Watercolor Collage Illustration | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

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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.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Making a list of icons


    • 5.

      Sketching reference images


    • 6.

      Painting the icons


    • 7.

      Preparing icons for collage


    • 8.

      Choosing a background


    • 9.

      Making a collage


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Archiving the icons for future use


    • 12.

      Last thoughts


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About This Class

Collage is a very trendy technique in illustration and in this class, I decided to combine it with my favorite media - watercolor. We will be painting all the elements in watercolor and then we will merge them into a collage, in this way we can experiment with colors, textures, patterns and composition, without being timid or afraid to ruin the illustration.

Watercolor is an unpredictable medium and so many times creating an illustration something goes wrong and because of one icon you have to redo the entire art piece.

Other time an icon turns out so well that you would like to use it again and again in your illustrations, with collage techniques I will show how you can reuse the same illustration icons several times and as a result build your icon library.

For creating collage illustration I used following supplies:

for drawing and painting the icons:

- Watercolor paper, cold press.

- Pencil, eraser

- Paint brushes

- Watercolor paint "White nights" 

- Water

- Paper towel

for creating the collage we will need:

- Background paper

- Glue stick or Tacky glue

- Tape

- Scissors or x-acto knife & cutting mat.

Gather your supplies, chose a topic and let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Irina Trzaskos

Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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1. Intro: Hi everyone. My name is Irina Trzaskos. I'm an artist and illustrator. Into this class, I will show you how to make a watercolor collage. Also, we will talk about ways of composition which always work. Collage illustration is a very trendy technique, and in this class, I decided to combine it with my favorite medium, watercolor. We will paint all the elements of our illustration in watercolor, and then we'll convert them into beautiful collage. With collage illustration techniques, we can experiment color, pattern, or composition without being afraid of ruining entire illustration. Next video, I will show you the supplies I'm using to create a collage illustration. 2. Supplies: In this class we'll be using the following supplies. But drawing and coloring the icons, you can use your favorite painting supplies. I'll be using my favorite supplies, which are pencil, eraser watercolor brushes, watercolor paint, watercolor paper, watercolor palette, paper towel, and a washer. For cutting the icons, I'll be using scissors, different sizes and if you are more comfortable with X-Acto knife, you can use it. Then you'll need a cutting mat too. For gluing the icons, I'll be using tape and tacky glue or glue stick. You can pick or glue stick or tacky glue, either one would work. For background, I colored my own background with watercolor. You can do the same or you can use also just a coloring paper, or construction paper, or just a blank colored card it would work too. For lettering, we may need a Sharpie marker or a liner, and that's it. In next video we'll talk about composition. 3. Composition: Now, let's decide what's composition we would like to use for our illustration. There are a few types of composition which almost always work for me, and I want to share them with you. First is some static compositions. The most obvious type of static composition adds a close-up, which one we find there, the center of our paper and just place our object right in the middle, and it's a pretty big size. That is a close-up static composition. The second type which always worked for me in a static composition is when our main object is smaller. Again, placed in the middle. It's surrounded by objects pretty much of the same size. I shouldn't put that. It's surrounded by the objects of the same size. Another type of static composition is slightly dynamic composition when we move our object to one of the focal points, and surrounded with objects of the same size. The objects are placed at equally distant. That's about dynamic composition. There are two types I like to use. Again, we divide our paper into three parts. We would place our main object in a lower left part, but it would be be big. The secondary object will come in the higher right corner, but it would be small. This is one type of dynamic composition we're going to use. Another type is when our main object is pretty small, situated on the lower left corner. Other objects are pretty small too, but they are situated in a higher conglomeration, high right corner. In this way, it's like this type of dynamic composition. According to the topic of illustration you are using, think what composition would work best for you. Or you can use your own ways of composition. Because I'm making a birthday party design, I decided to use a close-up composition where I'll have a birthday cake right in the middle, and it will be surrounded by other smaller objects. Next step is to make life-size sketch. This is the life size sketch I made. We made it so we can understand what size will be the icons we'll be working on next. 4. Making a list of icons: After we've sketched the real size composition on the paper, let's make a list of icons we'll need for fiscal illustration. For me, it will be cake, a cake stand, candles, text, and tropical foliage or branches. In next video we'll be sketching our reference images. 5. Sketching reference images: Once you have your list of icons, you have to find the reference for every icon and instead of saving the pictures from Google search or Pinterest, I suggest you to draw every icon which speaks to you right until you get a sketchbook, it'll make your process more creative. Here, I draw some cakes; cakes stands; branches and foliage, and I wanted them to be tropical; candles, cute types; and cute types how I could arrange the text on banner would look some drop of water around it. After this, I will decide which one I would like to draw. I'll draw them in a real life size. For the cake, I really like this one, two-layer cake and cake stand. I think this one is nice. But foliage, we'll need more foliage for our cards so I'll try to use the most of this shapes. Candles, I like this one. But maybe I'll try to paint few types so we can change and see which one looks best. For text, I think this one still is my favorite even I tried to add different types too. 6. Painting the icons: Now, when we know the size of our icons and we have all the reference pictures, we can draw and paint all the items for our collage. Let's get started. 7. Preparing icons for collage: Last time we painted all the elements, let's cut them out. I cut out all the icons. Let's put a piece of tape on the back of each icon so we can reuse them in different illustrations. I am putting two pieces of tape on long leaves, and the smaller elements will need just a tiny, tiny, tiny piece of tape. So if its visible on this side I will trim it, so it will be just on the back. In same way we'll do to all our icons. 8. Choosing a background: Now when we prepared all our icons for collage, we should choose our background. So I have as an option a pink construction paper. It'll look really girly. So I am just putting on top the main icons to see how it will look. It could work for a girl birthday card, maybe not. Also, I have painted this watercolor stripes but now I think they won't really work because my cake is in stripes too, so I don't know. I don't think it will work well with striped and striped. Also, I painted some circles with watercolor. Painted this dark blue, greenish wash. Now, I'm not not sure it's the same. So I considered a bit too much texture. Also, I have two shades of beige construction paper which could work to construct, maybe another one. This one could be. Also, I painted with ink, some watercolor paper just because I don't have any black paper at home. This one really creates a good contrast. It's quite a stylish look. So I think I'll pick the black background for my birthday card. 9. Making a collage: Now, when we have our icons ready, and we've decided what background we would like to use, it's time to put together our collage. I'm starting with the icons that I know where it will be situated. I know that I want the cake on a stand to be in middle and above to have this message, happy birthday. Looks good here. I will glue those icons, I know where I want them onto our collage and for that, I will use a glue stick. I think any kind of glue stick you have. I have scotch [inaudible]. But the trick is, to put glue on the parts where we have tape. In this way, after we use our collage as illustration and we scan it, we can reuse it for other illustrations too. First I'll have my candles here. As you see, we have these flying corners which are lifting from the paper and they don't trouble me at all because when I'll put in scanner, it will be, however, flat. I glue it just enough, so it will hold in place. We're going to learn just to put here. We're using tape. After we scan our illustration, we can remove it. With this we can play a little and feel free to rearrange your icons as many times as you want until you are really happy with your composition. 10. Scanning: Usually during the scanning, we'll lose some brightness of watercolor. So I would increase the contrast to make sure illustration is close to original. If you're better with photography, I suggest you to take a picture of your illustration. 11. Archiving the icons for future use: After we've scanned our collage, we can store it as it is or we can carefully detach the elements from background and store them separately in an envelope. Let me show show you how. The thing that we've put the tape on the back of every icon allows us to detach it from background. Of course, background will be ruined, but the icons can be reused multiple times. You can just store it in a simple envelope, or you can store them in a portfolio book just like any other illustration you would. To store them in portfolio book, I'd take any piece of paper and I'd glue my icons on it. Any paper I don't care about. I'll put leaves cut cards. Yeah [inaudible] I'm sure, we still can use them. You can see how easily we can detach them from previous background and glue them onto another one until we need them again. When we need them again, we can again detach them very easy, I hope, and use them again and again. This way, it hopefully will save you some work. When it's on paper, you can just put it inside, and when we need again, the illustrations, we can use them. 12. Last thoughts: Thank you for watching my class. I hope you liked it. Don't forget to upload your collage to Project Gallery of the class. I can't wait your illustrations.