Defining Traditional CollageCollage derives its name from the French verb coller, meaning to glue. Collage Art is formed
by the the addition of an unlimited variety of already finished materials, substances and/or objects. The range of materials is truly unlimited and the subject is only to the limited to the individual artist's imagination. Paper, pictures and other materials are glued to a base surface. This may be canvas, wood or paper.
How To Create A 2D Collage
When creating a Collage the artist may use anything that can be easily glued to paper, canvas or wood. The same types of raw materials are glued to the board to form a picture or design. Some examples of materials may be:
- Construction paper, paper bags, tissue paper, marbled paper, etc. The paper can be either soft or hard, or a mixture of both. The mixture of different textures can give a nice effect.
- Scrapbook paper can allow for a interesting visual texture.
- Cut-outs from magazines or newsprint. Fashion and news magazines can feature several collage-worthy images. Newsprint can add a fun texture to a collage. Just be aware that dyes may run when gluing and sealing. If you print something from a standard printer the ink will definitely cause some issues.
- Find old scraps of wallpaper. You might have some leftover in a closet, or you can buy small sample swatches from a wallpaper store.
- Make use of different foils or tapes. Use the aluminum foil from the kitchen, or color masking or duct tape.
- Use photographs. Cutting images from old photographs can lend your collage a retro feel. Just make sure you're not cutting up the only copy you have of a photo that you might need later.
You can use scissors to make different shapes. I prefer using a exacto knife when I want clean edges with well defined detail. Alternatively, you can make rough tears on the ends of the paper pieces for more texture or a less controlled look depending what you want your end piece to look like.
- Cut out a whole picture, an identifiable part, or just enough to evoke texture, color or feeling.
- To add words to the collage cut out letters from different sources and fonts. This is where I find the exacto knife to come in very handy.
Before gluing anything to the support think about your layout. Ask yourself what the end goal will be. Is juxtaposition important in what you want to convey? Are you looking to make a statement? Is the appearance of the piece what's most important?
- Lay all the cut pieces out so you can get a good idea how you want to paste it to the base.
- When you're happy with the appearance it's time to glue! Working the layers from front to back. Glues sticks are fine but tend to get a bit 'lumpy', especially on thinner paper. Good old fashion Elmer's glue does the trick. I personally use the varnish as a glue and sealant as I build up the layers.
- When you're done let it dry completely. A good amount of time would be 24 hours. Add varnish to the finished piece.
Incorporating Texture Into Collage Art
Creating a heavily textured Collage allows the artist to use several
materials, then just paper, which add depth and textured layers. The use of materials are endless. For this a very sturdy foundation, such as a canvas or wood, is important. Depending on how heavy the materials are you're also going to want a strong paste or glue. My personal favorite is molding paste. It's easy to work with and once you add a material to it it's not going anywhere.
The materials are endless. Let your mind wander. Paper with very heavy texture, wallpaper, peeling a layer off a cardboard box, leaves, glass, rocks, fabric, etc. Basically anything!
- Once again arrange the materials on the table before you adhere them to the base. When you have the desired layout set begin to assemble them to the base.
- If you're using molding paste, depending on the weight of the applied object, you may want to put it on thick. Simply press the object into the paste. What I like about molding paste is you can easily change the color by adding a bit of acrylic paint to it.
- Work the layers from front to back. Keep in mind this will become very heavy as you work your layers.
- Make sure it's fully dry before you seal it. Depending on how thick the paste is, on average it's going to take 24-48 hours to dry completely. While drying, keep it flat. If you stand it up chances are all your hard work is going to shift.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you to all the artist presented here. If you have Traditional Collage Art in your gallery please feel free to share it in the comments.