creativity,  tutorials

Free collage paper for your mixed-media art

Although a lot of my creative work is done in art journals, I like to work on other surfaces and explore other techniques.

Grace Mendez Free Collage Paper

A few years ago I purchased a dozen pre-gessoed boards for a workshop. I still have several unused boards that are still sitting on my shelves waiting for Something.

I started my project with a collage using torn apart security envelopes that came in my mail.

Instead of throwing the paper in the recycling container I thought it would be a good source of free collage paper.  I made sure to use patterns that didn’t have text. The exception was the blue patterned paper with the “c”.

I had no idea what I was going to make other than a collaged background for Something. When I finished collaging the paper (using Utrecht Gel Matte Medium) to the board, I still had no idea where I was going with it. That was okay because I wanted to let it dry thoroughly overnight.

When I came back to it the next day, I took a water-soluble pencil and lightly scribbled on the surface to see if an image or idea would come to me. Nothing did.

I walked away and came back to it a little while later.

I’ve been sketching a lot of faces lately so decided to go with the familiar.

I haven’t painted with acrylics for a few months and wasn’t entirely comfortable when it came time to mixing paint colors. My first attempt at mixing the face color was too yellow. I used it anyway knowing it would be covered in subsequent layers. I covered the yellow layer with zinc white, which is a more transparent white paint than titanium white.

I find myself wanting to do whimsical, unrealistic artwork, yet am pulled into rendering artwork that is more representational. That is not a problem. It’s an observation.

Being kind to yourself is a skill that is more valuable than mixing the shade of paint you desire or rendering a symmetrical face.

It’s not done. But close enough for now.

Have you tried this technique of collaging with security envelopes?

Grace Mendez Free Collage Paper Eyes