How to Create Great Art Using Affordable Collage Materials | Froyle Davies | Skillshare

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How to Create Great Art Using Affordable Collage Materials

teacher avatar Froyle Davies, Mixed Media Artist

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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

13 Lessons (1h 44m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. This is What You Will Learn

    • 3. Finding Inspiring Images

    • 4. Using White Tissue

    • 5. Dissolving Nat Geo Pages

    • 6. Creating an Image Transfer

    • 7. Finding Affordable Collage Materials

    • 8. Hidden Treasures Part 1

    • 9. Hidden Treasures Part 2

    • 10. Hidden Treasures Part 3

    • 11. Hidden treasures Part 4

    • 12. How to Finish Like a Professional

    • 13. Thank you and farewell

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About This Class

In this art workshop, I will teach you techniques for how to create great collage papers using affordable materials. You will learn how to make an image transfer, turn paper packaging into beautiful collage papers, how to dissolve National Geographic pages and where to find the best free images for your projects.

I will lead you step by step through the process of creating this beautiful collage painting from start to finish. Along the way, I will even share with you some of my secret tips. 

Ultimately, my goal is for you is to not only finish the course feeling confident with the techniques you have learned, but to have gained the courage to allow yourself to create from your own heart.

Learn the techniques of:
- Image transfer
- Using paper packaging
- Collaging with book text
- Recycling old paintings
- Painting white tissue
- Using stencils
- How to dissolve National Geographic papers

I will discuss with you elements of design, where to find inspiring images, and how to put all the papers together in a beautiful mixed media collage

When we create something truly authentic from our own self and we can say, ‘Hey I like that’, we are affirming our own value and this has a deep impact on how we view ourselves and the world around us.

Join me in my studio and let’s make art!

You can find out more of who I am on my website and join me in my private Facebook group - Creative Adventures Making Art

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Froyle Davies

Mixed Media Artist



Hi, Froyle here, welcome to my studio!

I am a contemporary visual artist, and I have been painting and exhibiting for over 25 years. I am so excited to share my experience and techniques with you. What I love most about mixed media art is the unlimited creative potential. There is so much freedom of expression and an abundance of materials to use, you are truly only limited by your imagination!

Art has the power to transform lives. When you create from the core of who you are and you can say,'Hey I like that', you are affirming your own sense of self, and this can have a positive impact on your view of yourself and the world around you.

I am passionate about giving you an experience of creating art that empowers you to gain greater confide... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi Froyle here. Welcome to my studio. I'm so glad you've joined me for this course. I'm so incredibly excited about what I can show you and what you can gain from all of my years of experience. I've been painting and exhibiting for over 25 years. Well, it's more closer to 30, but that makes me say I'm really old, So, 25 years experience. I've tried everything. I've gone through all of the paints. I've gone through all of the mediums, pastes, and gels. I've gone through all of the techniques. I've gone to every subject imaginable. I've tried so many different things through the years. I've learned so much. I've really stuffed up a whole heap of things to and from that we learn even more. So I'm very excited to share with you some of my secrets, some of my tips and techniques. And I'll be putting together some projects with what you learn in the process. And I think it's going to be a whole lot of fun. In this course. I'm gonna be sharing with you my secrets for exceptional collage papers, I absolutely love making collage papers, and then even more so, putting it all together in a finished project, that's what we're going to be doing. I'm going to show you tips and techniques through each separate process and creative way of making the papers. And then we'll put it together in a project. It's gotta be fun, hugely experimental. And my focus and theme for this course is using affordable collage materials. That's the plan people, I'm going to show you ways you can create great art using affordable collage materials. There really are so many ways to create collage paper. And the success of a beautiful collage painting is in the materials you use. So if you're using beautiful papers and textures, and you're learning how to put them together in a good design and composition. You really can't fail, you can't fail. My whole goal here is to help you create something that you're really happy with. If you can look at your collage and you can say, yeah, I like that. Then you're affirming to yourself, Hey, I'm OK. And right now, we actually really need that kind of creative expression. I'll be sharing with you some notes and some additional resources that will help to inspire you, and that will give you the information. So you can actually create these beautiful collages yourself, you can do this. This is a step-by-step process of tips and techniques and giving you all of the information on what you need to create these beautiful projects. My goal is to give you the tools and techniques so that you can create these collage, papers at home, and a little bit of courage so that you can undergo these projects yourself. 2. This is What You Will Learn: Okay, my goal for you ultimately is to encourage you with courage really and give you the opportunities to be able to explore your creativity, in an experimental and intuitive fashion. Now you might take the images that I give you and the techniques I'll teach you and create something completely different, entirely different, take them as a springboard and bounce from them to create something purely your own, from your own intuition and self-expression, and that is absolutely fantastic. I would so love to see what you do. Or you might like to use the images that I give you and the techniques I've shown you and follow along my process more closely and create something quite similar to what I've shown you. And that's totally fine to, it's completely up to you. And this is the beauty of what I wanted to teach you in my art workshops, is you can do it your own way. There's not only one way to create these beautiful collages and the resources are endless. The techniques I teach you are quite simple, yet they create an endless amount of possibilities depending on how you feel and how you approach the techniques, the colors you use, the papers you decide on, and then how you put those together in your composition will be different every single time. And that really is the beauty of mixed media collage. You can create something so many different ways with so many possibilities. It all just depends on what you're trying to express, how you feel in that moment and the resources that you allow yourself to use. Show me what you do, I would love to see it, and keep creating. 3. Finding Inspiring Images: So where do you get your inspiration from? For me with this particular project, I chose this image off the unsplash website. It's royalty-free. You just find it, download it, print out at the copy shop for a buck and a half, and you're good to go. You want to make sure you get a good laser print of whatever image you're using. Otherwise, if you print it out on your own injet, it will bleed, if you have your own laser printer even better. Now what I liked about this image is the overall tone of the piece. I like the way it's this ancient looking door. I loved the bronze colors and I loved the shapes. I loved these shapes here. And I loved the little lotus flowers. And I just like the way the piecee makes me feel. So that's what you've got to think about. What do you want to create and how it makes you feel. Now, if you want to use a different image, go to and type in doors. And you will have hundreds to choose from. If you chose something like this, then you would want to have colors to match that would suit this turquoise tone. So the image is important in what you choose because it will determine the other collage, papers that you add to it. This one is a lot softer in color. It's a lot more pastel in it's tone. So you'd want to add other colors and textures and papers that were a bit softer and more muted. You might like that. Whereas this one's going to be warm tones. You're going to want some reds or some deep violet or even some orange, something that's going to really highlight those flowers. That's going to be a completely different color palette and a totally different collage. So as you can see, you really are quite endless. Resources are endless. You can download these images free, you print them out cheap, and then you're good to go. The three main things that you need to consider with this collage is the tone. How you want your collage to feel, the colors that you want to work with, and the shapes the image you choose is going to help to determine those three elements of design. So choose your image first and then we can create the collage papers. 4. Using White Tissue: Have you been buying things online? I mean, haven't we all? What I love about buying things online is that it comes with paper packaging. Now you might think in a little strange that I'm excited about paper packaging. But it makes fantastic collage material. And it's a free resource. You can't get any more affordable than free! So when next time you get something that arrives at your house, have a look at what it is packed in, and ask yourself, can I use that for collage? Can I stick that down? Can I paint over it? Because your whole world will change when you actually start looking at it through the filter of 'will that make great materials to paint on?' White tissue is my absolute favorite collage material that comes free packaging. You can use this beautiful white tissue in so many ways. I'm going to show you now, one of my favorite ways is to use leftover paints, the bottom of bottles. You can also use it with inks and watercolors. And it just makes the most beautiful collage paper. This is the most perfect way to use up the ends of bottles. Particularly small bottles like this, that are really had to get the paint out of, fill it full of water, give it a shake, and then poured on the tissue. And depending on what colours you've got left over, your beautiful tissue will be a combination of those colors. This is one of my absolute favorite collage making materials because, look, now the bottle's empty, completely empty, no paint left in it. And we're creating this fabulous collage paper. It's just the best technique. The tissue paper came from. Packaging that was around something that I bought. And then it's just a matter of using up your leftover paints. Absolutely fabulous! You will be amazed at how beautiful this will look Because depending on what colors you've got laying around. And it feels so good to use up all of this paint that gets trapped in the bottom. It's almost like washing out the bottle onto the tissue. It's a fabulous way of creating collage paper, and look at that nice and clean and all the paint is out, fabulous! Once you spray it and start to move the paint around. Then you can see how it goes into all of those organic shapes. If you spray right to the edge, the paint will naturally seep to where the water flows. You can give it a little bit of a nudge, But you can't really do too much because it is only tissue paper. So remember that. There is Something very satisfying about, empting out the last remnants of paint. So incredibly satisfying. Right, this paper has dried up beautifully. Sometimes when you use the end of the paint on the tissue, it can be a lot thicker than the inks. It takes longer to dry, But also sometimes it sticks and it tears. It doesn't matter if it tears because you're gonna be using it for collage anyway. So you're probably going to be ripping it up. It's just a matter of getting it off the plastic. You don't have to use the end of bottles for putting on the white tissue. You can use anything. But I find it's just a fabulous way to empty out those little fluid bottles and also inks. And if you've got leftover paints or watercolors or inks, It's just a great way to reuse the leftovers and, The packaging comes free people! What's more affordable than free? Not much! So it just peels off pretty easily from the plastic tablecloth. Make sure you've got plastic down. And there we are. Beautiful. Collage paper. Now it does look a bit like stained glass windows, which I love. I love the texture of it. I loved the shapes and colors. Once you stick this on your canvas, you can paint over it. You can add things to it. You can collage on top of it. I just like the organic shape and line that this creates. And you can rip it up and use bits and pieces that you want. It's just a fabulous way of making affordable collage material. 5. Dissolving Nat Geo Pages: I absolutely love the process of dissolving National Geographic with Citrasolve. Now, Citrasolve is this particular product. It's a cleaning agent, a degreaser. It is citrus based. It's quite amazing what it does to the National Geographic pages. You need to get the concentrate version. And it's the only one that I have found that does this process this particular way. I've tried other degreasers or cleaning products, but they do not do the same effect with the National Geographic pages. I have put the Citrasolve, on with a bowl full of the cleaner and a brush. And I've also tried using it with a spray bottle. Now, the thing is the first time I use the spray bottle, I sprayed it way too much and basically all of the ink came off and that's not what you want. So there is a little bit of a process to it. It is highly experimental, but the pages that you create are incredible, unique, one of a kind collage papers that you're never going to be able to reproduce again. It really is worth the effort to experiment. And when you get your Nat Geo magazine, which you can get from a thrift store. Quite cheap. You won't need the cover, front cover. or the cack cover. They don't dissolve well, they're no good. And also you don't need all of the marketing that's in here. Some of them are full of different other pamphlets and things you don't need that, you can use text pages as well as the beautiful images that the National Geographic is so famous for. They look incredible. Can't wait to show you. It is very messy. It's quite smelly. It is a citrus based product, but still it's quite a strong smell. So you want to be in a well-ventilated area. Also, you might perhaps prefer to use gloves because it is quite messy. And you do get the degreaser all over the place. So you probably want to protect your hands. You only really need to do one magazine at a time because you make a lot of pages. So you want to make sure you've got a great space set up before you start to lay your pages out to dry. You just, really you just need to put the degreaser on the pages. It's quite simple. This is what I've done before in brushing it on. You don't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to be neat. It just needs to get a nice coating on it, as soon as you start to put it on you'll smell, that wonderful citrus scent, that will fill your house so gloriously. Also, it won't be long before the pages start to dissolve. Now, this is a little labor-intensive using a brush like this. I personally don't mind. But then I did decide to get a spray bottle like this one. Like I said, the first time I tried it, I put way too much on because it does come out so easily. And a lot of the pages then the ink dissolved completely, which is not the look you're after, but it is a little faster using the spray bottle, the fold outs, I don't mind. It'll be interesting to see how these pages respond. It's not a guaranteed particular success every time Sometimes I've had amazing pages and sometimes I've been a little disappointed. So you really have to be willing to experiment. And that is really the beauty of it because you don't know what you're going to get. I have found the most glorious pages created this way that I've used for beautiful collage paintings, that I can never reproduce again because they're really only a one-of product. It's like a monoprint. You can only get them once because depending on how much you've put on and what's the temperature is like, and how long you leave it. It does vary considerably. It depends on the image. But this is a really effective way of creating affordable collage papers for like a magazine that you can get from the thrift shop for a couple of bucks, some Citrasolve, which is a degreaser, which you can get from cleaning supplies. And it just creates incredibly beautiful, unique and affordable collage materials. So then once the whole magazine is covered, you then have to leave it for about maybe 20 minutes to do its thing. As you can see, the inks already starting to come off and starting to dissolve. So it really is a quick process. I'm going to leave that now for 20 minutes for it to do its thing. And then we'll rip all the pages out and put them out to dry. Right, Well, it's now being 20 minutes. And if you're not happy with how your magazine has coming up, you can give it longer. So it looks like some of these pages could do with being a bit longer. These ones, you can see how the inks being dissolving. All that's nice. That's what we're looking for. A bit of movement. Some beautiful textures. They will dry up, lighter as they dry. Which is good. Like I said, it's highly experimental. Sometimes it works amazing, and sometimes it doesn't. That's pretty nice texture. I love the texture on that, the hard part, what we're deciding, which side do you like more? You have to then lay the pages out to dry, yeah, that's pretty nice. And as you take them out, the degreaser moves a little. So that also adds to creating the texture. All these pages here have got really nice textural marks on them, which I'm very happy with. Even the text is good to use. Especially in a collage painting. You will need a lot of space to be able to lay out your pages. Because if you're doing a home magazine, it does create quite a lot. Which is fabulous because you know, good bang for your buck! You definitely get a lot of collage materials out of one magazine. Depending on what the photo or the text looks like, and how much ink it has on the page. It will have a different look. The pages will lighten as they dry. And as you can see, it creates a whole heap that are all completely different. And every time I've done this process, it has created different pages. Because it depends on the pages that you're starting with, the photos, images, how much you use, the temperature of the day, how long you leave the pages to dissolve. All of that affects the outcome. So it creates quite a unique page each time, pretty much impossible to replicate. And I think that's what I really enjoy about the process as well It is really unique and creates incredible collage papers. And did I mention affordable! Right, so the pages have dry enough. This was a very successful batch. I'm pretty happy. It's got some great pages. There's some beautiful soft tones. Look at this beautiful soft tone. See all these textural marks here. That's what the Citrasolve does, I absolutely love it. That's really beautiful. There's some more beautiful soft times that just have a textural element through them. They will look stunning on a collage. Also there are these beautiful colors that are running through see the round kind of spotty textured marks. That's what the movement of splitting the pages and separating does when it's decreasing in dissolving the ink. Fabulous, absolutely love it. It was a very good batch, this one. I love this page. This is really cool. I like the way you still see the 42 and a little bit of text. And then it's got a strong textural element. There and there. That's worked really well, really like that. Now this red one is, pretty snazzy, but I'm a bit of a red fan, so that would definitely go into a collage or something. Love it. And then there's these other beautiful kind of lunar landscape ones which I like, Look at this one, that's got a really nice high horizon line and all that textural marks that could be added onto. And then there's some beautiful blues and purple tones, I like that purple tone. It's quite unique the way the textural marks come out. You can't reproduce that in a fit. It really is worth the effort. Now don't be discouraged if it doesn't turn out exactly how you envisioned in your mind, because that has happened to me quite a few times. Don't let that discourage you, look at that and that's cool because you just have to try again. Get yourself a few magazines when you're at the thrift shop and try a couple of times because sometimes it doesn't work well for whatever reason and sometimes it really dose. Now I have a beautiful range of so many papers. I'm so excited, I can't wait to add them to my collage. And I'll put some notes into the class area in case you've forgotten something. Or you're not sure what I said, or you can't remember what the stuff is called. And you can refer back to your notes. Yeah. So have a go. Be brave. It can only not work, right? But what you come up with could be absolutely fantastic! 6. Creating an Image Transfer: I absolutely love the technique of image transfers. It's such a fantastic way of getting a beautiful image onto the canvas. Now when you do this process, make sure you use royalty-free images. I've put a link onto the place where I found this beautiful ancient door from. And you can use this one yourself. I've used a matte medium with this particular transfer, You can use other gels. I've tried a gloss medium. I've tried the gel mediums as well and are found them all to be successful. This particular Liquitex matte medium is what I'm using today. So you put an even coat over the surface of your canvas. And then I also like to put a little bit on the image itself. The thing with an image transfer is you want to make sure the image is flat onto the surface that you're transferring it. So when you put it down, you can use an old credit card or card of some sort and scrape out the bubbles and the air pockets just to make sure it's completely flat against the surface so that it gets a good contact. Also, you've got to do this without allowing any of the matte medium to get on top of the paper. Because you'll find that it's very hard to get off once that happens. It's quite a simple process and very effective. So I encourage you to definitely give this one a try. The image transfer is basically transferring the image from the printed design onto the canvas. You can't just cut around the image of a printed design and stick it on. But doing an image transfer embeds the image onto the canvas surface more seamlessly. I love during transfers that come up really well. Sometimes they rip and they tear and they're not perfect. But that's actually half the fun of the creativity. Now the image we've put the matte medium on, then we've laid it down flat and it's dried all night, ready to go. Now the process is taking the paper off the back of the image, requires a little bit of patience, some water, and a lot of rubbing. It is well worth the effort for what you can create. Once you get it going, it's a lot easier. And like I said, sometimes it tears in the process. See how you can see now, it's starting to come off the paper is starting to come off the back. That's what we want. If you find that your fingers get a bit raw from rubbing, you can use a cloth. That also works. If it gets stuck in some spots like this one. It's because maybe some of the matte medium seeped out onto the top of the paper. But if you are persistent and you keep working it, if you rub too much, you're going to rub the design actually off the canvas. So there's got to be a balance between, rubbing the paper off without damaging the design. But at the end of the day, you doing a collage painting. So if it becomes damaged or doesn't work, or it only half turns out. Don't worry about it. Don't stress. Because you can fix it with some more collage ideas or some different elements you can add paint to it. You can add other papers over the top, there's not only one way of doing something, you can try another way of actually adding to your design. You just have to keep working on it until you are happy. So here we've got basically all the paper off. You just have to keep at it until you're happy with the amount of paper that's off. See if you notice, then if you just grab a little bit more, you get that next layer off. So this is the basic techniques of an image transfer. What I like about it is that the image is embedded in the canvas. It's almost like the canvas has been printed on with the image rather than the image just stuck on it. So I like it especially for an underneath element of your collage because then we're going to add other papers on top. I just find it's a great way of adding a beautiful image. It just requires a little bit of patience. Some time. Now, I used matte medium. For this transfer. You can try other different gels and mediums. I have used a gloss medium as well, I have used a gel medium. They all seem to really work. It's just a matter of transferring the image onto the canvas. Have a go at it. Experiment. Allow yourself to fail. If the image doesn't work as well as you'd like, then try again, Don't stress. Add some more elements over the top. You can fix it and keep working on it. The creative process really is all about experimentation and allowing yourself to try different things. And every time you try something different and something new, you're bound to have something not work exactly how you want. That's just how the creative process goes. So don't be discouraged by that. Work out the parts you do like and the parts you don't like and keep trying things. I'm pretty happy with that transfer. I think it's OK. I think we're going to have a pretty nice collage come out of this. As your image transfer dries, you'll notice that it becomes cloudy. If it becomes cloudy, it means that there is still paper pulp on the image and you just need to wet it, spray it again and give it a little bit more of a rub. And it will take the next layer of the paper off. And you keep doing this process until you get to a point. where you're happy with the colors of the image. See how there is more paper coming off. And when, once you get to a point where you're happy with the colors, you probably need to stop or you will dig holes in it and then like that, and then you'll lose your design entirely. You'll basically rub all the ink off as well. So at some stage, you're going to have to stop and say, okay, my transfer is done. And then we're ready for the next part. 7. Finding Affordable Collage Materials: What I love about collage is how versatile the medium is. Pretty much you can use whatever you can stick on that canvas. So I find it so incredibly creative. It's unrestricted by traditional methods of painting and drawing. And I just really enjoy being able to use what your imagination comes up with. So of course, I am an absolute advocate for packaging. I love packaging. And this packaging came wrapped around something recently and I was a little excited, you know, the thing is with packaging, it's such an affordable collage medium because you get it for free. It comes wrapped around something and it can become the most beautiful collage paper if you allow yourself to experiment and create, I'm going to use some of this in my collage that I'm going to show you, the project that we're going to do. Also we are going to use some of the beautiful tissue that we created with the inks. It came up absolutely beautiful, and this was created using leftover paints, also the bottoms of the little Golden ones. It emptied them out, washed them out. Fantastic way of using up every single last little bit of paint. I also have some book pages from the thrift shop which I love, Hello! A fraction of a price to buy old books in the op shops, love it, use it all the time. But also, I'm going to put into this collage, some of my beautiful papers from the Nat Geo process that I showed you how to use the degreaser, to create these beautiful collage. Papers absolutely love them, love them to bits. They're so incredible, they're so unique. You never get the same texture on every page. It depends what's printed on the page, and it depends on how it responds to particular process. So completely unique, one of a kind. And like $2 to buy the magazine and you get 20 pages worth. That is affordable! Also, what you want to consider, is paintings that you've got that you can recycle. So if you've painted already before on paper and you're not happy with it. That makes fantastic collage paper. So this piece here that I'm going to use is a painting that I did on a 300 gram watercolor paper. It was something brilliant at the time, but hello, bored with it now. So, you know, it's going to become part of this collage that I'm working on, so have a look through your studio, workshop, garage, house, under your bed, wherever you've got those little stashed paintings that you didn't want anybody to see, pull them out because they really do make incredible collage paper. Of course, you can use store bought papers. These are all from the store. They were in like. a pack really inexpensive from Kmart or somewhere like that. They came in like, you know, a pack of, how many you get in a particular color palette. So they are really affordable. You buy a whole pack of them and then you've got beautiful papers to use in your collage. I think there's quite a trend in the big department stores because scrapbooking was a really big thing for a while there. So the big department stores have got a lot of craft supplies. Make sure you check that out. I'm going to be using some of these and also all of the other bits and pieces. Now when you're doing your collage, it's really good to set yourself up in a space and gather all of the materials that you wanna use. Because then you're not rummaging around halfway through, trying to find this, don't know where that is. Pull it all out. Even if you're not going to use it, it's really good to have around you to inspire you with what you could possibly put into it. More is better than not enough. But that's, that's a bit me, more is just more. The image transfer is ready to go. Here it is. Yeah. And that's what I'm gonna be working on for a collage. I love the way the transfer is just so flat on the surface. That's the point of doing the transfer is to actually integrated into the canvas. It's worked out quite well. We're now going to do the next process, which is the layering of the collage paper. 8. Hidden Treasures Part 1: Okay, we're all ready to start. So I like to have all the things that I want to use for my collage at my fingertips where I can get them. I've got some of the beautiful tissue paper that we colored with the paints, and the inks. I've got some corrugated card, which is packaging, love packaging for collage paper. I mean, you can't get any more affordable than cheap. Hello. I've got some affordable paint, so I've got some textured papers, some store bought papers. And then I've got some of these which are off cuts from previous paintings that I did on watercolor paper. Recycled paintings are fabulous collage material. And you get to reuse something that didn't quite work the first time. It's fantastic. Scissors, brush. Now I'm going to be using PVA glue and also a matte gel. Really doesn't matter if you just want to use PVA glue. That's actually more affordable than the matte gel. I use both because that's just me. I use these for the thicker pieces of watercolor paper like this that's going to require some heavy duty PVA. Whereas the thinner papers, like say, book pages, old book pages, I use the matte gel on. Old book pages come from the thrift shop where you buy, old books, like they're pretty affordable there. These are my beautiful Nat Geo pages that we've dissolved with the CitruaSolve. They make very unique and individual pages that you just can't reproduce. You want an old credit card or something that you can't easily glue things down with. And I think we're pretty much ready to go. Now my image has transferred nicely on the canvas. I'm still kind of playing and rubbing the paper off. But like I said before you don't, want to rub too much, because then you start rubbing the actual ink off the page. I'd like to really start by actually putting some collage around this edge that butts up against the image. I think that's what I really like to do first. And I'll probably do that with some of the Nat Geo pages. These textures and patterns are working really well with this bronze golden door. So I think I'm going to start with that. Now remember where you start is not necessarily where you are going to finish. So when you're approaching your collage, don't stress out if something's not working because you keep working on it, keep adding to it. You can paint over it, you can add more papers on it. You just keep working until you're happy, that's the goal. So what you need to do is just start, just start on it. And you can make decisions as you roll along. And then you can change things that you don't like. This isn't very intuitive approach. See how I've got my image transfer on, but I haven't planned out exactly what I'm gonna do. Because with each paper or each process that I proceed with, I'm going to make decisions about the next idea. At the moment, I want to start with wrapping these, these textures and patterns around the sides so my sizes become covered, because I really liked the look of that personally. And then I will decide later if it's going to stay like that or if I'm going to cover that with something else. But you've got to at least start. It's a personal preference. If you want to paint the sides of your canvas. I always paint my sides. And with collage I really liked to wrap the paper around the sides. In contemporary art sometimes artists leave the sides all raw and unpainterly, and I don't know, maybe it's an expression of artiness. I think it looks messy, and untidy, but that is really personal preference. I love to wrap the similar paper around the sides. I think it has a far more professional look to it. And it's really easy to do while you're actually creating it. You wanna get yourself some baby wipes because it does get a little sticky. Doing the sides is rather like wrapping a present, fold it in, tuck it over, put some glue on it. Pretty easy. It might seem strange that I'm starting with the sides, but because my image transfer is already in place and it is going to be the focal point of my collage. I'd like to get the papers close to it and wrapped around the sides. So I can then work on top of those. Collage is really about layers upon layers of different textures and papers and elements of design. So really we're just working on the bottom layer. You're going to need baby wipes for your sticky fingers. You're also going to need a cloth to be wiping off the excess glue. So make sure that you've got yourself all prepaid before you start. It just makes things a lot easier. What I love about these National Geographic pages is they're so unique. You can't reproduce them even if you try, because you don't have the same pages unless you've got the same magazine. But then the way that the degreaser acts with that page can also be dependent on the temperature of the day and the amount of degreaser that you use. And so it's incredibly unique. It's an incredibly unique collage material. The beauty of it too, is that it makes so many beautiful pages in one magazine. It's good bang for your buck! A magazine from the thrift shop along with a bottle of degreaser. And you're good to go! That's incredibly affordable. I love this image of the door. I've got this image off the Unsplash website. You really want to have a look at that. It's royalty free. You can download the images and the resources are incredibly endless. They have the most beautiful photos on that website, free to download. So then you go and you print it out either at a copy store, or if you have a laser printer at home, you can use that. You don't want to use an inkjet printer, because then it will bleed and it won't print well, an image transfer. And even if you just stuck it on your canvas, as you put paint on top or even glue on it, the ink will bleed. So it's gotta be a laser print. The fact that we can use incredible image, images from royalty free websites. Resources are endless, really they are. You don't have to spend a huge amount of money to make beautiful artwork. Okay, Going to put some of this book text around the side. I'm gonna use some of the matte gel medium for the book texts because it's just a little bit softer than the PVA. And old books and pretty fragile. I may now turn around and cover that. That I put on so beautifully, And really that's part of the creative process. You have to make each decision at the time. And then if it changes or if it gets covered up in the process of layers, it's really okay because you won't get to the end unless you take all of the steps necessary. It's all part of the process of creativity to just keep moving forward and keep doing what you're led to do next. So I'm really happy with my book text on the side there. And actually, I used the whole page. One whole page. Of course, you can get other amazing treasures from the thrift shop. You can get musical notes. I have quite a few books of music notes. The other treasures are the dressmaking pattern I love using dressmaking pattern and it's so dirt cheap, also the Nat Geographic papers that's where you get them from as well. So secondhand shop or thrift store is a fantastic place to get affordable art supplies. 9. Hidden Treasures Part 2: I'm liking this, this is a store-bought paper, in a pack of these ones. And you know, they are only cheap from Kmart, but I really like the texture on this one. So I'm gonna put that in there. I think that texture works well, with my image. And I'm going to put it here. And that may or may not stay the same. Right now. I'm not quite sure. But that's okay. That's what I'm going to put glue on, look how sticky that glue is, oops. It's a little dry. That's OK. I'm liking, I love the texture. Also the color is working really well with these tones in here. The elements of design that you need to consider as you're creating is the color and the line. The way the patterns working. Your composition will come together as you make these decisions. Some pages require a little extra convincing that they want to stay flat. Yeah, I think I'd like to use some of this, this color's gonna work well. That color palette is going to work well. with what we've got going on here, we probably need this to be a bit straighter, it's almost straight. That way. Do we want it that way? or that way? That way. I guess I want that shape. This particular piece of watercolour paper is quite thick. It's like a 300 gram, so it's not going to fold over the edge so easily. I do it sometimes and try, but I usually regret that I tried because it forever pops up and annoys me. So I'm going to cut it there. Okay, so I'm liking this. This was a painting. Didn't go anywhere, but it's going somewhere now. I cut the bottom off there. I'm liking it like that on there. But I think, I might trim that. And I think what I want to do, I like it in that spot there. It may or may not get covered. I'm not sure yet. But I want to add something under there because that's a little bare. And because I now know that I want to put that piece there. I'm thinking that what would look really nice would be ops. It's a bit sticky. What would, what would be really nice would be to paint this edge in bronze. I think that would look really good. So sometimes you can help yourself in a little planning. Okay, so I'm gonna put this piece there and I know that now. So if I paint that edge in bronze first, that will actually be a lot easier than trying to do it later. So I'm definitely going to do that. I'm also going to add something here underneath, because, maybe it will be on top, 'll come back to that idea. But I think I'm definitely going to cover in that side because that's too thick to turn over. So I'm going to put a piece, another piece of the Nat Geo along there. And I'm thinking about using my fabulous packaging. I love this corregated card. It's fantastic, so good for collage. You can do so much with this. It's endless. Anyway. I'm going to use some of that. So in order to use this, I need to first paint it with gesso to seal it so that the brown doesn't seep through the cardboard. I'm going to add notes all about this, notes about what I am using, how I'm using it. And so make sure you have a look at those notes. I'm talking about gesso, I'm talking about the paint and the gel mediums. So refer to your notes and have a little look. And I'm also going to add into your additional resources, my secrets for creating exceptional collage papers. Because if you have a little read of that, you'll realize what I'm using here is in those notes. So I'm very excited about that. I'm just loving this workshop because I think you can get so much out of this for yourself that you'll be able to create amazing collages. So going to paint this with gesso, I'm going to paint this edge with bronze. And I'm probably going to put a piece here, and I'm going to add a piece on there. So I'm going to do all that. And then we'll see where we're at after that. So I found a really nice textured piece of paper for that spot there because that was annoying me. And I painted the bronze on the edge of this piece. Now, if you're going to buy one really, decent professional grade artist quality, expensive, beautiful Golden paint. Then buy the Iridescent Bronze Fine, because it is the most beautiful, amazing bronze color. I do use these cheap ones as well, but you just can't get past this particular bronze. It is like a true bronze. It's gorgeous. When you spray it, the patina gets released. You just can't go past it. You just have to have it, basically, you have to have this! You have to have it in your artist toolkit. So there you go. So that's on there. We fixed the sides, much happier. And I'm gonna put this piece, now that it's still wet, but whatever, on here like that. And then I cut my painted with gesso corrugated cardboard. Loving it and look at that. I'm just loving that texture, that's gonna go there. Now of course it's not going to stay white, that for sure, So I'm gonna paint that with the beautiful Golden Bronze Fine. And that will look great. And then we'll have to decide what we're gonna do with this, because it can't leave that like that. That's too hard edge there. And Oh, I keep touching it and it keeps ripping. But don't stress about it. It will be fine, if it rips or tears or whatever. It will all workout. And see how it's a little bit cloudy. It's got a little bit of paper still on the transfer. But the thing is, when you vanish it in the end, any paper residue that still there, will disappear like magic, right, So I need to clue these bits on, I'm going to paint this now and then going to glue that on there, somewhere. And then I was going to use some of this beautiful paper as well. So yeah, let's see what I'm going to do with that. Love that stuff. So I'm wanting to glue this piece on here. I'll give you another bonus tip. When you want to glue something, You don't want to mess up all of your lovely clean workspace, as much as possible. So recycle the ridiculous junk mail that comes in your box so endlessly, All those brochures that I hate receiving and never look at, keep them in a pile. And when you want to go and glue something onto your collage, you can use it as paper to work on, because then it doesn't matter that it's gonna get all stuck with glue. And then you can just screw it up and put it in the bin. So what makes all of that junk mail so much more useful! And it keeps your workspace then clean as much as you can. I can't personally stand being continuously sticky and full of mess. It's just me. So I like to work ways that are going to help keep my workspace a little more clean. So doing this, I get to slap glue all over it. And then when I put it on my collage, instead of having all of that glue on my workspace, I can just fold it up and throw it in the bin. And that's much, much better. I space stays clean, and it just helps me with my mental health. Right! Then you glue this bit on. This is quite thick, this watercolor paper, so it will probably require some encouragement. To stick down. That's okay. Just get a nice clean cloth. Make sure the edges are down and just keep pushing on it until it. concedes. I like that. Now I have to go and see if my bronze corrugated cardboard has dried. 10. Hidden Treasures Part 3: Now I'm adding my now bronze colored corrugated cardboard. Doesn't that look fabulous? I just love It! Just used PVA. Glued it on, and I think it looks rather glamorous. Alright, everything's still a little sticky. Oops. And it tears easily when it is sticky. Unfortunately, but we are getting there. It's kind of straight, doesn't really metter. Well, it doesn't really matter to me. Anyway. I like my book text, I think that looks great. I was going to originally cover it up. But I think I'm just going to leave it as it is like that. I like the corrugated cardboard, just making sure it's all stuck down properly. Sometimes these things like to be difficult. Right! That's that. What's next? I'm thinking maybe a little bit of stenciling here. And I'm still not happy with this section here. I think it's too hard edge. I think it needs something along there. Just not sure exactly what. I'll think about it while the cardboard is drawing. So flash that bronze cardboard. Pretty happy with that! Now when you're working on a project like this, you do have to be aware that sometimes it doesn't always go how you think in your mind, it's going to, there's so many ways to change things or change your mind or things don't work out or whatever. So when I'm working on a project, I and I'm using an image like this. This is off the unsplash website, love it so much. To get it printed from the copy shop, it only costs $1.20. I think it is like a buck and a half, Whatever, so it's nothing. So if you're going to get one printed, I suggest you get two. I always get two of everything because it's highly possible I could make a mistake or change my mind or the transfere doesn't work. Or there are a 100 different reasons why I would possibly need two. So, in saying that, this section, here is bugging me. I don't like the way it's closed in. Its closed in the composition. And I don't like the way it's doing that. I'm loving this. This, I think we need to perhaps tone down in colour because the bright bronze is pretty fun. It's fun. I'm loving the text, but this is irritating me the way the composition is closed in. I love the edge. So seeing as I have a second print, what I thought was, I might mirror image, this section, so it continues the composition. So you understand that it's going to open out the picture instead of having it closed in. These pieces around here, are closing my image in and I'm not happy with that. So I, pulling out my other printed image like this and cutting it. I can then use that piece on the edge there and continue that color and pattern around to the side. And that opens up the composition and it makes me happier. I feel a lot happier about this idea, at this stage. So anyway, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to stick that on around there, and I think that is a much better composition. I'm liking that much better. I think it opened up the composition. It looks good. It matches well with the National Geographic pages. I think I'm going to play around with just some more bits and pieces. And that's what you need to do. You just need to try things. Try ideas. Look at what's working and what's not working, what you're happy with and what you're not happy with. And then you make adjustments. Making sure, oops, everything is stuck down well. I think I might add a bit more of this paper here, like here, I like that idea. They'll take that around there. I might even take it off the edge like that. That looks good, I like that. Right, I'm going to do that. Where is my fabulous scrap piece of paper? When you are working kind of just in the developing an ideaan idea and working intuitively and creating as you go, then you have to allow yourself to change your mind. Where did I say I wanted it? but you know, you do change your mind. And every time you put a new element on, it changes the overall of the picture. So you've got to go with that as well. But sometimes you just change your mind. You liked it one minute, you didn't like it the next. It really is okay to do that. It's your creativity. It's your painting, so just allow yourself to create it. I'm thinking that this texture works better than that one. I think I like the idea of continuing that color and design of the door over the edge, More Nat Geo pages They are the best when it comes to collage. That piece looks nice there, I like that. So I'm just gonna add a little bit of a stencil design onto there, because I think if I add some green, it will pull down those colors there and it will unite the composition a bit more. So that's what I'm gonna do. I've got this little stencil and I've got some paint. I did put, oops. I did put a bit of gel, heavy gel medium into the paint because I like the thickness. It will dry a bit darker than this, but I think it's a good color. Just this paint here. Very affordable. The stencil I think I got from? A friend gave it to me actually. So, you know, You gotta have good friends who like to create. And I'm just going to not be too pedantic about it, but I'm just going to add some of the circle shapes here because I think that the color will work really well to draw your eye down. And that section of the composition. I don't mind that. That's OK! Once you do something that's successful, It gives you courage, Then try again! So I'm thinking of putting some more stencils up here, because the first one looks really good, I'm quite happy with it. So let's try it. If it doesn't work, I can just wipe it off, really. It's a little risky, especially in this green color. I'm not usually a green person. But it's really working well, with my colors. Oops, try and hold your stencil flat. It can only not work right? Let's be brave people! I think that the bronze is just a little bit too bright and glary. So I'm adding a little bit of Payne's Gray just to make it a little bit more subdued. It suits the overall composition better. And that's good. I like that. It looks nice. Put it on, wipe it off, until you are actually happy with how it looks. You just can't be afraid to try, Let's face it, it can only not work, if that's the worst thing that can happen. It'll be okay. I think that's better. Pretty happy with how this dried up the stencils are now dry. My bronze is looking way better, not so so glary. That was a little bit of Payne's Gray. Just dulled the color back a little bit. I think the only thing I want, I wanted to add some of this beautiful tissue that I created in these gorgeous colors. And that would go, but I've really got nowhere to put it. So I don't think I will, but I do like the little flowers here. And there's a tiny bit of beautiful red-violet in those, those flowers there, in the colors of those flowers. And so I'd like to add some more something with that. So I'm going to use this stencil. This stencil came from the Warehouse Stationary. It was only like a couple of bucks. It was nothing, it came in a pack of a few of them. Think it's cardboard, which means it's not going to last forever. But haven't used it yet, clearly because look how c lean it is. But I'm thinking a couple of the shapes would be cool. 11. Hidden treasures Part 4: I am going to use this stencil this stencil came from the Warehouse Stationary. It was only back a couple of bucks. It was nothing, it came in a pack of a few of them. I think it's cardboard, which means it's not going to last forever. But haven't used it yet, clearly, because it's so clean. But I'm thinking a couple of these shapes would be cool, Like there, in something that's going to be warm tones like that. And I'm going to give it a go. Like I said, It can only not work. And then I can wipe it off. There'll be a mess. But what the heck! You've gotta try these things. You don't know if you don't try. I'm going to do probably two shades, try and do two shades. See how that looks. I just like the warm toness of those flower shapes. I think that adds a really beautiful something, to the green and the bronze colors. This stencil is a little weird in that it's quite thick. So the shape may not be totally perfect. Bit I'm OK with that. I'm really OK with however it comes out. Like I said, I can wipe it off if I don't like it. Alright. Are you ready for the big reveal? It's a little blobby. That's for sure, but I can probably fix it. Just going to wipe it with a baby wipe. Wipe off the extra blobbiness! But I think the colors really nice. I'm really liking the colour, see how easy it is to wipe off again. It will be Okay. Right, so I lift the painting to dry overnight and I'm pretty happy with how it's looking. I added a little bronze to the side here, just to deepen that tone. I like the contrast between the deeper tone there and the brightness of the text-page. Especially when it's hanging on the wall. It's going to look really good. I like that. That's looking nice, much better color. This was working well. The stencil looks great. The transfer came up good. Pretty happy overall. The sides are looking fabulous. I'm very big believer of creating really good sides that's just me. It's a personal thing. I think when the paintings hanging on the wall and you walk past, you want to be just as happy when you're walking up to it, as when you looking at the front of it. I put this stencil on yesterday. I think what I need to do is repeat some of the shapes. So the shapes here are like, up like that almond shape. And then they have got a deeper centerpiece which I really like. And that's also repeated in the little flowers here. So these shapes are similar in the almond-shape. So I'm going to just deepen the center of them because what you find with a composition, if you repeat some of the shapes in a few places, it just creates more of a rhythm around the artwork. So that's what I'm gonna do with these stencils here. So I ended up putting the deeper color in the middle like here, and then bronze on the tips of the shapes because it emphasized that movement. And I'm pretty happy with how that come up. I think that looks alright. I think it's definitely echoing that cluster of shape from up there and repeating it down here. I like that. I'm still not gonna be happy. Untill I put some of my beautiful, beautiful colored tissue in. It has to go in. I'm going to rip a piece of it off. And the beauty in making such a large piece of the tissue. You can look and see exactly the color tones that you might want. So there are all of these different colors that could possibly, you can pull a shape from. So it's just so fabulous, it's one of my favorite, in case you haven't noticed. This is one of my favorite techniques for collage paper. So I've ripped this piece out from the middle of this half, And I'm thinking that needs to go up here. Then it can bring up some of that color. So there's coloring there and the shape here. And then if I bring that color up there, I think it should work really well. I'm gonna try that. Right, So I put this pace in up here. So it would draw up and connect these colors. And I'm pretty happy with that. I didn't make it too big because I do have a tendency to overdo things. So even though I had a whole massive sheet of color. I only put a tiny piece there, I did make sure the colors that was pulled from the sheet where the same as these colorings in here. And I'm really happy with that. I think that's come up very nice. I was so determined to get a piece of that beautiful paper in it. You know that even a tiny bit is better than no bit. So I think we're done with this. And I think you can gain a lot of tips and techniques from this particular project. How to use recycled packaging, that is just corrugated card, book text from the thrift shop. Get old books, use the book text, love that. Recycle your paintings that you may have hidden around and put under your bed, especially ones on paper. The beautiful colored tissue, which you know, I love the best. Image transfer, how to do that particular technique, the use of stencils. I think there's a lot to be gained from this. And I really hope that you're inspired and I'd love to see what you create. I'm gonna call this 'Hidden Treasures' because that's what I feel like. This door is, what's behind the door? And because it's so elaborate and beautiful and ornate, there must be treasure in there. I really hope you enjoyed the process. 12. How to Finish Like a Professional: So you've got your collage all nice and finished. Your sides are finished and completed. And it's looking absolutely beautiful. Now, to finish a painting like a professional, in my opinion, I think you have to vanish them. Vanishing for one, it seals all the surfaces. It gives it a uniform shine, and also it just makes it last longer. It's UV resistant. Now, I'm going to use a satin varnish today, but you can use a matte or a gloss varnish. I often use gloss vanishes. I like things nice and shiny, but today I'm using a satin because there is so much texture on this, I think the satin will work better for the overall look. Also, if you have any cloudiness left over from your image transfer, it will help to brighten those colors up and to make that look better. So vanishing is a really good idea. So I'm going to show you how to do that. And then we're also gonna, I'm gonna show you how to tape and string your painting, so you can hang it on the wall. This varnish is a satin varnish, so it does look quite milky. It will dry, clear. Don't stress out when you put it on. If it looks quite milky. It will be fine. Like I said, I often use a gloss varnish. But this one, I'm thinking with all of these lovely textures, It's just nice to have a little bit of shine, but not too much. If you find that your papers don't react positively to the varnish that is a little typical. Sometimes textured papers or handmade papers don't do well. With the first coat of varnish. They do look better with the second coat, and I usually put two coats on. Now, I like to use a brush and a liquid varnish. I don't like spray vanishes only because I don't think you can get a good overall consistency of shine, where if you are putting it on with a brush, you've got far more control with how much vanish is going on the surface. And I just like it a lot better. You can however, do what you are used to or what you want to try. That these are just totally my opinions. Now, once you the first layer on the varnish, if you keep brushing, it will actually cause it to stick. So you want to just very simply brush it on like that, nice and smooth and even coat and leave alone. You have to wait until it is perfectly dry before you put your second layer on, your second coat. I always do the sides as well. But that's because I'm a firm believer in having really good sides to a painting because then when you're walking past it. And it's just as enjoyable as when you're looking at the front of it. And that's a personal opinion. If you don't want to do your sides, that's no drama. So I'm going to leave that now, so that first coat can dry. It's that simple. Just brush it on. Nice soft, soft bristle brush. I use a plastic plate to put the vanish in. And then you have to leave it to dry and then you come back, and give it another layer. So my canvas has two coats of the satin varnish, and I'm really happy with how it come out. The image transfer is beautiful, not cloudy at all now with the varnish over it. And that's the bonus of vanishing. If you had any little paper pulp left, it would actually fix all that and bring all the colors up. It's got a really nice shine without being too glossy. And I'm pretty happy with how it's all come up. So now we're just going to tape and string and have prepared the canvass ready for hanging on the wall. You want to make sure you put a nice clean cloth on your workspace because if you've got any leftover paint or glue, you don't want to stick onto the front of your beautiful finished collage. So make sure you've got somewhere clean. I have been painting and exhibiting for a really long time. And this is something that I have always done with my paintings. You don't have to do this if you don't want to, but this is how you would finish it. Like a professional. I just wanted to give you the option of seeing how I do that. I tape the back. This is actually framing tape. That is just what I do, it makes it look incredibly neat and it finishes it off. Next, you're going to want to measure where you want to put your little D rings. Doesn't really matter what the measurement is. You just want to make sure you've got the same measurement both sides. So I'm using D rings here, which you can get from the hardware to string the canvas. And there we go! Beautiful collage painting ready to hang. 13. Thank you and farewell: Thank you for joining me in the studio. I really hope you enjoyed this workshop. My goal for you ultimately is to encourage you with courage, really, and give you the opportunities to be able to explore your creativity in an experimental and intuitive fashion. Now you might take the images that I give you and the techniques I'll teach you and create something completely different, entirely different, take them as a springboard and bounce from them to create something purely your own, from your own intuition and self-expression and that is absolutely fantastic. I would so love to see what you do. Or you might like to use the images that I give you and the techniques I'll show you and follow along my process more closely and create something quite similar to what I've shown you. And that's totally fine too. It's completely up to you. And this is the beauty of what I want to teach you in my art workshops is that you can do it your own way. There's not only one way to create these beautiful collages. The resources are endless. The techniques that I teach you are quite simple, yet they create an endless amount of possibilities depending on how you feel and how you approach the techniques, the colors you use, the papers you decide on, and then how you put those together in your composition will be different every single time. And that really is the beauty of mixed media collage. You can create something so many different ways, with so many possibilities. It all just depends on what you're trying to express, how you feel in that moment and the resources that you allow yourself to use. Collage really is quite endless in what you can create depending on the resources you use. So allow yourself to experiment, make mistakes. And because that's the best way of working out how to use the materials and how to create better compositions. I've been painting for so long and I've created so many mistakes along the way that really, it's just part of the creative process. When I first started to create paintings, I would get halfway through the painting and it would look terrible. I'd have a complete crisis and decide I was entirely useless. And I couldn't do it, throw myself on the floor and have a big cry. Yes. I did do this! This is a true story. And then I'd have to pick myself back up and push on. And it happened for years. Every time I created a painting, halfway through that painting, I would decide I was entirely useless and I couldn't do it and throw myself on the floor. And then I would have to come back the next day, and pick myself back up and have another go. It might be the same for you or you might just be cruising along, whatever way your approach is taking you at the moment and the journey that you're on, just keep going. Have courage to try new things, be experimental, make mistakes, fail, stuff things up, because then you can paint over them and you learn all about textures. You learn better about how to use the materials. And someone's not over your shoulder saying, 'ewh look at that', because it's okay. It doesn't matter if it doesn't work out the first time. Just have another go at it, try again. The beauty of online courses is that you know, your teacher is not even in the room. I can't even see you make the mistakes! Although, I would love to, because I would say to you, "it doesn't matter". It really doesn't matter about if you do something wrong and it doesn't look good because you can change it, you can fix it. That's how I know how to actually fix paintings, is because I stuffed up so many. So it's okay. Take a chill pill. Find your zen, allow yourself to create freely without worrying about the productivity or the performance. And you'll find that it changes your whole aspect about life. Because you will view things differently when you can validate your own creativity. I wish you every success and I would love to see what you do. Join me in my private Facebook group and show me and have a look at the other courses that I've got on offer because this is a journey that just keeps continuing, so to happy painting!