Working Your Collage

A terrific talented artist, Famous Empty Sky, introduced me to my very first collage piece. Her workshop was fun and fully of laughter and by the time it was over, I was hooked. FES (as she is lovingly known) presented us with everything we needed to dive into collage art. You can visit Famous Empty Sky on Facebook to see her art.

Here are some hints and tricks:

When removing pages from a magazine, try tearing off the front page by pulling it to the left. This may help you get a look at how the pages are glued together and help you be able to remove the pages you want without tearing them to pieces. This is an artform in itself. If you are using National Geographic, for instances, pulling off the front page allows each top page to be removed by tearing. The glue will stay on the spine. I cut that off as I go through the magazine.

If you happen to be using any rolled paper, for instance gift wrap rolls, it helps to cut pieces off in a standard size and place them in a heavy book to straighten them out before using.

Use cardboard – find cardboard boxes that you can peel off the first layer of paper to reveal those lovely ridges. Great for collage or mixed media pieces.

Glue, glue, glue! Make absolutely sure that the glue you use goes to each edge of the paper to be collaged. There is nothing worse than seeing pieces improperly glued down. Also be careful to wipe away any excess. Here are two glues that I use frequently:

Use for light papers on paper

Any type of matte or gloss works well

Seal your collage when finished by either spraying it with varnish or applying a coat of gel medium over the whole piece using a brayer to ensure that the glue is spread evenly across your artwork.

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