Creating Collage Paper

Today I want to share with you an idea I adopted from one of Juliette Crane’s Serendipity I classes. These classes focus on creating whimsical art using mixed media techniques including collages. In her first lesson, she got us started by making our own collage paper as a sort of warm up by splashing on paint and doodling. She begins with a blank piece of paper but I decided to grab some paper on which I have been brushing out excess paint or merely testing colours. How resourceful is that! Weeks and months of smearing paint and doodling with ink on a sheet of cheap watercolour paper, then doing something useful with it.

This is not the first time I’ve recycled my “excess paint” paper. In the past, I have recreated some artwork by adding on the existing paint or experimenting with negative space. How exciting it is now to discover another use of it: Collage paper! Out from my kit come my inks, pens, paints, pastels and even oil sticks. Let’s see what I can design from the top of my head.

All I did was just go crazy and add one after another, whatever comes to mind. I even spritz some isopropyl alcohol for some effect and for the first time at home experimented with oil sticks. Like oil pastels, they resist water-based paints so you get some interesting results. Spreading on some gouache and carving in some bunnies on it with a cocktail stick was another idea. And now I was ready. It’s not exactly a beautiful masterpiece here but that doesn’t matter. Anyhow, you will be tearing them up in pieces and using bits elsewhere right?

So once done, I began cutting the paper up and using them as collages. The adhesive used is, as most mixed media artists use, acrylic medium. Although it worked well the only thing I advise is not to use thick paper. Mine is not that thick but at around 100 gsm or so, I still struggled to get the piece to stick onto the paper. Also, in future I should remember to add more colour and minimize white spaces as much as possible. That, however, I rectified by painting on top or covering with a thin collage paper like patterned paper napkins or wrapping tissue.

Whilst I was on the subject of creating this collage paper, I got inspired by another development. Using paper paint palettes! The ones you tear out and dispose of once done with. Instead of disposing them, though, I thought of recreating using the similar method and coming up with more self-made collage paper! In fact, the same would go for most paper so long as it is not too thick. And now in my next blog post, I will be sharing with you what I did with this new painting I am making with these collages!

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