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,