Creating Collage Masterpieces

Collages are so much fun to create…especially if original painted papers are used to create the images.  But, how can plain paper be turned into vibrant colors with lots of texture?  Our students discovered the answer!  They had fun learning a new technique while experimenting with a gelatin-like printing plate.  First, they rolled brilliantly pigmented paints onto the surface with a brayer.  Next, designs and textures were created using stamps, texturizing tools, bubble wrap, grids, and even their fingers.  Exploring with different objects for texture was quite a learning experience…and fun!  Then a sheet of paper was placed over their paint creation, gently rubbed, and then pulled from the plate…hence the term “pulled a print”.  Each monoprint was a unique surprise and the “ghost prints, prints pulled from the left over paint on the plate, were quite interesting too.  We could have printed all week long and even framed some of their gorgeous prints…but we didn’t!

We used them to create collaged masterpieces!  The students chose their favorite animal to collage and began drawing pencil sketches…no detailed drawing needed…just a rough sketch.  They experimented with collage techniques:  how to tear paper without hard edges, how to tear it with white edges…and without white edges.  They learned how to lay down a thin layer of glue, apply their torn bits and pieces, and then seal with another thin layer of glue.  They experimented with color and value:  What makes the eyes pop?  How can I make the wings look translucent? They talked to their peers and instructor.  They problem solved.  They learned from each other.  The tables were covered with torn paper in all shapes and sizes.  Creativity was happening.  They “painted” with paper and the results are stunning!