Sunday, November 23, 2014

painted paper collage

Welcome back!  
I am now ready to show you my process, step-by-step, for creating the above collage painting of some simple flowers.

You will need the following supplies:

scrapbook/patterned papers with a variety of colors and patterns
 (I cut mine down to various sizes, as shown above)
gesso (a thick white paint to obscure the paper colors a bit, mute them)
tissue paper, preferably white so the colored papers will show through
glue (I like mod podge, but watered-down white glue is fine)
foam brushes/cheap white paint brushes
acrylic paints (choose colors intuitively, either to match or clash with your backgrounds! get crazy!)
metallic gold acrylic paint
(my faves: 1/2" flat,
scruffy brush, and long skinny liner brush)

step one: lay out all your various scrapbook papers to choose from
(and if you have cats, watch them go wild trying them all out as their new favorite seats!)

                         Trim your scrapbook papers down to whatever size you want.  These are your                               background papers, onto which your flowers will soon appear.

              Now I go to work slapping down some gesso, in thin streaks, across the papers, to mute the colors a bit. Give the background a bit of "white space" to make the flowers "pop".                

                        I like to add a narrow strip of contrasting paper across the middle of the page, about 2/3 down from the top, to act as a grounding piece, sort of a horizon.  I chose some of these cool water or grassy images from this "photo real" stack of scrapbook paper.

Instead of cutting with a scissors, I tear the edges to give it a rugged, natural look.  Experiment with pulling the paper towards you or away from you as you tear, to give you different edges. (you'll see what i mean when you do it...)

Glue down the strip.  I made 6 of these at once, so I could work assembly-line style, and get a lot more done when all of the processes were complete.

Next, cut a sheet of tissue paper to a little bit larger than your background paper.  Crinkle up the tissue paper, and carefully flatten it out again, leaving lots of wrinkles for some yummy texture. Spread glue across the background, then very care-ful-ly flatten the tissue paper down.  Add another thin Use the foam brush dipped in a little glue to spread it out, flatten it down till it's completely covered and secure.  Make sure you left plenty of lumpy wrinkly spots, wrinkles give us character!! :-D

Here's the fun part: making circles!  Find all those fun patterned papers again, and start cutting circles out of it in two different sizes, a larger one (about 2-1/2") for the outer circle and a smaller one (1") for the center. I use a glue stick to glue the center dots to the bigger circles.  Have fun pairing different colors and patterns in interesting combinations.  They'll be lightly painted over later, so don't worry if the colors look creepy together.

                             You might be tempted to use a circle cutter or circle punch for these, if you have plethora of scrapbooking supplies like I do, and I did succumb to the temptation for awhile, but they really look better, more natural and organic-ish if you just freehand them.

Glue the circles to your backgrounds however you wish.  These are the blooms of your flowers!

Next, add some contrasting colored paint to your background, using a flat brush.  Work lightly, in dabs or swooshes or streaks, dabbing some of it off with a paper towel so the patterned background still shows through a bit.

            (Below, a close-up of the cool texture created from the glued-down, wrinkly tissue paper!)

                            I used a scruffy stipple brush to pounce on some random dabs of pink here..              

                   Then use your flat brush to lightly paint the flowers themselves, using some watered-down acrylics.  Don't completely cover them; as long as the paint is thin, the patterns underneath should still show through faintly.

                        Add more interest to the background with textural stamps, bubble wrap, etc.                              

                         Highlight the edges of your flowers with some shiny metallic gold paint.  I love                                             this step, it really makes the colors shine!

                        Then, for the best eye-popping trick of all, use watered-down black paint and your thin liner brush to outline both the inner and outer circles of your flowers, and quickly add stems                                                                 and leaves, as well.

          Ta-da!!!! You're almost done!  Now the hard part.  I look at these and want to add some words, some delicate morsels of inspiration.....but what?

 I always have the hardest time finishing a project.  Starting a project is simple, I have oodles of ideas constantly swimming in my brain and I love to start new things...but finishing up an old project, taking the time and patience to persevere when I just want to clean it up and show it off...that's the hard part for me.    It's like putting a fine wine into the wine cellar and waiting for it to slowly, slowly age to bring out its perfect flavor.  No rushing allowed.  Same with art.  That final stroke, that final touch to a piece, whether it's a masterpiece to show off in a museum or just to stick to the fridge with a magnet....requires patiently waiting for that muse to come to life, bringing you that "aha" moment, that "eureka!"  Sometimes it never comes, and I'll just throw something down just to be finished.  And sometimes that's ok too.  Not every work is going to be a masterpiece.  (insert quote of a sports hero who missed a lot more shots than he made, struck out a lot more than he made homeruns, etc.)

While I play around with these finishing touches, still churning around in my brain,
I'll leave you with these closer images of what I've got so far.

                                             I would love to eventually print some of these out as greeting cards or something, to start a little business, resurrect my shop again...we'll see.  for now it's                                                                     just for fun.

                                ok, here is, the final product. or 2 of them, anyway.  still waiting on the muse                                          for the others.  my process: find some words, quotes, or Scripture.
                                             experiment with fonts and papers.  I used my hp photosmart inkjet
                                             for these, one on white cardstock and the other (below) on
                                           transparent tracing paper, so the colors showed through.                                  

peek-a-boo!! (Hebrews 11:1, if you zoom in..)

                                                close-ups of textures and patterns.

                                               this was fun!  thanks for watching!

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