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Collage Materials & Techniques

Lesson 2 from: Experiment with Abstract Collage Art

Amy Wynne

Collage Materials & Techniques

Lesson 2 from: Experiment with Abstract Collage Art

Amy Wynne

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Lesson Info

2. Collage Materials & Techniques

Not all tools for creating abstract collage are the same, so let’s talk about what you absolutely need to succeed when diving into collage.

Lesson Info

Collage Materials & Techniques

I find collage materials to be so exciting because quite honestly you can use pretty much anything to make a collage. So I want to show you some of the things that I really enjoy working with. And then I invite you to start collecting things like magazines. You know, you might be leaving through a magazine and see this incredible green color and you can just tear it out and put it in your collage pile to use at a later date. I like to use um Sometimes I like to use envelopes. You know, I collect envelopes especially if they have beautiful colors inside. You never really know what's gonna be inside when you open it up and they often have a lot of really beautiful patterns on them. I also sometimes use like stickers that come off of a package. Um Some of these other papers here are things I'm about to show you ways that you can maybe prepare handmade hand colored papers for collage but also some other store bought options for collage. So once you start collecting things to make collages ...

with, you'll just start to amass a collage palette where you'll have multiple colors and you'll be able to pull things really quickly. Um and have a lot to work with. All right, So I want to talk about papers first because often collages done with paper collage can also be done with fabric with wood, um cardboard. All sorts of things. But basically paper is a very common collage material. So typically you'll have a substrate, which would be just a backing to glue things onto this just happens to be a basic piece of paper. And then in terms of different types of papers, you know there's your um you know basic construction paper which has there are many colors you can buy. And you can even just use like kids construction paper and construction paper can obviously be cut. You can make some beautiful shapes by cutting. It can also and this is true of all these papers I'm gonna show you scissors are just one way to work with creating shapes. Another way would be especially if you have maybe more precise shapes or small shapes that you need is to use some kind of blade. And obviously you want to be careful doing that and often I'll put some kind of backing behind it whether it's a piece of heavy cardboard or a cutting mat like this. And let's say you want to create a shape through cutting and you want to be really careful to keep your hand out of the way right? So using a blade to cut, using scissors to cut. And then the possibility also which I often do of tearing the paper. So tearing the paper without any sort of cutting tool at all creates a very different sort of edge. And you can see that here in some of these softer edged papers. Um these were all torn but this edge was cut. So there are many possibilities and you might think, well that's a subtle thing, You know how you're actually going to cut your paper. But it actually creates a real variety in terms of just the look and the feel of the collage. So I want to show you also just hard edge, soft edge. Store bought sort of paper, handmade paper. The paper was actually handmade not by me but it was hand colored, it was hand painted. I'm going to show you that in a minute. So I love the organic possibilities of painting your own paper. I also love the possibilities of the sort of saturated flat quality of papers like this papers like this. You could buy in the art store but you could also go to like home improvement store or a pain store and take a look at the swatches they have on display and collect from there a little bit here and there. And what's interesting as opposed to when you tear construction paper and get the soft edge. If you tear a paper like this, what happens is and you can kind of see it against the pink. Is that because it's painted on one side when you tear it in a certain way it'll give you a white edge and it will give you a colored edge. And that also creates some beautiful variety in terms of collage. So tearing cutting store bought pigmented papers and then the possibility of hand painted paper I think you know I really build my collage palette around these ideas around these effects. So I'd like to show you how I hand paint paper and this is a piece of porous paper. It's um like a rice paper or a mulberry paper, any kind of paper that sort of fibrous and absorbent I feel is a great one for this sort of possibility. So I'm going to tear it and sometimes I'll just tear some like random shapes, not really knowing in terms of just preparing papers for collage, I'll tear some random shapes, I'll put it down on some kind of backing just for the, you know, just for the painting purpose of painting. And sometimes I'll use diluted watercolor. But oftentimes just because I love the intensity of the pigment, I'll use an ink colored ink. So I'm gonna try that now and you'll see, I think that and you know, this was painted in this way, right? Like torn and painted and the you'll see how the the ink kind of comes out to the edges. So I'm just gonna take a brush, gonna dip it into this really beautiful blue. And I'm gonna go ahead and just paint this in and you can see how it absorbs out to the edge if you use enough ink, it's really beautiful and you can see as the dark ink starts to absorb into the paper, you could see that like heckled edge. So I just think it's so beautiful and then I would let it dry like I did to this one and it would take a bit and then just pull it off and there you have your, you know, your piece to work with. So sometimes if I'm really going to get into a collage jag in the studio and I have some ideas in mind in terms of color, I'll tear a whole bunch of this um rice paper and just do a whole range of colors, let them dry. And then I'm sort of set up to work. So that's a possibility you'll find your own way, hand painted store bought. And then ultimately the thing that's very important is, you know, yeah, I have all these beautiful papers, but how do I attach them to the substrate, How do I attach them to the collage surface? And so there are many glues out there. There are many things you could possibly use. So one thing would be a glue stick and you know, I would recommend getting a glue stick that advertises itself as a pretty like powerful one as opposed to the respectable kind where you can take things off and put things down. So I'm gonna show you just um I'm sure that many of you have used glue sticks, but I'm gonna show you like how I would do it. So I'm gonna take the glue stick, just put it onto the back of this piece of paper and then just flip the paper over, decide where I want it to be. And then just glue it down and hold it for a second. So it adheres in the end. Once you glue a lot of papers down, let's say you've completed your collage. Sometimes I'll take a piece of wax paper and put it over the collage and then put a heavy book on top for a little while just so it really sticks down. But that's not going anywhere that's that's nice and secure. Then you always want to remem to put the cap back on the glue stick again. I know that sounds really basic but I can't, you know you get into the heat of the making and then you come back later and you say oh shoot my glue is all dried up. So glue stick is one way to go. Another way to go is liquid glue. And liquid glue again is totally a possibility. A lot of you have probably this lying around the house. You can put the liquid glue on your piece and sometimes also you could put it in a jar and you might want to use a brush to spread it out, especially if it's in a jar. And then you can flip it and maybe ask yourself, oh that looks kind of nice on top of this other one, give it a little bit of a rub in the back and work in that way. So those are two possibilities. Another possibility which I'm gonna show you later is the hot glue gun. So this really works well. We're gonna do one collage that uses a lot of um kind of heavier cardboard and hot glue gun is a really great way to really get those pieces to stick down. So I'm gonna show you that in a later lesson. So all of these materials, some of them might just be household items that you have lying around. A good glue is really important. If you like the look of these hand painted papers, I invite you to try that out. It's very satisfying and then you can really dictate the colors that you're working with. But again, a basic comte construction paper, something like this in various colors, is a great starting point cutting ripping. And there's nothing like the feeling of like pressing down a piece of beautifully colored paper and really feeling it attached to the surface and start building these beautiful images out of collage

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Collage Materials
Collage Papers
Collage Value Map - Inverse
Cubomania

Ratings and Reviews

Susan Gold
 

Fantastic class! I am a beginner when it comes to abstract collage, and Amy demonstrates a generous number of techniques—all accessible and with clear instructions. She shows how each step can yield exciting variations, and she inspires play. Many of the techniques utilize a photo as a “muse” or “mother image," and it’s fun to discover new possibilities for my photos.

a Creativelive Student
 

Antsy G
 

Student Work

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