, and make Figure 2
it much easier to cut the letters out.

4. Tape the tracing paper drawing to the


back of the watercolor paper along
the top edge, like a hinge, so you can
flip the watercolor paper out of the
way as needed. You’ll see the design
quite clearly through the paper.

tip: Try different bold-colored or patterned


papers for your background. A solid sheet
of vintage book paper or kraft paper looks
fantastic, too. Figure 3

5. Decide on your color palette and


indicate these color choices on the
drawing. (Figure 2) I like to keep my
palette simple and prefer the pale
cream of vintage book pages with kraft
and black papers for my neutrals, and
then I add one predominant color—in
this case red.

commission notes: Share your color


options with the client and let them choose
their favorite palette of colors.

Figure 4

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 5
6. Once you’ve chosen your palette,
paint the areas of color in any
pattern you’ve drawn into the design.
(Figure 3)

tip: I find simplifying a palette makes


for a stronger design. Too many different
colors can distract from the words, letters,
and the meaning of the piece.

7. Tape the tracing paper onto a window


or the light box and place your first
paper choice over the design. Flip
the watercolor paper up and tape it
out of the way, if necessary. Trace the
outline of the letter onto the paper
Figure 5
with pencil. I used sheet music.
Cut the letter out, erase any pencil
marks, and put the letter aside.
Repeat for the rest of the letters.
(Figure 4)

tip: When working with dark paper that’s


difficult to see through, use a small piece
of tracing paper to draw the outline of the
letter. Place the tracing paper over the dark
patterned paper, deciding what part of
the pattern you want the letter to contain,
and then cut out the letter from the tracing
paper and paper while holding the tracing
Figure 6
paper in position. You could also use a bit
of repositionable glue to hold the tracing
paper in place. (Figure 5)

8. I like to cut out all of the letters first


and position them on the watercolor
paper before gluing to make sure I’m
pleased with the final composition
and the mix of patterns and colors.
Once you’re absolutely sure of the
layout, glue the letters in place and
let dry. (Figure 6)

Figure 7

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 6
9. Use the drawing pen to add the line
details in any of the painted pattern
areas. (Figure 7)

10. Using a fairly small paintbrush (or


brush pen) and the black gouache
or acrylic ink, loosely outline all the
letters. The addition of this black
line really pulls the whole design
a note on
together. (Figures 8 and 9)

tip: Imperfections add character when


papers
drawing or painting the details and choosing the paper
outlines—the looser the better. Don’t try Figure 8
I used hot-press bright white
to follow the edges exactly. Let the
brushstrokes be fluid with thick and thin watercolor paper because it has the
areas. smoothest surface, and I wanted to
add painted elements. If you’re just
11. Trace, cut out, and embellish collaging elements, use any type
any top layer or overlapping of background material: cardstock,
shapes. I created a banner that I canvas, cardboard, furniture, etc.
edged with watered-down black Experiment with different materials.
gouache and embellished with gathering your paper stash
cut letters before adhering it to • Decorative papers, especially
the collage. (Figure 10) those with small prints or
commission notes: Now it’s neutrals are a staple in my paper
time to wrap up the piece and stash.
deliver it to your sure-to-be-
delighted client.
• Find vintage paper. Search yard
sales, vintage stores, and Etsy
susanblackdesign.blogspot.ca Figure 9 sellers for old books, maps, ledger
paper, handwritten notes, and
letters.

• Bits of packaging, wrapping


paper, inexpensive and brightly
colored tissue paper are another
staple. I love tissue for its
translucent qualities, and it’s
available in an amazing variety of
vivid colors.

Once you’ve been bitten by the


collage paper bug you’ll begin
looking at every scrap of paper with a
different eye. Let all your friends and
family know that you’re collecting
paper and before you know it you’ll
have your own great paper stash.
Figure 10

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 7
“Émigré” • 46" × 31"

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 8
Adapted from
Cloth Paper Scissors®
May/June 2011 m at e r i a l s

the
• Silk habotai, white or ivory, at least

elements
24" × 36"
• Freezer paper
• Iron

       putting • Ironing surface, large (See “Make


your own ironing surface.”)

of
       it all
• Masking tape

collage
• Liquid acrylic paints and/or

      together
watered-down latex house paint
(Golden Artist Colors® liquid acrylics
in Titan Buff and Payne’s Gray are

m
some of my staples.)
• Paintbrushes: 11/2" and 3"
y art making often begins with a morning dog walk. The hills behind
housepainter’s brushes, 1/2" and 1"
my home are crisscrossed with trails through oak woodland, alongside flat artist’s brushes, and a thin liner
seasonal creeks and wildflower meadows, and this is often the most contemplative brush for details

part of my day. While walking, I feel my way through my next piece of art, assembling • Computer, scanner, and inkjet printer
layers in my mind, choosing and discarding images and textures that are back home in
• Photographs and paper ephemera
my studio. I think it’s this formative time, this simmering and mental sorting, that allows
• Photo transfer paper for inkjet
printers
for my ultimate goal of thinking about nothing and working intrinsically when I’m
• Photocopier, toner-based
making the actual piece of art. • Fabric scraps: silk organza, silk
dupioni, kimono fabric, vintage
Collage by its very nature can be viewed The panels shown in this article linens (no synthetics)
as anti-Zen. First, there is clutter. My are free‑hanging silk panels that I
• Fusible web (I used Pellon® 805
studio is a veritable whirlwind of bits layered with transferred images, paint, WonderUnder®.)
and scraps. Second, there are many ways transparent organza, and other fabrics. • Digital camera
to collage. It’s an art form that presents The large scale of my work helps to
• Parchment paper
endless and overwhelming possibilities, provide space for the energy and rawness
• Blender pen (I use a Chartpak®
sometimes with the nullifying I try to impart in each piece. colorless blender pen.)
(terrifying) question of how do I choose?
Movement and expressiveness are • Rubber gloves
And third, there are the multiple media.
extremely important in my art. I use big • Bone folder
In my own work I use a number of
sweeping strokes while painting and let • Spray bottle with water
different media, often all in one piece.
paint drip down the length of the panel, • Paint palette
What I look for in making collage is often spraying the paint with water, • Spray paint
how to pull these elements together smudging and spattering it. I enjoy the • China markers (black and white), oil
to tell a story or evoke an atmosphere contrast of the delicate nature of the pastels, and/or an ebony pencil or
or emotion, to create coherence out of silk fabric with the gritty treatment of soft graphite pencil
dissonance. I’m trying to replicate how distressing the surface. • Krylon® workable fixative
the mind works when we latch onto • Hanging hardware
Using the following steps, think of how
a thought and bounce around in that optional
to translate a sensory experience into a
moment, when the process becomes • Gesso, transparent (I use Winsor &
visual one, and how to find spontaneity
more important than the subject. Newton™ brand.)
in technical construction.
• Sewing machine or needle and
thread
by nicole paisley martensen

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 9
optional: Brush transparent gesso over
the silk for a smooth texture similar to
parchment paper. This provides a toothy
surface for acrylic paint to drip and glide.
If you prefer a more diaphanous, watery
look (see “Émigré”), skip this step.

3. Using the 3" paintbrush, paint your


panel with liquid acrylics or watered-
down latex house paint. Using a large
brush helps keep things loose and
abstract at this stage. I often use
light colors to start. Let the paint dry
completely.

assembling
collage elements
Take a few moments to prepare and
collect the elements for your collage.
Using a mixture of inkjet photo transfers
and solvent transfers (see “Solvent Image
Transfers” on the last page) adds to the
textural quality and depth of your piece.

1. Scan and make inkjet photo transfers


of the photos and/or paper ephemera
you plan to use. Don’t forget to use
the mirror image setting on your
printer as necessary.

favorite
“Buildanark” • 51" × 29"
sources for
directions collage
preparing materials
your canvas • Flea markets and antique stores
1. Iron sheets of freezer paper • Vintage goods sold on etsy.com
(shiny-side down) onto the silk habotai
until you’ve covered one • Urban streets and sidewalks
side completely. •  y own photos. I always walk
M
2. Tape the corners of the silk, with a camera to photograph
paper-side down, to the ironing textures in nature or peeling
surface with masking tape. This paint in the city.
creates a temporary substrate for •  he bottom of my purse
T
working on your panel. (receipts, ticket stubs, etc.)

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 10
great opportunities for adding pattern
and texture.

creating the
composition
1. Lay your panel on your work surface.
Begin laying out your transfers and
fabric scraps. Overlap and obscure
some layers, and let some of the
transfers and fabrics run off the edges
of the panel. Use the entire space, or
leave large areas of negative space.
This is often an energetic process for
me as I tend to move pieces around
a lot and try new compositional
“You are My Death Camas” • 45" × 31" schemes.

2.  eave your layout and don’t peek at it


L
tip: Enlarged natural textures, like photos the photocopier so that the original
of tree bark or water, make great photo
for a few hours—or a few days. Come
context becomes indecipherable.
transfers and can be painted over later. back to your piece with fresh eyes and
3. Cut the fabric scraps larger than determine if anything needs to change.
2. Make mirror-image photocopies of you intend to use them and iron Is there an area that is too dominant?
any black-and-white line drawings, fusible web to the back of each Too weak? Climb a ladder to get a
botanical illustrations, or text you’d piece, following the manufacturer’s different perspective.
like to incorporate to use as solvent instructions. Allow the fabrics
3. When you are pleased with your
transfers. Use a toner-based photocopier to cool and then cut them to the
overall composition, take digital
for this as inkjet copies won’t work as desired sizes. Vintage kimono fabric,
photos so you have a visual record of
solvent transfers. Play with the scale of silk organza, silk dupioni, and
how to re-create your piece once you
these elements, enlarging them on embroidered tablecloths provide
begin assembling it.

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 11
making your
own ironing
surface
it will
dry
quickly.
• Masonite® board, size of choice Burnish
each section
• Fabric, enough to wrap the board
with the
(I used cotton with an aluminized
bone folder
coating for a smooth, heat-
as you go. This
resistant cover.)
technique works
• Small nails or Duct® tape best on smooth,
bring your canvas outside,
tightly woven fabrics.
directions experiment with spray painting
CAUTION: Blender pens are solvent- certain blank areas, or spray paint to
1. Cover the Masonite board with based pens, so it is important to use them obscure other areas that have become
the fabric, wrapping the fabric to in a well-ventilated area. too precious or overworked.
the back of the board.
Tack the fabric in place or use 4. Add abstract marks with the black and
2. fa b r i c s c r ap s
Duct tape to secure it. white China markers, ebony and/or
Remove the paper backing from the fusible graphite pencils, and oil pastels.
note: I like a hard surface to press web on the backs of the fabric scraps.
the iron onto. I think it makes for I mist the fusible with water before 5. In a well-ventilated area, spray
clearer image transfers. It’s also ironing it. I find it makes a stronger workable fixative over any areas where
easier to use the board to draw you used pencil or oil pastels. Let
bond. Cover the fabric with parchment
and paint on later, using the board the panel dry completely, and then
upright. Some artists prefer a softer, paper, and iron the fabric in place. Repeat
for each of the fabric scraps. carefully remove the
padded surface. For that, add a
layer of batting under the fabric. freezer-paper backing from
note: Refer back to the digital photos of your panel.
your layout for placement.
optional: If you have any other fabric
assembly scraps you’d like to include, stitch them on
more painting now with a sewing machine or by hand.
inkjet photo t r a n sf e r s
1. Prop the canvas upright and prepare
Following the manufacturer’s directions, 6. Create a means of hanging the
your paint palette. I’m heavily
iron the inkjet photo transfers onto your panel. I usually finish off the tops of
influenced by street art and fashion
panel. Use parchment paper between my panels by either sewing a narrow
design, so I tend to use a lot of bright
the transfer and your iron to protect the sleeve to house a hollow metal rod,
colors as accents in my work.
painted surface. or I fasten grommets in the upper
2. Brush on color, using different corners.
solvent image t r a n sf e r s brush widths and paint viscosities.
When we engage in the moment where
Encourage paint to drip by spraying
Position the black-and-white images, colors, and patterns reference
areas of your canvas with water.
photocopies onto the panel where you’d and relate to each other, our art itself
like to transfer the images. Wearing 3. Carve scribbles or words into the becomes a meditative process.
gloves, apply blender pen to the back thicker areas of paint with the nicolepaisley.com
of the photocopy, one section at a time. wooden end of your paintbrush. If
Because the blender pen is solvent based, you live in a region where you can

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 12
objects of my desire
MAKING SEWN PAPER COLLAGE COLLECTIONS
by jenny cochran lee

e ven as a child, I was a collector. For years I kept rocks, feathers, and
Cracker Jack® prizes safely hoarded in a potato chip can. That can is
now gone, but the urge to hang onto treasures is not. I’m still a collector. But
Flea markets and antique shops are
filled with these items. But instead of
spending money and causing clutter
with the real objects, I decided to
nowadays my treasures are the people in my life and the little things that bring create my own treasure collections
me joy every day: eyeglasses, scissors, and silverware. Eyeglasses are a new using sewn paper collage. This object-
making technique is straightforward and
treasure for me, as I now need them in order to read, apply mascara, and see
requires supplies that you will probably
my children’s faces when we hug. To me, eyeglasses are a reminder to seek already have on hand. So, what are you
clarity and look at things in different ways. Scissors remind me of my mom, waiting for? Gather up your paper scraps
who spent countless hours cutting and sewing the majority of my childhood and take a trip into the flea market of
your memory and imagination. What
wardrobe. I use scissors in all my art making and I love the way they bridge my
treasures will you uncover?
past with my current creative life. And silverware holds memories of fellowship
with family and friends. It reminds me to be grateful for the treasure of food,
from decadent cherry cheesecake to a simple and sustaining bowl of rice. Adapted from
Cloth Paper Scissors®
September/October 2012

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 13
Figure 1

directions m at e r i a l s
• Stretched canvas, canvas board,
preparing the or illustration board (cut to
desired size)
background • Paper scraps, a variety of colors and
1. Select papers that will provide a patterns
subtle, yet interesting background. • Paintbrushes, small and medium
The objects will be the focus. • Gel medium, matte (I use
Liquitex®.)
2. Cut or tear the papers into strips.
• Pencil and scrap paper
3. Using a medium-sized paintbrush, • Paper, 100-lb. paper (I use
apply gel medium to the back of the Bristol paper.)
paper strips and then layer them over • Scissors
the entire surface of the substrate. • Sewing machine with black
Allow some pieces of paper to hang thread
off the edges. These can be trimmed • Acrylic paint, black
when dry. Set aside to dry for at least • Paper towels
an hour. Overnight is best. • Plastic bag or plastic wrap
approximately the same size
creating the objects as your finished piece
• Clear finish spray (I used Krylon®
1. Draw a basic outline of the object
Low Odor Finish.)
you have chosen. Remember to keep
optional
it simple. The goal is representation,
• Scanner and printer
not exact replica! (Figure 1)
• Acrylic paints, assorted colors
2. Cut out your drawing and trace at • Embellishments: buttons, metal
least 3–5 copies of the image onto fasteners, etc.
the 100-lb. paper. You can also use a • Awl
scanner and printer for this process.
(Figure 1)

3. Cut out the copies. Don’t worry too


much about precision. You will be
covering the entire surface of each
piece.

4. Tear some paper scraps into small


pieces about 1⁄2" in diameter.
(Figure 2)

Figure 2

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 14
note: As you tear, keep the pieces sorted tips for
by pattern and color. I use a muffin tin to
keep my pieces organized. sewing
5. Using a small paintbrush and gel
medium, randomly layer the paper
paper
pieces over the entire surface of each • You don’t need to use a special
cut object. Allow the paper pieces to needle for this project, but you
hang over all edges of the objects. Set will need to replace the needle
aside to dry for at least 15 minutes. in your machine when you are
done. Stitching through multiple
6. Trim the overlapping papers from the
layers of paper and glue will
edges of the object. (Figure 3)
Figure 3 make the needle dull.
7. Using a standard straight stitch,
• Practice sewing on scrap pieces
machine stitch an outline around
to establish a comfortable speed
each object. (Figure 4) Carefully trim
and to learn how to maneuver
any loose threads and dot the ends of
tight spaces.
the threads with gel medium to
prevent unraveling. • Skinny or curvy pieces can
be tricky to stitch. Keep your
8. Add embellishments or fasteners
fingertips at least 1" back from
as desired.
the needle as you feed the object
note: I added small metal brads to my under the presser foot
scissors so that I could adjust the scissor of the machine.
blades on each pair.
• Go slowly. In particularly tight
9. Using your fingertip or a small spots, use the hand wheel to
paintbrush, rub the acrylic paint move the needle.
along the edges of each piece. Figure 4

choosing
papers
• Choose a variety of shades and
patterns within each color
choice. As the papers are layered,
this diversity creates rich texture.

• Great paper sources include


scrapbook papers, magazine
pages, discarded textbooks, junk
mail, and art mistakes. (Never
throw away those mishaps!)

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 15
assembly 2. Using a small paintbrush, apply a on top of the plastic. This will help
generous amount of gel medium to flatten out the bulkier parts of the
1. Once the paint is dry, play around the back of the first object in your piece. After a few hours, carefully
with object arrangement. arrangement. Place the object on remove the plastic.
note: I like to use a digital camera to
the substrate. Put a clean paper
4. With your fingertip or a small
document my favorite arrangement. I use towel over the object, place your
paintbrush, rub acrylic paint along
this photograph as a reference when I glue hand over the object, and hold the
the edge of the substrate. Allow the
everything down. object in place for at least 2 minutes.
paint to dry.
This will help the object stick to
the background. Continue this 5. Add paint splatters and other accents,
process with each object in your as desired. Allow the paint to dry.
arrangement.

ideas
6. Finish with a coat of the clear
other 3. Place a plastic bag or plastic wrap on spray.
top of the piece. Place heavy books texterial.blogspot.com
• Create a mix of objects related to
a specific theme, such as sewing
supplies, sports equipment, or
kitchen utensils.

• Spell out a word or a loved one’s


name using sewn paper letters.

• Change the scale. Use a large


canvas and giant paper objects.

• Go abstract. Choose bold colors


to create sewn paper doodles,
concentric circles, and squiggles.

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 16
Adapted from
Cloth Paper Scissors®
November/December 2011

Left: “Let it Snow” • 12" × 12" canvas


Right: “Winter Tree” • 51/2" × 11" wood block

m at e r i a l s
• Substrate: canvas, wood, or a

reverse
picture frame (I chose a
12" × 12" gallery-wrapped canvas.)
• Decorative papers (I like to use

collage
brightly colored scrapbook paper
with bold patterns like Cosmo
Cricket™ brand.)
• Scissors

painting
• Paintbrush, 3/4" flat
• Acrylic gel medium (I use Golden
Artist Colors® Regular Gel Gloss.)
• Heavy-body acrylic paint
(I used Golden Artist Colors burnt
umber and cobalt.) a bright spot
• Cotton swabs
• Paper towels
on a winter day
• Gel pen, white (I use Sakura® Gelly
Roll®.)

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 17
w inter is the perfect time to
cozy up in your studio with
a cup of cocoa and unleash your
For this project, I chose to combine
brightly colored papers with dark paint
to create a dramatic and unique look
that will brighten even the darkest
tip: Papers with raised designs
and/or glitter are more difficult to work
with because the paint fills the cracks,
making it tough to remove the paint in
later steps.
creativity. When the weather outside winter days.
is frightful, I find that is the best time
to grab my bucket full of cheerful
papers and get to work. Come along
with me to create a winter-themed
piece that celebrates the season
while adding a bright spot to your
home.

by holly christine moody

Figure 1

directions
2. Paint a generous layer of acrylic
gel medium onto the surface of the
substrate and add papers to create a
create the colorful collage. Don’t overthink this
background part too much. Just be sure that the
papers overlap so that you will end
1. Cut the decorative papers into varying
up with a textured background. Add
sizes of squares and rectangles. Blues
more gel medium where the papers
and greens go beautifully together,
overlap.
but other color combinations work
just as well. tip: I often use the end of my paintbrush
to smooth down any paper that has a
bubble of gel medium under it.

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 18
notes
• I t takes practice to determine the
perfect amount of paint to use.
Use a generous coat of paint, or
you will find that the paint dries
before you are able to complete
your design.

•  ou may have to go over the


Y
design several times to remove
all of the paint. You’ll notice that
some of the paint stays in the
crevices of your brushstrokes,
giving the piece a bit of a
distressed look.
•  ou can remove as much or as
Y
little paint as you like depending
on how bright you want the final
painting to be.

Figure 2

Figure 4

Figure 3

3. When you have covered the entire


add the paint
surface with paper, add another
generous coat of gel medium to the 1. Add a generous coat of the burnt
entire piece and let it dry completely. umber paint to a small section of
(Figure 1) your collage. It is best to start on
the outside, working in towards the
tip: Take care to make sure the paper is
middle.
pressed flat and that your brushstrokes all
go in one direction. This will make it easier 2. Using a cotton swab or your finger
to lift off the paint in the next steps. wrapped in a paper towel, draw your
design into the paint. Continue this

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 19
Right: This is the reverse side of
“Be Merry.” Consider making a
piece that you can turn over and use
when the holidays are over.

process until you have “painted” the


entire surface with your design. Let it
dry completely. (Figure 2)

3. Add details with the gel pen. Simply


outlining your shapes helps to bring
more definition to the painting. I
also enjoy using polka dots whenever
possible. (Figure 3)

4. Paint the outer edge of your painting


with a bright, complementary color.
I used the cobalt paint for this step.
(Figure 4)

Isn’t it amazing that the simple


combination of colorful paper and dark
paint results in such a bright and c­ heerful
piece of art? Now pour yourself another
cup of cocoa, curl up, and admire your
handiwork.
hollychristine.net

How to Make a Collage: 4 Free Mixed Media Collage Techniques clothpaperscissors.com


©F+W Media, Inc. 20