Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A little paper, some glue, now paint and walla!

Hi everyone, Desiree here! I love to add collage and texture to my sketchbook. I haven't gotten into heavy collaged pieces but I do enjoy different papers and text. One of my favorite things to do is to buy old books at a thrift store. Cookbooks are some of my favorites but last time I found an old insect book that had wonderful text as well as illustrations! So I thought it might be fun for us to do this collage together! That's right, you and me, come on it will be fun! Here are a few things you will need

1. Your watercolor sketchbook or a watercolor paper
2. Watercolor paints and white gouache or acrylic paint
3. Pencil, pen, brushes and optional white gel pen
4. Yes Glue or gel medium
5. A page out of an old book torn up in random sizes
6. Your favorite stamp
7. Napkins or soft paper towels, paper plate
8. Painters tape
9. Silverware pieces and a small fruit or veggie for color

I decided to do a two page spread in my sketchbook. I taped around the outside edge to leave a white border. The paint ended up seeping under the tape a bit but I liked the look and went with it! When your background paint is dry you can remove the tape if you like.

Now take your old book page and rip it up. I carefully ripped out recipes and illustrations, then I did some random strips. Using a watered down Yes paste or gel medium, glue down your text randomly around your page.
TIP: When you are painting shadows remember that shadows touch the object where they touch the surface, when a object is above the paper notice where your shadow is! By making the shadow away from the object you help create the illusion of the object floating above the surface or being bent or curved. Look at the pepper tips too.

 Choose two colors for your background. I used yellow ochre and red or sienna. Once your glue has dried you can paint your background. I like to add one color of paint then add another. This allows them to blend on the paper and create some wonderful effects. Don't be afraid to add that color all over your background. Now before it's dry take your napkin and blot off in a few areas to give it extra texture. Let it dry. Remember that watercolor dries 20% lighter, if you need to add more color you can later.
You can see the background colors in this picture
While your paint is drying set up your silverware and veggie still life. I set up my silverware in different angles to capture the light. If your paint is dry draw your silverware still life making sure you overlap or connect the images on your page. It's important in any composition that things relate to each other by touching or overlapping. If you don't do this the artwork piece will feel like random objects are just stuck on a page, because they are. You want to create a rhythm and flow to your piece, one that leads your eye on a journey around your page. That is what happens when things are connected or related. 

Once happy with your drawings( and they don't have to be perfect), paint them using watercolor. I used paynes grey and some blue and some of my white gouache. The gouache is opaque watercolor and will change the transparency of the paint. I also always use a paper plate to blend gouache or acrylics with my watercolors so I don't ruin my watercolor palette. Now add some of you grey mixture to the silverware. The get the feeling of silver it's all about the values so once you have your medium grey you need to add really dark darks and white highlights. Since metal is also reflective you can allow some of the color to show through from underneath by wiping away the paint in a few areas or adding your background color and some of your veggies color. I also added some red gouache to my red Watercolors to give my peppers a more opaque look in areas. I also chose to add some text to my journaling page which is up to you. I painted the text in watercolor so that the print from the collage shows through. 

I have my students write about the lesson and the process and what they enjoyed or struggled with. One student wrote she loved the textures but also combining the hard shiny silverware with the organic colors and textures of the hot peppers. To see some of their pages from that day check out our little private blog called Sketchy 5150's ( crazy sketchers)for our class photos. 
The left page 
At the end I went back and added some shadows to everything, including some of the paper collages on and to my bordered edges that were jagged lines. It made my background also look like a torn edge of paper by adding shadows and outlines. I then outlined the objects with my pen which is also optional! Don't forget to go back with your white gel pen and add some highlights to the lettering and shiny parts of your silverware.
Here is my finished two page spread, I am not crazy about my lettering but I like the rest. I like to take the objects and run them off the painted edge a bit too. Do you notice my shadows? The shadows on the lettering are close but the shadow on the end of the hot pepper above the "e", in the word spice,  is away from the pepper creating a floating above or curling up effect. 

I hope you had as much fun as I did, I knew you could do it! Not scary at all right! Let me know if you have any questions but most important did you have fun??!!!

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