Wednesday, December 28, 2016

More Collage Papers

Sometimes if I'm in a bit of slump, I find it helpful to get into my studio and do something that's not too demanding. Making collage papers is an ideal project for those times when I'm procrastinating or "stuck". It's also a good way to use up the paint left on your palette.

A few months ago I got my hands on "Collage with Color", a book by Jane Davies, published in 2005 and now out of print, but still available on Amazon. Some of the techniques suggested include
  • sponging
  • palette knife application
  • spattering
  • stenciling
  • stamping
  • brushstrokes
  • spritzing and blotting
  • drip transfer
  • sgraffito
  • gesso resist
  • combing
  • masking
  • crayon resist and more!
I began by using paper from a sketchbook pad, though many of these techniques would also work on cloth. I also found an old jar of "clear gesso". A bit like modelling paste, this can be applied to the paper with a brush or a credit card, and then textures can be created by scratching, combing, or stamping into the wet product. Once dry, opaque and transparent pigments can be applied in a variety of ways to add depth and interest.

Here are a few of the collage papers I recently made:

clear gesso applied with brush in basketweave pattern;
painted yellow and scraped; orange paint circles stamped on

"sgraffito" technique with a comb dragged through clear gesso 
to create horizontal and vertical curves;
yellow, then orange, paint applied and scraped

Lego-type board pressed into wet gesso randomly, then dried;
paint applied with sponge.

comb dragged through wet gesso in basketweave pattern;
paint applied then scraped off

No gesso used here.
The black paint was applied by stamping with the eraser end of a pencil.
The streaking of transparent paint (thinned with glazing medium)
over opaque paint makes an interesting surface.

stamp pressed into wet gesso;
finished with at least three colours of paint

as above;
the horizontal and vertical bands are made by
scraping the surface with a credit card

This one began when used as a blotter to lift paint from another paper.

And this one began when a stencil loaded with paint was pressed
onto its surface. More stamping followed.

Transparency-on-transparency works its magic.

Sometimes a little "mess-therapy" is just the diversion we need to get back into the studio. And it's always great to have a supply of interesting collage papers on hand for future projects.

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