Mixed Media More: Collage

Introduction to Mixed Media More

Welcome to a new series in which I’m going to be (hopefully!) helping you make more art, specifically more mixed media art. As someone who is constantly mixing media—including collage, acrylic paint, and inks of all kinds—I’m in a situation where I have combined enough art supplies to be able to anticipate the reactions of different media when they are used together. Many people are comfortable with the concept of “mixed media,” i.e. using multiple different types of art supplies together, but recently I have noticed that even within the realm of mixed media there is a list of unspoken rules. We see watercolors coupled with colored pencils, acrylic paints used to accent marker art, and especially white gel pen ink highlighting almost any other medium…but why not more unconventional pairings? Mixed media should be far more liberating than this, allowing an artist to remove their barriers and be limited by their imagination rather than their supplies. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll look at your supplies with a little bit more imagination.

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Mixing It Up: Collage

Firstly, lets talk about the one supply everyone has right now in their home: collage material. It’s more than just magazine clippings: it’s your junk mail, your receipts, your ticket stumps, and your doodles. A lot of artists—especially art journaling artists—like collage because it allows non-drawers to incorporate imagery into their work and can be done quickly. It’s drying time is almost nonexistent, and allows busy artists to create on a time crunch. Many times we see art journal pages slathered with acrylic or watercolor paints, which is then layered up with collage material: heck I know I’ve done it a few times myself! But so many of us use this single formula, and call it a day. Why don’t we keep going? And what we would we do if we did in fact keep going? I recommend that you allow for your imagery to be apart of your art rather than to sit upon it.

5 Techniques For Collage

1. Use pens to accentuate lines. If your imagery is an animal or person, trace their facial features and the folds in clothes, or the textures in fur. Even non-drawers can be tracers, which might help to get you to the drawing stage of your art. The plus of this is that it lets you personalize an image without totally changing it

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2. Use your paint to recolor the image. You can paint parts of your imagery, or use the image to act as an underpainting for an entire new layer. If your imagery is a person, try giving them an acrylic makeover; if you imagery is a floral, give it an exotic flare. Even if you are using the same color that the imagery currently is, you can still add new texture with paint strokes.

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3. Dismember and replace! Instead of just cutting around the edges of your imagery, use those scissors to also dismember your imagery For example, remove the limbs of a model and draw them some new and more interesting ones! Remove the stem of your florals and let them grow from the new ones that you paint.

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4. Change the color of your imagery (I do this one A LOT!) Use transparent watercolors to tint the colors on your imagery, rather it be just one part of the imagery or the entire thing. You can also use pigmented India inks to wash your imagery in waterproof colors, which will not react with other supplies that you may then add on top of your collage material. If you use this technique on black and white photos, you can completely control the coloration, which is my preferred technique.

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5. Distress your collage. You can alter the entire style of your collage by warping it in water (let it dry before attaching!) and then using it in your art. You can also distress imagery by lightly sanding it with a fine sandpaper, scratching it with scissors, or muddying its appearance with coffee or tea. This looks especially good with imagery that is vintage or sepia toned, giving it an “old” feel.

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Bonus: Let it pop off the page, literally! There a two options for this technique: 1) only attach part of your collage material to the page, folding it to create a 3D effect, and 2) use small pieces of card board or foam board strategically under collage material, gluing the collage material to the cardboard pieces and the cardboard piece to the page. This technique can be somewhat difficult to accomplish without repercussions if used in a bound art journal and not a singular page or canvas, so be wise in your application.

More Information

Look out for the upcoming video, in which you’ll see me use all 5 of these techniques! I’ll show you my preferred way to arrange and glue the collage material down–which surprisingly comes in multiple steps–and how I tie in a background. Hopefully these tips get you arting! Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips of your own, or how these tips have inspired you!

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Floral Tutorial & Freebies

It’s the very first FREEBIE WEDNESDAY, and I could not be more delighted to share what I have in store for you today! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the hand drawn floral pattern that I shared last week. It was inspired by this Get Messy season, Art 101! Last week, my very first post and tutorial as a Creative Team member went live on the private site. (You can totally check out the site and see if you’d be interested in becoming a member by clicking HERE.) I was extremely excited to see what it would inspire throughout the Get Messy community!! The feedback and art that came out of it was 100% awesomeness! Because of all the pen play happening, I was inspired to create some florals as a simple and quick way to get my pen to paper. The result was unexpectedly beautiful! One flower became two, two became three, and suddenly I had filled an entire page with a gorgeous pattern!

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Partially Drawn Floral Pattern from 3/9/2017

If you look through my art, you’re bound to see a lot of abstract shapes, silhouettes, eyes, and animals, but I tend to steer clear of florals. While I find flowers lovely (there’s a fresh bouquet on my desk right now), they just don’t seem to be a good fit with the imagery that I usually produce. However, these roses are special to me. My grandmother was absolutely obsessed with roses, and taught me how to draw them at a very young age. This rose shape is very close to the way that my grandmother taught me, starting in the center and building petals outward with overlapping sections. The image below is a quick tutorial on how I draw these roses, even though—if we’re being honest—they look quite a bit more like begonias or carnations.

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4 Step Rose Drawing Tutorial

As you can see in the image below, I remark my lines two or three times so that there is more detail and character to each petal. This makes the edges of each petal appear folded and more natural. You’re more than welcome to try out this design and add it to your archive of floral drawing knowledge! Its just as easy as the simple daisy illustration that so many of us are guilty of doodling! It only took me about thirty minutes to fill an entire 8.5″ by 11″ page. The pen used, as seen below, was one that I received in my Art Snacks subscription box in July ’16. The fine tip, a 0.3 mm, and smooth gel ink  a pleasure to work with! It is the Pentel brand Arts® Hybrid Technica used on 67 lb vellum Bristol paper.

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Finished Floral Pattern from 3/9/2017

With the wonderful power of technology, I was able to color in the flowers with soft pink and purple hues and invert the line to whites. (This created a pattern that I liked so well it is now the wallpaper for my phone.) I also recolored the flowers with a more traditional red, and  then adjusted the hue to green, which made the flowers appear to be succulents.

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Preview of Rose Pattern Freebies

All three of these recolored patterns and the drawing in black and white are available to you for download for your personal use! They are HD images available as full page PDFs. I advocate using them as collage material for your own arty goodness!! Just click the links below to print and/or download the PDFs! You can print them out, collage them in your art, or use them as a new desktop wallpaper! Just get creative and have fun. The only thing that I ask is that you not redistribute these freebies or claim an unaltered version as your own. You do not need to credit me if you use these freebies in your art, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a shout out!

Click links to download…
Roses Coloring Page (Black & White): PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Pink & Purple: PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Green Succulents:  PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Red: PDF Here
Entire Collection: PDF Here

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

April Art Challenge

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I am participating in Roxanne Coble‘s April Art Challenge, which is a thirty day challenge consisting of prompts for drawing and making art in general. I recently purchased a watercolor Moleskine sketchbook without any plans for it, but was sure a need would arise. With my discovery of the thirty day challenge, I decided to grab my new Molskine and jump right in!

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Large Watercolor Moleskine w/ NeoColor II Crayons

I’ve found my niche with watercolor, being a fan of NeoColor II water soluble crayons for several years, but have never sought out watercolor paper before now. The majority of my watercolor art happens layered on gesso or acrylic paint, so I’m genuinely excited to color my drawings in this book! This Moleskine is technically the “large” watercolor sketchbook, measuring at 8 1/4″ x 5″. Honestly, I would tend to disagree with that assessment, but I use books about twice the size (or larger) for my average art journal.

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April Art Challenge, Day 1: Bones

I partitioned most pages to fit four sketching dates per spread. This format allowed for me to pre-title each date, acting as a reminder of the  prompts for the following days. Some dates I’m thrilled about, including the prompts of: “crystals,” “something with wings,” “teeth,” “skeleton key,” and “villain.” That being said, when it comes to “song lyrics,” and “historical figure,” I’m still at a loss. But, it is called a challenge, after all…hopefully I’m challenged and not just stumped when the time comes.

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April Art Challenge, Days 2-5

Feel fee to join me in this challenge, I promise it isn’t too late! You don’t need a sketchbook or fancy pens; printer paper and a pencil will do just fine. Roxanne is welcoming people to post their drawings on social media using the hashtag #aprilartchallenge. You can also tag her on Instagram by using @bybun. Let me know if you decide to do this challenge by leaving me a comment. You can also leave a link below to your Instagram post or Facebook post, so that we can all take a peek at your inspired sketches.