There are so many good options for collage surfaces: a page in your art journal, heavier sheets of paper like watercolor paper or mixed media paper, canvas boards or frames, and even upcycled cardboard. Use what you have and experiment…
Then you have to be able to stick stuff down. Many artists use permanent adhesives like bookbinders glue, Yes! Paste, gel medium or permanent UHU glue sticks. It’s always a good idea to test your adhesive with your image materials to make sure they work together.
Last, you’ll need something to cut your images but you can also tear your papers for a lovely distressed look. A good pair of paper scissors is important and you might also want to use a tool with a blade like an X-acto knife or rotary cutter and mat. These tools can allow you to cut very small and precise shapes.
Build a Library
Check your stash, old magazines, old books, old photos, recycled papers, printable collage sheets, drawings/paintings of your own. This is where you can really make your collage your own creative expression. Start with available imagery and alter it.
Plan Your Layout
Take advantage of the flexibility of collage and layer and move things around until you like it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try focusing on one element at a time. Choose images all in one color family or one theme: blues or doorways. Limiting choices is a time honored way to open creative doors. Big Tip: Use your handy phone to take photos of your layouts so you can remember how to put it back together when it’s time to glue it down.
Are you sticking stuff down? Go ahead, try it and let me know how it goes – I’d love to know!
Color sunflower elements with shades of yellow, brown and green markers
Fussy cut sunflower elements from book page
Prepare card by marking face with text or ascemic writing with brown marker
Glue two small sunflowers on at top and bottom of card; glue Sunflower Sign on top in middle, trim petals flush with tag edge
Use corner punch to round bottom edge of card, trim small triangle off top corners to make tag shape
Use black paper stock to cut a circle approximately ¾ inch diameter, glue to top center of card
Use hole punch to punch hanging hole in center of grommet
Thread hanging ribbon, twine, paper or other fibers into punched hole, I used crepe paper streamer distressed with sepia paint along edges
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Encouragement and Learning for Art Journaling Beginners.