Artful Collage - Create with book and printed pages | Susan Mitchell | Skillshare

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Artful Collage - Create with book and printed pages

teacher avatar Susan Mitchell, Illustrator, painter, maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Inspiration

    • 3. Materials

    • 4. Project 1: Pet portrait

    • 5. Project 2: Favourite animal

    • 6. Thank You

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About This Class


Have you always wanted to try collage but didn't know where where to begin?

In this class I will show you, step by step how to work with book and printed pages and create a simple and beautiful collage with them.

Who doesn't love to cut and paste? Let's create and have some fun!

This class is for all levels and beginners are welcome.


Meet Your Teacher

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Susan Mitchell

Illustrator, painter, maker


I  work as a freelance illustrator and have illustrated children's books, greeting cards and products for the giftware industry. Ever since I can remember, I have always loved to create things - sometimes out of paper and paint, sometimes out of fabric or wool and sometimes out of cardboard and glue. I also love to teach and share.

Skillshare is wonderful. I love participating in projects - there is always something new to learn. And I really appreciate the spirit of warmth and community.

If you want to share your class project from my latest class on Instagram, please use the hashtag #artfulcollageskillshare or tag me @susanmitchellillustration



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1. Intro : Hello. My name is Susan on Diamond Illustrator. I love to work mostly with traditional materials. The what? Color on goulash. Andi. I also really enjoy making collages. I love to work with my own people's that make I did a previous class about we can. You painted a person making a collage? With that on in this class, I'd like to teach you how to work with printed papers, song sheets, vintage papers, book pages, any type of printed material that you can find. One of the really great things about college is I think you don't necessarily need strong drawing skills because its more about working with shapes. And we're basically working with paper and scissors and kind of shapes on. Nothing has to be perfect. In fact, I find they're lying to a little bit wonky. It makes they can make a peace even more interesting. Like to share with you two projects for this class 1st 1 very simple, with just a couple of pages. Either song. She Torbit pages on ditz. A pet portrayed can be your pair somebody else's pet. You could be an imaginary packed what would be your ideal pair if you could just think one up on then, for the second project, it's a little bit more complex. This a fume or layers to it on a bit more color on that's going to be your favorite animal . You could do one project or both projects, or combine them in some way. If you would like. If you want to take techniques for meat, you could do that. It was totally up to you. But the main thing is, I just want you to explore working with pages, have a lot of fun on alone, some things along the way, so I hope this interest you and I'll see you in class. 2. Inspiration : you can find inspiration from lots of places. If you're doing portray off a pet, your pair off somebody else's pet. Obviously, you can refer to photographs, but if you want him to do, ah, college off your favorite animal, you can obviously look through books. You can get library books I or get. You might have some books at home for the handy for reference they also online. There's tons of useful resources, like Google images on Pinteresque spent Rest has a great it's our library off images to look at. I've created ah Special Inspiration Board just for the class sort, pulled together some images that I think really interesting and that hopefully will inspire you. And I also have, ah, whole bunch of other car large boards. So you're welcome to have a look through those and see if anything gives you some ideas of directions you might want to begin with. The only thing to know is if the if you are using photographs for reference. Somebody else took those pictures, so they owned the copyright to those. So it's a good idea when you're using photographs is references, perhaps to look at a few so say, for example, your favorite animal is a bear. You might want to look at a few different foot photographs of the bear and to look at them , sketch from them, and then you'll start to develop your own image. That is unique. And it's no a direct copy from from somebody else's photographs so that insurers that the work that you create is uniquely yours. 3. Materials: this'll class. We're going to need some printed papers to make her colleges. Andi. You can get them from all sorts of places. I often pick up books from the secondhand store or a secondhand bookstore song sheets Great . Such nice, large pieces of paper. You can get quite a lot over cheap to make a college, so I think he's a really nice to work with maps. These are scrapbooking ages. There's a whole variety that you confined, maybe from the art store. Craft Store like this has got lovely little bits of handwriting on it. One of my favorites, I used this many things just looks like a no tape measure. I quite like working with numbers as well as text. If you want to add extra interest with pattern, you can add printed page just like this with grid squares lines. This all different types is the type of thing. When she start looking, I think you'll find lots of sources on it really could be anything that's got printed text on it. You probably can also find some things online. I'm sure there's copyright free papers that you could own Lord song sheets and vintage papers I think the only thing to know about their is if using an inkjet printer. If you're sticking pieces down, you're not going to want pain on top of them because the ink would run. But you can easily add color with just something as simple as colored pencils. Some people don't like the idea of cutting up books, but there's also so many that are just sitting on shelves or sitting in all bookstores, and they never get looked at, like I'm not sure that anyone's gonna want toe Ever read this again? I don't think they're gonna be studying this in school, but I think it's a really charming little book. Somebody's been working out. Some of the equations are working the made with pencil, and they got this lovely rating. So this type of thing I would love to use in college. But I would actually probably save it for something I thought was really special. Just because I think that is unique. Somebody's writing that. Then there's also somebody written something at the back. They really like protection on this page to the boxing that has happened. I mean, you don't have to use old books if it's not your taste, I just find vintage papers, certain items, very appealing. You know, you could even look at magazines. Any source. You can find a print material. I think the main thing is, as long as the paper has sort of a on that finish, not like a shiny magazine, because that's not going to take water cover. If you do want to add color on top toe. Another lovely thing to use our stamps. You couldn't obviously collect them from envelopes that you get. You could also use able. I open up the envelope and often look inside, and some of them have really lovely designs on. So, yeah, when she stopped the king, I think you're gonna. You'll start noticing different things that you can use, but basically just to begin. As long as you've got a few printed pages where there's a few pages from a book ready to go , the other things you'll need are a surface to put your common John, I use this card stock heavy enough surface to glue your pieces on. You could also use a color card stock if you want to to, but this card stock is great on you will also need scissors. I usually like to have a medium sized pair on a small apparel because I find that great for , if you are cutting it very tiny pieces and want to do tiny details. Glue stick. This is pretty much all I use for sticking doing pieces. We can use a gel medium to with a brush to glue. Your pieces don't really up to you. You'll also need a pencil, maybe some other type of pencils, some color. There's a few different ways you could do that. You could. If you have water colors, you could have some water color elements. You can also use markers or colored pencils. If you prefer, it was handy. I think you can begin using materials that you already have. And then if it's if you find that this is something that you absolutely love and you want to continue, you might want to get some more specialized. Thiel's another really useful thing to have some wax paper if you wanting to use it almost like a scrap people underneath. If you're painting something, but I mostly use it for gluing. I like to have a piece on the side so I can glue the back of my pieces. And then I always use another piece that I put on top too smooth dine on, make sure everything's nice and clean, so I think that is pretty much everything we need to get started. 4. Project 1: Pet portrait: I have my card stock as my base and going to do a little portray off my dog, Emma. The first thing I find that quite by it, is in this dictionary, those dog. And there's a definition of what a dog is. So I think I will tell you that, right? I'm not sure I'm gonna use it yet. And then I think I'll just go through some of the other pictures that I showed you before. I like to take the some of the words and see if I can add a little bit of meaning into the pieces that I make. But you don't have to do that. You can just if there's just a piece that you really like, and you like the shapes just and you just want to look it completely as a a pattern. Just do that. For example, on this song, she here it says, Home sweet home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. So I might use a piece of that because my Lord old loves to be home and she loves to run home, and especially if it's snowing or raining or windy, really any sort of weather apart from the sun. She's not like crazy on it. So she walks pretty fast and then just wants to get home. So I think I'm gonna use a piece of that because I think that is really sweet. So this is what from what I do is kind of brainstorming a little bit. So I find two elements I really like. I'd like to add something that's got a little bit of contrast color. So I do like this. He said This could be nice. It could look nice on a maybe as a collar, But I think I'm just gonna start cutting out shapes and see what happens when you could have your pieces. This is going to really be up to you, how you want to go about it. You might want to draw things out. You feel more confident about the shapes that you're cutting. And if you do that, I'd say, if you can draw on the back so you're not going to see pencil lines, you could also draw in front if you draw very lightly and then you could erase the lines afterwards. I think I might make this piece always like her chest part because it's like the whole There's no place like home. Actually, I think because she's quite fluffy, I think I'm gonna just try tearing over the edge. I get it so texture. So I like this idea of almost being on a chest as if it slipped off her heart. No place like home. I take pieces and I place them when I lay out the pieces on top and just see if I liked the look of it or not like, I don't know. That's to disease with dogs in it, but it might be something I used for something else. Maybe I'll try it. I'm just gonna do so. Chest area on her, my little feet. Try and get that shape. And again you could light you draw with a pencil. I do really like working with sisters. I know if you're working with vintage papers, you might never find them again. You could four to copy it and test it, or you could even joy of shape a on a piece of card and then use that as a template of place on trace around. If you really want to be up to sure you've got the shape that you want, but I quite like the danger of just going for it. So wish me luck, something like that, because I want to do a portrait of her. But it's more like the idea of her, and it's not an exact representation. It's just sort of sweet little illustration over thoughtfully. So I think what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna try cutting the poor shape first. So unfortunately, do the same in the which he has the ducks in social, Uh, incredibly short little legs. Something like that. Thinking on this all again this you're gonna decide how you want to do this. If you want to do the whole body, is it gonna be in the middle of something in place in a frame you could have. You could do a bigger car large, and you could have say, it's head and shoulders. You just have the shoulders coming from the bottom with their I think I'm gonna try this in the middle like that, and I'm gonna tear off a little bit more like that. I might even leave that, as is. We'll see, because then I still have to put my head on and I think I'm gonna have a head start coming off to the side a little bit like a noise so pointing this way and years coming down. So maybe all the crown on the piece like this, so it kind of goes with it. But then I've also got this says Dog on it. It would be nice to try and include. It might be to use it as an ear because she's got quite big, fluffy years. I just find the sheet that was good. Got the word it says petite on petite fee. And that's what I often call our column. My little girl. So I just thought that maybe a nice element to do for the head on I just have done. I really want to get this petite part in. And again this body would be sensible to draw. And even this I like, Look, it says pet. Happy coincidence. I think it looks good. Nobody looks Gigante. Think I'm gonna just cut this a little bit smaller? Try that, starting to more dog like again. This doesn't have to be exact. It's kind of a portrait of her. It's no I'm not trying to get a perfect dog because she's not a perfect dog. He's sweet and lovely, but not a perfect dog. No dog is Are they just their own personalities? I don't know if I'll have two years. Maybe I'll just do the one coming off. Yes, if she's become too beside you. Might not necessarily see that other year. So I think this bit like white It with no place like home, will just tear it. So it's kind of got more ragged edge. All right, that I find that too. I'm just gonna cut more. Okay, so we're getting there, so really, I just need to think about her. I knows how I want to do that. Whether I'm gonna just draw it with a marker or whether I'm gonna cut other pieces of people decided for the face. I think I'm just gonna draw on the new it in the eye. And I'm gonna use this hit oil based pencil that I really like it if you're gonna paint or draw on top. It's a good idea to media card stock it the way you don't mess that. So I'm just gonna draw her. No, toes. Let's go see what it looks like If it if it doesn't stand out enough and I don't like the look of it, I can always go over because this people is our shield orbit shiny. I changed my mind. I'm gonna use this because I do something I wanted to really stand out against the writing . No, I had a like a highlight my price. And I'm gonna do who knows? She actually has a pink nose. But I think for this you have a bit of artistic license. I just like the idea of the black. I think it's gonna stand and with black nose ex always finished. So I want to do a collar. I'm thinking about taking a piece of paper and perhaps coloring it with colored pencil to see what that looks like. This, which is? This looks like an old tape measure if you have tried, but that what happens to my covered over that? So I think you can see it's it's really just playing around and experimenting on because you are working with shapes and pieces of cut people. You could play around and experiment as much as you like until you get something that you like, look off and then you can stick it. Don't you don't have to commit to anything too quickly. I think that's the beauty of college, and that's the fun of it. So I quite like the look of that. I'm going to see what a piece of that looks like. Call her to be there. I just need to see the size of it. And here says 79 going to try and cover in there because she's nine now. All of this, that has significance to me, and somebody looking at you know won't read that significance into it. But that doesn't matter, does it? I will take a tensile time just mark where I want to cut it, so I know it's gonna fit. I think that looks really cute. This very simple, just one little splash of color with the collar. But I think it's quite effective. I I'm happy with that, and I don't think I'm gonna add anything else, so to stick everything dying, what I'd like. What I like to do is put everything aside and take a piece of what a my God talk. Take the elements off. I think I'll stick this chest part first, so I just lay it time. And I always like to take not a piece of wax paper and then just go over where I glued and smooth that day. I'm trying to keep everything nice and clean, especially do then you drawing on top of your pieces. You don't want to smudge anything. I'm going to glue the body dying good to sort glue from the middle eight. Just because some of these papers like this people that I'm using from this dictionary is quite a lot to the Campbell tried Charleston. Be aware of that and try and be kind of gentle when you're gluing good buying center this. Just want to make sure there's enough space for the head. Maybe just lowered it just a little bit. I just want to make sure that the name space around, so if it was put in a frame it would have, it would look nice. The composition with nice Just checking again. Yeah, that's good. Gang. Take my paper on That way, I can smooth everything down. So this is the finished piece. I think it's interesting to see that just with a couple of pieces of different papers, it can be quite effective on. It's really quite simple. Just a few simple shapes cut out and stuck together on a tiny bit off colored pencil. For the next piece, I'm going to make a bird. Andi, use a little bit more color, have something a little bit less monochrome just to show you what else you could do with the pages. 5. Project 2: Favourite animal: Ah, lovely rainy day. I don't if you can hear the raindrops. No window that I'm thinking about doing a black swan. So I thought what I'd start with is I've got some water coming here basically trying to cover the whole song sheet on. I have done some black, but I'm finding some other colors to you because I feel like pecan. It could be quite interesting. Have some different colors showing through. So I think I'll do a couple of sheets like this just to see what kind of effect I get. And I really like this. I almost think it could look great. Us little details, feathers. I just have to make sure my name is watered down enough because I've just obscured that. So just see what they look like once the dry on my add water on bond water lilies. I like the idea of that. I might use a piece of this for the base for the water, so I really like the colors in it. So I'm gonna put that aside and keep that has an idea that I could use and then see if I can find something that I think would be good for the beak on the I. This is a piece of that scrap complete for that. I was talking about before, and I love the lettering. Looks like handwritten. Think I'm just gonna take Cem orange and red watercolor. I have no idea what papers people will take paint. So I'm just going to experiment and try it. So I'm just going to see what that looks like when it dries. I'm thinking off using a stamp to make the eye for the swan. I don't know the scale of this one yet, but I like the color of this. And I feel like if I get cut into a circular shape, try and so let's see, that would work for the center of the eye. Take more like Yeah, I expect, because I think it needs to be don't quite dramatic. So I'm gonna cut the entire circular shape on. I guess that will help to take the size of this one to win, and it doesn't look like a stamp, but it does have some interesting textures on it's rather than just taking playing piece of paper. Pingtan. Yet using a market, if you see it close up. There's a lot, these different marks on it. And I think that is really interesting. Let us see what looks like if I cut a piece of this was a week. Blacks ones have a little white flash on the big. So I'm just gonna try this, maybe white to see if I can feeling of a highlight. This is a team of China markers. You could use Posca paint. Be trying that might meet them. Yet that makes the highlight of it sharp. I quite like this on the beak. I'm gonna take my card stock. I see if the swan is gonna fit because I don't know if I need it too big. So the shape that had to be like that? Yeah, I think I could probably fit sworn on. So I haven't I And a beak. So these papers are almost dry and you can see with water cover. It dries a little bit later than when you into. I quite like it because you conceive the words underneath. You can see the notes. I might go over this area, but more dark water color, even the texture here is quite nice. More than two Some of that line texture may show through That could be interesting. So now I just have to work a how I'm gonna cut out if you want. You could always trace the shape of whatever animal you're making onto a piece of card, even another piece of this card stock And then you could cut toe and use it as a template. I don't think I'm gonna do that. Seem to always just want to cut. I'm looking at this and this is circular shape there. I'm thinking of my almost be honest beginning to follow for the shape of the the head of the neck of a swarm. So I'm gonna follow that edge. That's gonna be my guide. But again, you could draw a make a template first. If you feel let me cut to say and wish that I had done that. I'm just gonna try, just see, just like trying shapes. Also, this paper is not completely dry, being a little bit impatient. So they shape at the moment. I quite like I'm not sure this eyes too big. I quite like the shape of that. And I think I'm just going to bring this in a little bit. Yeah, I like the beginnings of that. The shape that I think the eyes just too big. So I'm gonna have to make another one. But I could always keep that for something else. Even the beak might be a little bit big. I could shorten that a bit, but I like the shape of this, and I like the idea or from having some water underneath, so I'm just gonna reduce everything a little bit. I love this raggedy edge. So I'm just gonna see if I can use that almost late tail feathers, because again, this is not gonna be super realistic and trying to just get the feeling of a swarm. And I'm trying to meet the paper work where I want the neck and a little bit thinner. I'm trying make it come on into that head shape. Yeah, I'm starting to like that. I'm just gonna tangle this a bit, so I think it's getting there. May have to shorten speak a little bit. Yeah, I think I'm gonna do a smaller I just meeting up on. I'm gonna take some of that other piece that I cut this may be Just see if I can add almost like some scallop details, as if it's the wings. It may not work. I'll cut some pieces open. I'll try and I make. See if I liked the look of it, gallop it and that looks so maybe do a couple of the overlap. This one's a bit dark. I did go a bit overboard with water color. That's what happens with when you're doing things like this you just explored and try. And sometimes things might not turn out the way you imagine. Do the darker underneath. Like I think I might just do one more my look of that. I'm gonna do some small scallops here. Is it smaller feathers up front I like. Is this almost a bluey color? They're gonna rain off a little bit, so I just need to work out something for the I. Because I felt like this. I was just way too big. I really like it, but I think used for something else. I went to have something that's yellow, so it really stands types. This is a piece of scrapbooking paper. As you can see, I've used a lot of it because there's very little left, and I'm just looking at this little tiny section of yellow was looking at pictures of swans . They actually have very small eyes. That's why the other one didn't work is just way too big. Maybe if I can have a whole bunch, I might try cutting a dark piece of the painted paper that I just did. I'm gonna see if I can cut a tiny piece that could be people. I think that will be quite effective. Then I think I just need a piece of the map for the to give the feeling of water. Maybe I'll look it if I did lily pads. What that would like to. I'm going to stick the pieces of the swan together before add any other. Find your details. Try cutting out a piece of the map that I was talking about, see what that looks like. And I think I'm also going to see what it looks like. It's just left white. I'm curious to see what it might look like if I got some lily pads out of the painted papers that I made in my previous class that had to create your own painted papers costs. Oh, this is another paper that I painted for my other into paper class. I'm going to try coming out some little flowers for the lady pads and see how that looks. The only other thing I might try quickly just to look at it, to see if I like the look of it or no, is to cut a piece of a map. I quite like it with the map, and I'm trying to decide whether to have lily pads or not on whether to have little flowers . I had tried cutting it some bright pink, but now I don't know if it's too bright. This is the hard part, trying to make decisions at the end. I'm gonna mark with a pencil when I want this to line up because this one is going to go over the top of it. I want to make sure that enough space at the bottom and at the top. So if it was to go in a frame economics composition, so I ended up just using to water lilies on. I think I like that. It keeps a little bit more simple, and I like the pop of color down here. That sort of echoes their red up here. I could have finished it many different ways on. It's hard to say what makes you decide when something is finished or what looks right or doesn't look right. And I guess it. It's all down to personal taste and what you like. But for me and I like this composition, I think it's finished. Andi, I'm I'm happy with it. 6. Thank You: Thank you so much for taking this class. I really enjoyed teaching it. If you'd like to share your artwork, you can post it in the project section. I'd love to see what you make. I hope that you had a lot of fun. I learned some new techniques along the way on that. It has inspired you to want to continue and create more collages. This is a part of a series of collage classes on if you are interested in more than you can follow me and you'll get a notification when I published a new class. Also, I always appreciate feedback, positive or negative, because I want these classes to be as good as possible. On if you have any ideas or questions, I'm more than happy to listen to your viewpoint on to see how I can improve. So thanks again. See you in the next class