This is another one of those fun lab series from Quarry Books.
There are 52 labs divided into 12 units. Author Bee Shay starts with building the foundation and textures and continues on through the book to unification and composition.
All of the labs contain materials list and instructions. The labs also include Play and Experiment where she shows the reader options to explore, and Food For Thought where she asks questions encouraging the reader to evaluate the newly created project.
Although she seems to be adding on each lab as you progress through the book, the labs don’t have to be worked in order. She even suggests that you pick and choose what you want to do.
There are so many great techniques in this book so by the time the reader has worked through the book, he or she should be able to feel more at ease with collage. This might not be the book for someone who has been “into” collage for years, but for those of us who have been a bit collage-challenged, this is a great workbook.
One thing she said that I loved that has changed my thinking about collage and art in general was, ” It’s not about the product, it’s about the dance.” And on that note I’ll show you what I created.
The first was Diffusing Imagery.
So I printed out a picture from my computer and used gel medium to attach it to watercolor paper.
Then painted over it with a gesso wash (40% gesso, 60% water). I held my breath. I thought the image was gone – but it wasn’t!
Interesting! Now on to add two more coats of this wash.
I thought for sure now the image would disappear, but it was still there. I was surprised that I really liked the looks of this diffused image.
Then it was on to textures. I had worked with corrugated cardboard when I made one of those Earth Day projects. I again tore and cut through the top layer to expose the fluting. This time I used acrylic paint thinned with gesso for the background. Then when it dried, I painted over it with the full-strength paint.
I really liked that.
The in Lab 43 she writes about borrowing images in composition. So I took this picture – really just part of the picture of my dad’s school in 1924 – and scanned it.
Unfortunately, I can’t pick my dad out of the couple hundred of kids but I really liked this part of the group. I especially liked the girl with the checkered dress who just happens to be standing in front of a girl who has an “L” on her dress. Anyway, first of all, I attached the printout with gel medium to a sheet of watercolor paper. Then I covered the image with a gesso wash – just one coat.
I went into Photoshop Elements, got the magic extractor, and cut everyone out of the image (on the computer) except her. I didn’t clean it up real good because I would be printing and cutting her out.
I then sanded over the group picture after the gesso wash had dried. I painted both of the girls with Faber Castell artist pens. I chose those pens because they were close at hand and also are waterproof. I decided I didn’t like the girl in the photo to stand out, so I again covered her in the gesso wash. Well, the pens bled a bit which caused an unexpected effect. I attached the cutout girl and covered her with Mod Podge Sparkle and inked the edges and the group picture.
As I said, this book is not for someone who is real experienced in collage. For those of us who’ve never collaged or want to bump up our collage techniques and learn something new, this is a great book. I see working through the labs in my future.You can purchase this book at your local bookstores or online.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was under no obligation to offer a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
I just bought this book – it looks fantastic and I love the clear instructions. Thanks for sharing your work! I’m loving the diffused look of gesso on the images.
Deb, It is a great book. I’d love to see what you do! Thanks for dropping by.
Even though you know I’m not a “crafty” person, you still inspire me with the beautiful things you create.
Barbara, Thank you so much. That means a lot coming from you!
Great techniques! I especially love the first image of the girl with the gesso wash, so cool how the pictures is just barely there but still visible!
I love these designs! I’m horrible with collage, I don’t know why, I think I just get so perfectionist and am afraid of wasting a good piece of paper or photograph! But this has inspired me to just go out there and give it a shot!
I also featured your post in my blog: http://ohthatscrafty.blogspot.com/2010/10/collage-techniques-and-inspiration.html
I’m new to the new decade of blogging, I haven’t had a blog since 2003, so I’ve been left in the dark!
I’ve felt the same way about collage and really crafts in general. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact imperfection is what makes us unique. I sure hope you will try some collage again and remember her quote – “It’s not about the product, it’s the dance. ”
Thanks so much for the link. Welcome back to blogging. I hope you will post some of your stuff.