Most of us have created a collage at some point or the other – most commonly as teens, when we pasted fun photographs of friends and family on some chart paper, or put together a vision board with some images and text. But collage can be so much more than that!
Getting started with collage: supplies
Gather together images, newspaper and magazine clippings, painted and handmade paper, ribbon, thread, photographs, and anything else that can be glued onto a page or canvas board and you have the makings of a collage.
Add in some paints, pens and charcoal, and you are well on your way to creating mixed media collage pieces that are super easy and fun!
For best results, use matte medium or mod-podge to glue your collage pieces down. While you could use a glue stick, I’ve found that the paper starts to peel off after some time. I also don’t like using Fevicol because it’s thicker than matte medium or mod podge, it’s hard to spread easily, and creates wrinkles and air bubbles in the image, which is not the look I’m after.
Collage techniques: a quick and dirty primer
So now that you have scavenged up some collage supplies from around the house, what can you do with them?
Should you just glue down a few images and words and call it done? Or maybe try photo montages (combining different images to create a new scene)? How can you incorporate paints and pens and make the collage look cohesive instead of a mere collection of different images?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Stick to a color palette. Draw out images and patterned and colored paper in a harmonious palette. Add in some text pages or some textured paper or solid colored paper to create areas where your eyes can rest.
Collage in a contained area. Go as wild with color and images as you like – then paint the rest of the area with one or two colors. You could create some organic texture in the “calm spaces” for interest.
Combine bold images with line work and words to create one-of-a-kind journal pages that are visually and emotionally appealing to you. (Teesha Moore does this beautifully)
Mixed media collages
Collage also lends itself beautifully to painting and mixed media. You can use it as a background layer for texture and interest, or you can use collage elements as the main composition of your piece.
Here’s an interesting mixed media art collage video I found on YouTube. I hope it gives you some interesting ideas that you can use in your art journals!
Put this lesson to work: Which of these tips rocked your socks? Create an art journal page using any one (or maybe a combination) of these tips. I added some collage – scraps from an old book and some scrapbook paper – to yesterday’s brush play page. This page is going to evolve as we go along – as of now, I still don’t know what the end result will look like!