Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sketching Boldly With Transparent Collage

Hello, it's Gina here. This month's sketchbook challenge is all about "Sketching with Collage". Instead of gradually adding color, I (with the help of my two-year-old) went crazy with a fun, bold abstract background first.

We used oil pastels, colored pencils, and watercolor paint. Whatever color that spoke to us, we went to town with it!  Then, my son got bored and said he was done. Lol

I took some Grafix Dura-Lar acetate film and made transparent collage sheets with handwritten text on them. I used white Ranger Enamel Accents, which is a dimensional faux enamel that dries to an opaque gloss finish. Set aside to dry.

TIP: You could use anything transparent cut to size like cellophane bags, overhead transparency sheets, page protectors, and clear ziplog bags. I've even used recycled envelop windows!

I then squeezed out some indigo watercolor (Daniel Smith brand). 

Placing dark neutrals here and there added contrast to my composition. 

I carefully sewed the transparent collage elements onto my sketchbook page. 

TIP: Tiny double-sided tape helped anchor loose pieces before stitching them down.

 The citrus family was calling out to me. I cut out some lemons and a fruit bowl from various commerical scrapbook paper.

I added a leaf or two.

And, voila! 

This still-life is my interpretation of sketching with collage. You could barely see the gold metallic pencil writing at top center, but it says: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade...or lemonade margaritas, I say!"

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it inspires you. Add zest and interest to your art journals by incorporating transparent collage. And don't be afraid to go bold with your colors. Color invites the inner-child in all of us to come out and play!

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye (for now :).


  1. I love it. Love the colors and the sewn on text. And the pocket with fruit. Oh my, so cute.

  2. I knew there was a reason I saved the cellophane sleeve off my new calendar!:)

  3. I love this. another thing I have done in this vein is to arrange my collage pieces in a laminating pouch and laminate, then add the laminated sheet as an overlay page. It makes the page really interactive.

  4. Thanks everyone! Your comments mean so much.
    Vicki, what a great idea!

  5. Apart from loving your vibrant page (including the bits your artistic 2-year-old added) I found your technique for using transparent collage interesting - something I haven't seen before, and I definitely want to have a go at including this in my work. Thank you for sharing this tip.

  6. You're very welcome Jez! Please feel free to share your artistic creations on our flickr page :)

  7. Thank you for all of your wonderful art, Gina! I enjoyed seeing your collaboration with your son. It's wonderful to see how he brings inspiration to you.

  8. I appreciate such kind words, Janet!