Basic Techniques For Collage Style Cards





A collage is essentially a composition of diverse elements. The overall presentation can range from a very simple piece, as featured in the card above, to a rich, busy assemblage of numerous components. The actual items or fragments that are used to create a collage are equally diverse. My mother created a collage on a wall of her home, that was close to 10 feet long and 3 feet high, made entirely of photos, cartoons and quotes from magazines. It was a statement on current American culture from the mid-1970's. This wall collage became an interactive piece of art. People spent time looking at the images and in turn discussing different segments of the collage. While in Paris, France my family and I spent time watching artists at work near the Cathedral of Notre Dame. One artist used the collage technique to add images from commercial packaging, piece by piece, as the painting took shape. The collage elements were both surprising and different from the remainder of the oil painting, yet it merged beautifully into the overall composition. The format of collage does not adhere to etched in stone specifications. The collage you create can be harmonious and balanced or discordant and unconventional. In other words, collage is for everyone.

Once you've decided on a theme, choose your surface or canvas. I routinely create card-sized collages yet, have also worked with a ready-to-use canvas available at art supply stores. A surface upon which you can collage is limited only to your imagination. Paper maché boxes are also great to work with, especially considering this particular surface works well with glue.





If this is your initial experience with the art form of collage, begin with a small canvas and find your sense of style. A general greeting card is a nice place to start. The central image of my card will assist me in choosing additional elements to further express the theme. Once again, I want to direct your attention to the card above. The stamp I used featured a young woman surrounded by butterflies in flight. Using a punch, I created larger butterflies. It is noteworthy to mention that these were not the first butterflies I used in my lay-out. Initially, I had made butterflies from a dark, patterned paper. The effect was too harsh for the softness of the central image. Switching to a pastel purple complemented the image. Moving on from the butterfly theme, I chose the leaf fronds as the theme had evolved at this point, from butterflies to nature. An additional influence while creating a collage is color. If necessary, pull out the acrylic paints and paint your piece. Once the color is changed, it may work well within your design.





Due to the size limitations of a card-sized collage, it is easy to lay-out possible designs before permanently adhering images to the surface. At this point, you can try different objects, pieces and images. See what works well together. Discern which part of the collage distracts you and consider taking it out. Try re-arranging the elements or remove them altogether. It's a very creative process. Perhaps, you have an ideal in mind for your collage; you will get closer to actually pulling this design together, the longer you spend adding or subtracting pieces of your collage.





Inspiration can be found as nearby as the side of a tissue box. A very basic form of collage is prevalent in the world around you. I noticed that quite a few of the Christmas cards I received were in basic collage format. Start small and move onto larger pieces. If there is a style that captures your imagination, incorporate the spirit of this approach to collage, in your own piece. Imitation can be very flattering. If you are searching for interesting bits and pieces, look no further than your local scrapbooking store. The embellishments available these days work perfectly with collage. Collage needn't be limited to paper art. Hardware stores are loaded with wonderful geometric possibilities for collage. The collage format is wide open. Grab some glue and get started.









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