5 Minute Pages for Collage: Using a Sponge | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

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5 Minute Pages for Collage: Using a Sponge

teacher avatar Daniela Mellen, Artist & Author

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

    • 1.

      Class Intro


    • 2.

      Class Supplies


    • 3.

      Setting Up the Tissue Paper


    • 4.

      Creating the Sponge Tools


    • 5.

      Painting Technique #1: Basic Sponge


    • 6.

      Painting Technique #2: Custom Shape Sponge


    • 7.

      Painting Technique #3: Combing


    • 8.

      Painting Technique #3A: Hatching


    • 9.

      Painting Technique #4: Crinkle


    • 10.

      Painting Technique #5: Folded Paper


    • 11.

      Painting Technique #5A: Folded Paper 2


    • 12.

      Variations in Media


    • 13.

      Variations & Class Wrap Up


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About This Class

Create papers, in your own colors and designs, to be used for collage, mixed media, and art journals in this fun class. 5 Techniques are shown, with each one taking less than 5 minutes per page to complete. Each technique uses a humble kitchen sponge, that we will alter, to create our unique tool. We’ll make prints using acrylic paint and tissue papers, to create thin pages that can adhered using gel medium, glue, or another adhesive to make collaged pages.

This class focuses on 5 techniques, all using the same supplies:

  1. Standard Shaped Sponge
  2. Custom Shaped Sponge
  3. Combing Technique & 3A Hatching Technique
  4. Crinkling
  5. Folded Paper Technique & 5A Additional Folds Technique

Variations are endless - choose your colors, to combine colors, the depth of color, the amount of paint, the shape of the sponge. These techniques are addictive, so you’ll soon find yourself building a collaged paper stash.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Daniela Mellen

Artist & Author


I'm an artist and author living in coastal Florida and surrounded by plants, animals, marine life, and the warm sun - all things that inspire me.

I am drawn to creating things and love to get lost in projects. Each day is an opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as an educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

As of March 2023 I have a catalog of classes on Skillshare. You'll see handmade books, memory keeping, watercolor, acrylic paint, unique art supplies, and photography composition. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing your work.

Check out my Patreon Channel or my YouTube Channel for additional class info... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Class Intro: Hello, I'm Daniela Mellen, an author and artist in today's class. Five-minute pages for collage using a sponge. I'll show techniques for creating pages for collage using simple supplies. In fact, most supplies can be found in your grocery store. Will use basic white tissue paper, acrylic paints, and a kitchen sponge to create interesting and highly textured prints. I'll show five techniques for using that sponge that you can modify to create endless variations. And I'll show some of those to. Class is designed to create papers and lots of them that can be used in additional work like collage, mixed media, and art journals. It's a great way to build your stash and create unique designs that are specific to your styles and taste. There's a classifier list, a chapter on using additional materials, and a chapter that shows variations on the pieces we make in class. I hope you find these techniques helpful for your artwork. So gather your supplies and let's begin. 2. Class Supplies: So these are the supplies for our five-minute pages for collage using a sponge. And the majority of these supplies can be found at the grocery store. I have some tissue paper here and I purposely chose white tissue paper. In the variations chapter, we'll discuss using colored tissue paper, but this is standard tissue paper you find in the gift wrap the aisle, and it's just white, very thin paper and so presents some challenges and some benefits and we'll go over that further in the next chapter. I have a roll of parchment paper here. And that's because this tissue paper so delicate, I need something that will give it body while we're working with it before it dries. I have some kitchen sponges. You can use any shape here. I just show you a variety. I'm going to cut these up. And that's why I have my scissors. If you don't like getting your hands messy, I suggest purchasing the sponge on a stick and they come in some beautiful shapes that you can use and we'll use those as well today for some variations. I just have some paper plates here for my palette. And then I'm using acrylic paints. You can use good-quality acrylics like artists acrylic, or you can use these craft paints. And I think that the craft paints do a lovely job for collage or mixed media paper, mainly because they have like a matte finish. So that doesn't create a sticky gloss when it dries. It also is easy to control comes in a variety of colors and it's very affordable. Lastly, I have paper towels and I need them quite a bit. I have a jug of water as well, just some spray water to dampen my sponges as needed. You can also use a cup of water. The next chapter we'll go over setting up our work table using the tissue paper. 3. Setting Up the Tissue Paper: Now to prepare my work table and prepare my tissue paper and my surface. This is what I do. I take the gift wrap, the tissue paper, and it's still folded in thirds like it is in the package. I don't have to separate the paper at this point, so I keep a few sheets together. And I have to warn you this, this art is very addicting. You might want to cut a lot of paper to start with for an abundance. And if you make a mistake or because the tissue paper so delicate, it might tear. So you might need it in abundance even further than you expected, so that you have enough to work with for your projects when you're done. So I take the paper and I just kind of get rid of any wrinkles and press it flat. It doesn't really matter if it's exact, but when I cut it to make it in reasonable shape pieces, I like to have it's somewhat straight. So then I just cut it in half. And so now I have two sections. And then I take these sections and I open them up. And you can, if you don't mind using a long piece like this, you can work with it like this, but I like to fold it in half again. And then I cut each piece that I fold it in half, just in half, and that gives me a square to work with. It's approximately eight by eight or eight by 10 or somewhere around there. And it's a good size piece to not only work on, but to have in my stash to store it fixed in a file folder nicely to keep it flat. So I'll do this with the remaining pieces of tissue paper, but I'll also tear a few pieces of parchment paper. I want to make sure the parchment paper that I tear is large enough to go behind the papers. And I like to have two or three at the ready. So I just pulled them off. And then I just tear them and I'll do this with two or three. And as you can see, as I put my parchment paper down, I'll take just one sheet of tissue paper. And therefore I can set it down on my parchment and work on it. Now because the tissues so delicate when it gets wet from whatever paints we're going to use. When I've completed my piece, I can just pick up the parchment and set it aside to let it dry. Take another piece of parchment, another piece of tissue paper, and start my next sheet. The tissue paper does not stick to the parchment and that's why I use parchment. I'm sure there are alternatives you can come up with, but I find the parchment to be the most easy to acquire in the most cost-effective. In the next chapter, we'll go over creating or Spanish tools. 4. Creating the Sponge Tools: Now to create our Sponge tools, because it's collage, I'm not looking for a precise image necessarily, and this is why the sponge allows for such a nice way to print. So I just cut my sponges up and I get a lot of use out of them. I can wash them out and save them and use them quite a bit, including the ones on the stick. What I do is I cut my sponge to different shapes and then I use this to print on my paper. So basically you just take your sponge and you can eyeball it or you can use a marker and you can make your design as a guide for you to cut. So if I wanted to make long bars, I could just eyeball the length here that I wanted to make. Or if I wanted to make a shape. I could sketch it out first before I cut it. So that's very handy. These Ran sponges, I'd like to take advantage of that beautiful shape and I can either use them as they are. I can cut a hole out from the center or in different shape, or I can kinda just make them into a spiral. And that's kind of a fun alternative as well. The shapes will we be using in class today though, include basically just a rectangle, whatever scale rectangle you'd like. This sponge has two textures. This little rough texture and the spongy texture. I prefer the spongy texture for today's class because it gives really interesting prince. And you can make that rectangle any scale you'd like. That's totally up to you, even along one like this. You can also use a makeup sponge. The difference is the makeup sponge has a more dense foam, so you'll get a different result. I prefer the kitchen sponge because of these large holes. It adds interest to my piece. But the choice is yours. You just modify the technique slightly to come up with what you like. In the next chapter, we'll start painting and I'll show you the shape sponges we use just before we start the painting. 5. Painting Technique #1: Basic Sponge: Now for our first page is going to be simple. I'm just going to use the round shape here and I'm going to use the round shape on the stick as opposed to the round shape with the Spanish. So you just choose whichever shape you want, whichever size, the large, medium, or small will just use the one I've always used. And I like to start by just dampening my brush ever so slightly with just a little spray of water. And then I press it down here. I also go in gently pressing down the pigment and I don't wanna get too much on it. And then I'll just press it off. And as you can see, that's a lot of pigment. Because I'm using the craft paints. They tend to have a lot more water than the artist paint. So I just have to keep that in mind. Now you could take down your piece, your tissue paper to your page if you're looking for precise results. However, I'm not. So I'm just going to start and I can start anywhere on my page and I just gently press my image. And depending on the degree to which I want coverage, I can go back in and we apply the pigment to my brush. And this continue going around. And I like to use just kind of lines or shapes. You can do a checkerboard pattern. You can alternate it however you like. And the beauty of this is because it's a collage paper. You can make the entire papered the same. And that's very effective. Or you can make the entire paper different. You can change up the shapes, you can change the scale, the degree that your paper is wet, the color. There's plenty of variations to come up with. I like to have lots of papers in different colors with the same pattern. And I'll continue this all the way along. There is some trick to using a sponge in that, depending on how you press down and how much paint on your sponge, you get a different result. Kinda looks like an eyeball. You can play around with it so that the center doesn't touch as much as over here, can continue to add pigment. The choice is yours. And I find, because I know my tissue paper is so delicate, I don't like to go over the area again. And if I do because I don't feel like I haven't nice print there. I'll be very gentle when I do that. And I'll turn my page around. By turning my parchment around. I very rarely will move the actual tissue paper around while it's wet or even partially wet while I'm working on it. And then I'll continue until I fill up my page. Now, even though I didn't add a lot of pigment, I added about approximately enough pigment on my paper. So about quarter's worth an American quarter, the size of it came out. This brush does contain quite a bit and hold a lot of pigment. Doesn't give perfect impressions, but I can always pick up some more and just add them as I see fit. And again, if I wanted to go over some areas, I would just be very gentle, pulling up gently. Now, I have my image here. I really like this. I like this for a lot of reasons. I like the texture. I like the negative image, the image between the circles. So now I'll just take my parchment, pick it up and move it and let it dry. I'm going to go to the sink and rinse out this brush. If I rinse it out immediately and then I dry it by putting it inside a big rag and absorbing the water. I'll be able to use this again later on. It's not a tool that last permanently, it's a temporary tool, but I do get a number of uses out of it. The next chapter, we'll start with our cutting our sponge to make our shape. 6. Painting Technique #2: Custom Shape Sponge: So now for our next technique, we're going to use a shape. In here. I just cut out a sponge just as I demonstrated when a, we discussed setting up the sponges again and it's going to take a little water, spritz it on my sponge. Not too much, just enough to dampen it to make the spline sponge pliable. I have my purple color here. Again, a good dollop. And I'm going to create just a stamped image, very similar to when we used the round shape. Now if you're concerned about your paper having creases, you can iron it on a low iron. I'm not concerned about this because it's collage and it's very abstract, in my opinion, it adds interest. So now I'm just going to dab the pigment, the paint onto my sponge, and then I'm going to dab it off. And as you can see, the more that I dab off, the more interest I have in my shape, there's more holes. And then I'm just going to start with some shapes. You can get a very interesting effect just by pressing down and keeping the shape and the same pattern, the same formation. So on this line of shapes could go all the way across the page. I can repeat the same thing or I can come here, reload my sponge. And because of the way the shape is, I'm going to just reverse it and go backwards. And I'm going to try and fit that shape inside the angle of the above row. And I can continue alternating this. The beauty of a shape like this as you can also make a mosaic doesn't have to be triangular. So I can create my first image and then I can just try and fit additional images around. It's really about playing with it and finding what you like in your stamping technique here. I like to fill up the page and I like to have just a little distance between each of the shapes. So here I'll go a different direction. But I find if the page is filled, it creates a nice material to work with. When I went to do my collage or mixed media work. Once again, I'll turn my page around by using my parchment paper. And the parchment paper that you have and the is totally reusable. I just keep it underneath the page that's wet until that page dries. Again. I continue to load up my sponge. And then I can just continue to add shapes here. And I'll fast-forward this along and you can see what I do. Just filling in shapes, wherever there is a gap. And there we have our completed stamped shape image, a very simple technique, and it can be done with many different types of shapes. 7. Painting Technique #3: Combing: Now for our third technique, I have a small rectangle here. And again, use whatever scale rectangle you'd like. I'm going to dip it in the pigment and then dip it off. And unlike the other techniques where we actually stamped the image, I'm going to pull or comb the image. So I like to start kind of in the center of the paper. And maybe up and a third all the way from the top. And I'm just with a very light hand keeping my sponge on the paper, very little barely touching and just dragging it across. And I get lines. And you play with the amount of pressure you have for your drag. And if I do this continually across the page, I get what looks like lines, very rustic lines, very directional on my paper. And so I'll carry this through the entire length of the paper. I'll turn my page around. For that final piece here. Again, reload my brush, holds the paper down and just pull the remaining lines, the length of the paper. Reload my brush as necessary. And depending on the amount of pigment on your sponge, the color, and the force you use, you get a different effect. As you can see up here, we have just moving lines. And down here we have much thicker. And that's because I had more spun a more pigment on my sponge. So that's another technique. In the next chapter, we'll build on this technique. 8. Painting Technique #3A: Hatching: So now to build on this technique, I meet another page where I dipped my sponge in the pigment and combed all in the same direction to get that motion. So now I'm just going to turn the paper to the side, one side so that my lines that I already made are now going across instead of up and down. And now I'm going to reload my brush. And I'm going to do the same technique, making those lines perpendicular. And again, you get a very rustic look. I want the lines that I made the first time to show through. And I'm just getting a little bit of cross direction here. Once I have that done, I'll flip it over and finish my piece on this side. Combining those two areas to finish the page. And therefore you get a different look, almost like a checkerboard or a plaid. You can alternate this and do this with different colors to produce a different effect and to layer the colors. 9. Painting Technique #4: Crinkle: So now we're gonna take our paper and we're going to gently crumble it. Really making it soon here. So you get a lot of places and we're just going to gently open it up again trying to avoid hearing it and gently pressing it with your fingers. So now we're gonna take our spine doesn't matter which one. Dip it in paint. And very carefully just press the sponge along the paper so that you pick up those crinkles. Not pressing deep, just pressing lightly. Basically, I'm trying to cover the areas that are raised from when we wrinkled the paper. And again, you can vary the colors on this one, but you're just trying to capture the roughness of that paper and get some of that beautiful texture to really show through. Now one way to really emphasize that is to add a second color, either darker or lighter. So using the same brush, I'll load up that lighter color blue and just dab it in certain areas. This way we have two blues on our tissue paper. Very haphazard. I'm not following any particular pattern. Although that's an option you can do if you choose. I'm just trying to create some shadows and highlights on our texture. And there we have another technique. 10. Painting Technique #5: Folded Paper: So for our last technique, we're going to take the same paper that we've been using and we're gonna make folds in it. So I just like to take the paper, pinch off a little bit and folded. And so my only concern, I'm not worried about getting it straight. I want to see some paper behind my fold. So then I'll go up and grab paper a few inches away and folder. And as you can start to see here, I have lots of layers. And it's my fault can be as wide or as thin as I like. And I'm just creating these folds. They don't have to be even. They don't have to be evenly spaced. I just want to create a few folds. So once I have them, I can hold them down and I can start my painting. Once again, I'll choose a shape of a sponge. And this time I'm going to use a long flat triangle. Once again, Our spirits, my sponge with just a little bit of water to make it pliable, dip it in my pigment, and then pounds it off. And now I'm just going to create images across the folds. And I like to go my first layer. I just like to go across just to get my images down. Once I have that done, I'll take a look, see if there's any areas I'd like to add. Reload my sponge and just go right off the page filling in some of those spaces. I can add another color, another layer to this if I'd like, but I'm going to leave it just like this and we're going to let it dry and then we'll come back and open it up. 11. Painting Technique #5A: Folded Paper 2: So now that it's dry, you can see here that if you were to gently open it up, you have very interesting kind of a striped pattern. I'm going to refold it along those creases that we fold it originally very gently. So now I refold it back to its original format. And I'm just going to take each panel and fold it over again. So we're going to see the underside of the pieces that we painted. And then we'll see the areas on the back that didn't get any pigment on them. So now I'm gonna take my sponge and I'm going to use a different color here just to show the effect. Dab it off and print that all the way across, yet again. Cover those areas. And we'll let this dry again and we'll come back and check it out. So now our paper is dry and we can unveil it and see what we have here. So depending on the phones, you'll get a different effect each time. And I can even go in there with another layer and add it on to this piece. But as it is now, it's quite beautiful and it gives me a lot to work with for my collage. In the next chapter, we'll discuss using alternative tools like colored tissue paper and various media. 12. Variations in Media: So new for some variations on the tools that we use today and the supplies. Instead of the white tissue paper which we used in class, we all know that we can find tissue paper and gorgeous colors in prints and in gifts. And we want to save that tissue that a sweater or a blouse or something was wrapped in. Because sometimes it's really quite pretty. You can use it but just be aware it may bleed. That's why I tend to stick with my neutral my white tissue paper. But that doesn't stop me from using it. I just have to keep in mind that the result might be very unexpected. So to that end, I'd like to show you just a couple of ideas that I used with the colored tissue. So I took the same ideas from class today. Here's the crinkled effect, where we crumbled up the paper and added the color. And as you can see, I started with an all yellow piece of tissue and I added the blue from class. It recreates a very nice piece of paper to collage with or to use. But until I am sure that it is not going to bleed, I'm going to scan this into my printer and that we all have a copy of the page. Then I'll play with it and use it in my work. And if it bleeds, it leads. What I do is I tend to use matte medium. You can use mod podge or something to adhere your peace, use a glue stick. Any of those might activate the colors that would cause them to bleed if they're tissue paper if that bleeds. Here's a piece of pattern tissue paper that I took and I just stamped with our sponge different shapes and different patterns. And so it went from a plane rainbow piece of paper, like you see here. And I changed it quite a bit by just using my sponge shapes. And then the question comes up with supplies. We used acrylic, but can you use watercolors? Well, the answer is yes, you can. Again, the watercolors may bleed or activate when you go to adhere it in your piece. It produces lovely results. Very subtle cues or very dramatic depending on what you're going for. And these are the, these are the same tools that we used in class today, the round brush and the rectangle sponge. Again, this is something that I scan into my computer, so I have that background and I can use it for layering. I will try and use this in my mixed media and my collage, but I do keep it in a separate folder. And as you can see, I've labeled it with watercolor. So these are ones that I try if I'm adventurous that day. Now there are plenty of beautiful supplies out on the market, including some of these stains. This is just one brand of distress stains, but you can find other types of stains. Again, the question with these is how they will run when any type of water-based product, like the glue or the adhesive comes down. Yet again, they produce gorgeous, gorgeous results. The colors are just lovely. And this is made with the shape that happens to come from this tool, the little jabber. So you have lots of options here. You have to be limited by using a supply acrylic paint if you have others to use. And I'm a big proponent of using what you have on hand and just being aware that the results might not be the same. And lastly, instead of tissue paper, I took some Muslim. Muslim is just cream colored fabric, cotton fabric. And I dabbed it here. I dabbed it with watercolors and I got a very subtle effect and I'll use this in my stitching. I could also use this in my collage because a Muslim is a thin piece. And here's one where I used those stains that come in those bottles. And I think it's just a very fun effect and kind of a way to personalize and make my own fabric to use in my artwork. In the next chapter, we'll go back and take a look at the pieces we need in class. And I'll show you variations on that theme. 13. Variations & Class Wrap Up: So here we have the first collage page that we made in class where we just took a shape of a sponge, stamped it repeatedly. They're eating the amount of pigment we have. Now, using black and whites, very effective in my collage and mixed media. But that didn't stop me from making it in different colors. And as you can see here, each page makes just a beautiful array of paper. It creates a nice arsenal, a nice supply chest for you for when you're doing your mixed media and collage. The second technique we used was creating a shaped stamp. So instead of a pre-cut stamp, we cut our own shape. And here we did the triangle. Now some variations were to create them all in the same direction. So here we have them, they're all going in the same direction. Here we have the same direction, but different colors using the same stamp cleaned in-between each. And here we have the same thing. Just a different effect because the different colors produce a different effect. Now using a shape we cut out, we can create a page, single page with all the designs. We can create them in vary the distance between each of the stamps. So here it looks like we have one bar of color when in fact the stamp was just stamped close together. Here the stamps are going in different directions. Here are stamps are going in one direction. Here I take the blue, the same blue I used here, and I just played with it almost making a tile, we get a totally different texture in this one. Now using that same technique of just cutting up a sponge into different shapes and stamping them very plainly. You can get lots of effects and you can get more drama by changing the color as look how black is just very dramatic and it will look very interesting, used in my mixed media. For our next technique, we combed using the sponge across the page. We made lines and made motion and added some interests to our tissue paper. For the next step in that taking it further if we wanted, was to make the lines cross hatched. So we comb them one direction, flipped our paper and comb them another. And that produce quite an interesting result. So using that same technique and sticking to a single color, we produce lots of fodder for our collaging. And that's all so beautiful. But you don't have to stop there. You can combine colors. And here I have three different shades and it kind of is reminiscent of a plaid. So that's a very interesting effect. The next technique we used is where we crumpled paper and we use the texture from this paper to create a lovely results. And here it is the same technique just with colored paper. So this will be a curiosity if it bleeds and I'll post that my Instagram stories when I get the results. And for our last technique, we took our humbled tissue paper and folded it, stamped it, let it dry, refold of it, and stamped it again. And so we have a very exotic and interesting looking pattern here that will make excellent use in my collage. I hope you try your hand at one of these techniques. Snap a photo of your work, post it in the project section and be sure to follow me here on Skillshare to get notified of future classes. Please consider leaving a review and thank you for taking the time to join me today.