Saturday, November 8, 2014


If you're like me, you have a stash of many, many photographs to use in your collage work. Heck, you can even use magazine papers for this "painting."
First, select a color scheme and find photos with those colors. Be sure to find textures and patterns as well as solid areas of color.
While you could cut the pieces, my preference is to tear the edges for a smoother look when finished. NOTE: You want a variety of sizes and some change in shape for added interest.
mixed-media, collage, painting
You do want a number of values, too.
See the different sizes?

Second, arrange the pieces on a sturdy background with some overlapping. A canvas panel, archival mat board, or your usual support. (I have even adhered a large, unwanted photo--in related colors--to the support before beginning the arrangement!)
Guhin, tutorial
This is not done! The arrangement has been glued down.
Go for balance, contrast, movement, unity...all that good stuff. My visual texture came from photographs of rusted metal.

When the collage (some would call it a photo-montage) is dry, get out your small, fine brushes and acrylic paints. I like the white, torn edges to show in places, but I also want to add shading for a dimensional effect. So I brush on dark colors as if a light source were shining from one corner and shadows falling away. I use water to dilute the edges of the painted shadows as they move away from the "light."

how-to, painting, Guhin
Pure black isn't as desirable, usually, as a mixed color.
Finally, if desired, stamp or print, letter, spatter, do any
of those fun things should the composition call for it.
I added some small dots, tiny squares, and a few other
tutorial, tute, how-to
The finished piece. I hope you like it!



  1. very kool Paula! i really like the dots and the shading you added at the end.

    do you finish the whole piece with a coat of medium when you are done? just wondering, for some reason i always do, but wonder if that takes away from the 'layer's effect.
    anyway, nicely done.

    1. Thanks, Rebeca,
      A final coat of clear UV protectant doesn't hurt. I must do another assemblage soon...yours inspire me!

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