Thursday, April 30, 2015

Paint and Paper Collage From a Stencil

Hi, it's Gwen back again today with a new mixed media project for you using your stencils. If you look around the web lately, you've no doubt seen some of the beautiful collage work out there that's usually called painted paper collage or something similar; most of it is just gorgeous! Not to mention intimidating. There are a few different ways to approach it, and today I'm going to share how you can use your stencils (and a little "cheating") to make it easy to get started with your own collage.

Ready to begin?

To start, I went through my stencils and picked out one that was a fun image that would work with the technique, but which wasn't so detailed that I'd be overwhelmed. For my project, I used the Celestial Grove stencil by Kae Pea. I just stenciled the whole thing onto a sheet of 9x12 bristol paper with Archival Ink and a blending tool.
 
Next, I pulled out my acrylics and put down a quick underpainting. This step isn't required if you're going to completely collage the whole image, but because I was going to cheat a bit, I made sure I got something fairly decent looking down on paper. It also helps a lot to have the color down as a guide when you start placing your papers.

Once the underpainting was done, I went through my bin of scrap patterned papers and pulled out a selection in colors that matched my paint (make sure to get multiple shades to get shading and highlight effects.) A lot of what you see on the web is done with papers that you paint yourself, but considering the fact that I have thousands of pieces of patterned paper in my studio (and because I'm cheating here,) I went with the pre-printed stuff.

I just started cutting out pieces and matching them with the shapes on my paper. You can also you your stencil to trace and cut, but I just winged it. I started laying pieces down for placement and then as I was happy with it, I just glued it down with matte medium (regular gel medium for some of the heavier weight papers.) You don't want to over-think it - just pick out papers, try them out in a few spots, and glue it down as soon as it looks okay.

I just kept going until I was happy with it. If you look closely in the picture below, you can see that I didn't completely cover any of the areas with the collaged paper - hence the reason I call this "Paint and Paper collage." This is part of the cheating - letting that underpainting show through here and there makes it faster and easier, and in the end, you don't really notice that it's not all collaged! I also decided not to collage the blue background at all - I liked it like this, so once I got to this point I put away my papers and gel medium.

To add a few finishing touches, I pulled out some oil pastels and did some scribbling and smudging to get some additional highlighting and shading on my piece. Then I used some Golden gold mica flake gel to put a little bit of sparkle on the sun.

I went ahead and added this into my art journal as a tip-in (the trees will make great journaling lines if I decide to write on this,) but you could seal it with a coat of gel medium and use it as a journal cover, or do the same technique on a canvas or another substrate of your choice.


That's it! A relatively easy way to make your own paint and paper collage using your stencils as a starting point. I really love how this turned out, and I hope you liked it too - if you try this at home, please come back and share!

Until next time,

10 comments:

  1. Gwen, this is so cool. I love how you come up with these ideas.

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  2. You explained this so well and this is gorgeous to boot. I've been toying with the idea of taking some of my son's photographs (he has quite the eye) and attempting to collage them. Your technique makes it seem so do-able. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Julie! Glad to hear it was helpful... I hope you go ahead and do it - I've done something similar with photographs before and it works great!

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  3. i absolutely love this...and i bet collage artists use layouts to guide the process similar to what you have done...i'll be trying this out for sure..thank you!

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  4. i absolutely love this...and i bet collage artists use layouts to guide the process similar to what you have done...i'll be trying this out for sure..thank you!

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    1. Thanks Elise! I've seen the process for a few different artists and you're right - they're pretty similar. Most of the ones I've seen do collage everything, though... that was just too much work for me! I hope you come back and share once you try it!

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  5. This is beautiful! I am going to try it!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! And yes... try it! It's fairly easy once you get going. I hope you'll do it and then come share!

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  6. Love this Gwen. Such great depth and dimension.

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