Transparent Stamped Collage Layer Technique

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This article was written by Elaine Brady Smith

I love adding collage to my mixed media art whether it’s in journals or on a piece that will hang on the wall. The collage papers that I make often spark ideas and I’m excited to mix and match to see how I can combine the layers. I am always prepared to get working when I have papers ready and on hand, so one of the things I do on a regular basis is to have paper making days when all I do for the day is make a whole lot of papers! Then on art making days, that big ole pile of collage paper just beckons to me to dive in and create something awesome!

One of my favorite go-to methods is adding transparent collage layers to my work. This adds depth and history which creates a more interesting piece of art. I can go crazy layering patterns, colors, and designs that all allow what is underneath to show through. This is added as a second stage, so after I’ve collaged or painted a start, I am ready to add the first transparent layer. There are many ways to add transparent layers to your work. The one I will talk about today is stamped layers on tissue paper that will be made transparent. When the process is complete, only the printed areas remain visible. It’s a lot of fun, so let’s get started!

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Here is the supply list for this project:

Cardboard, Mat board, or Foam Core Board

Fun Foam

Pencil or Fine Point Marker

Scissors or XActo Knife

Gel Medium

White Tissue Paper

Sponge Roller

Large Paper Plate

Acrylic Paint (can be cheap 2oz bottles or tube paint)

Wax Paper

Large White Trash Bag (not the flex bags, they have pattern on them)

Masking Tape

1” Flat Paint Brush

Plastic or Paper Cup

Liquetex Gloss Medium & Varnish

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Cut both the board and the fun foam to the same size. I have cut mine to 5” square.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Draw your design on the fun foam with pencil or marker and cut out the pieces with scissors (or you can cut them out with an XActo knife).

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Glue the pieces to the board by brushing a layer of gel medium over the board surface with a paint brush, and then place the pieces where you want them. Press the pieces down and make sure each piece is secured with gel medium. Wipe excess gel medium and allow the stamp to dry.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

I have made 3 different stamps that I plan to print and then use in a collage.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Place 1 or 2 colors of acrylic paint on one side of a paper plate and if you are using multiple colors, place them side by side on the plate. Tip the sponge roller into your paint and begin rolling out from the paint piles until the sponge roller is filled evenly with paint. This takes a good amount of paint. If you are using 2 colors, roll in a slightly left and right motion to mix the colors in the middle of the roller21.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Place your stamp foam side up and roll the paint filled roller over it until it looks like the stamp is covered sufficiently with paint.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

With the stamp facing up, place a piece of white tissue paper over the stamp. Place a piece of wax paper on top of the tissue paper and smooth out with your fingers making sure the tissue has made good contact with the stamp.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Remove the wax paper and gently pull the tissue off the stamp to reveal your image. You can repeat this process to produce a “ghost” image with another piece of tissue paper, or spritz the stamp with water from a spray bottle to revive the remaining paint. Each print will turn out slightly different as you print.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

You can experiment and play with the paint colors. Here I have rolled two shades of purple on the top of the stamp with a sponge roller and with another sponge roller, added two shades of green to the bottom of the stamp.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

I’ve have made a variety of prints from the 3 stamps I made, so that I have multiple choices when I am ready to collage.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

After your prints are dry, lay them on a white trash bag that has been taped flat to a hard surface such as a table top or board.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

Put a small amount of Liquetex Gloss Medium and Varnish in a plastic or paper cup. With a paint brush begin to generously paint the entire surface of the printed tissue paper with the medium. You can leave a tiny corner of the tissue paper unpainted to use as a lifting point. Allow this to dry overnight.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

When the medium is dry, carefully lift the printed tissue from the plastic bag. It will be completely transparent, except for the parts that have been printed with the paint.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers.

You can now add the transparent collage pieces to your art. My piece was done on an 8” x 10” stretched canvas. I started with paint, collage layers and a bit of stenciling and when the initial layers were dry; I cut and glued my transparent prints down with gel medium. You can add many of these transparent prints with different patterns to your piece to get a unique effect. Try combining different patterns or the same pattern in a variety of positions or colors.

Layering patterns and designs with transparent stamped collage layers. Make your own stamped layers! Learn how to create your own original transparent collage papers! This is an inexpensive technique using Fun Foam and acrylic paint to print on tissue paper that will then be made transparent. Your prints can be layered in your mixed media art producing depth and interest in your art.

Here is my completed collage that I finished with Sharpie paint pens and some additional stencil layers.

I hope you have fun playing with this technique!!!

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Author bio:

Elaine Brady Smith loves creating acrylic mixed media and encaustic collages. Key ingredients in her work are vintage papers and her own collage papers made with repetitive marks, simplistic shapes and transparent layers.  She also enjoys other art mediums such as art journaling, oil painting and colored pencil drawing in addition to writing, teaching and spending time with her family. Find more on her website: elainebradysmith.com and on Facebook: Elaine Brady Smith Art

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Mini Mixed Media Canvas

Kina, from The Stamp Room, has made this cute little mixed media collage on a 4″ x 4″ canvas. She shares her process with us.

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This little 4×4 canvas was gessoed, I then took my new Hexagon 6×6 stencil from the Crafters Workshop and a little embossing paste.

While this was all drying, my Prickley Pear Rubber Stamp large Hibiscus die came out. I punched out 4 flowers in metal, used Copic RV93 and RV95 to color them, and made the large flower by cutting and gluing it.

Next I stamped with Archival ink, I used both of the PPRS Hibiscus Clear Stamp sets. I also used the smaller Hibiscus die and cut out 3 paper flowers using BoBunny’s “C’est La Vie” paper pad.

Time to paint!! I used my new Art Anthology Inc. Colorations Vineyard Spray as well as Distress Victorian Velvet and Bundled Sage. Glued down paper, again from BoBunny’s  C’est La Vie paper collection, and a strip of folded washi tape from Prima’s Sunrise Sunset collection.

My big metal flower and one of the little ones got tiny orchid colored glassbeads glued to the edges and I added a white “pearl” to the middle of each flower, glued the big flower in place and stamped my Sentiment from the PPRS Hibiscus Set 2 in Archival ink.

mixed media collage in purple

I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!

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Kina can be found, hanging out in her Stamp Room in Florida, USA.

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Chiaroscuro Circus Workshop

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This article is written by Jan Murphy of Wild at Heart Studios

In the Fall of 2012, Wild at Heart Studios, in the lovely town of Friday Harbor, Washington, held a workshop entitled ”Chiarscurro Circus”. It was hosted by two well-known mixed-media artists, Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby, for four days of amazing creativity and fun.

Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby hosting the mixed media art class

Twenty four students from across the U.S. and Canada attended the workshop where they learned a wide variety of techniques to create lavish backgrounds and vibrant face focal points using oil crayons, ephemera, and hand-made stencils and stamps.  They explored images of clowns, jesters, theatrical ceremonial figures and more.

“Chiaroscuro” (key-ah-squoor-oh) is an artful term that encompasses the dramatic contrast of light and dark and everyone left with several pieces of gorgeous art!. A great time was had by all.

 mixed media art class  with Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby

To find out more about Wild at Heart’s upcoming workshop, visit their website.

mixed media art classes

 

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A Canvas Journal

This article is written by Francesca Albini

I am always exploring ways to organically blend digital with traditional media. I love the versatility and portability of digital, all its different and new brushes, the infinite palette, the possibility of integrating text and images, but often I find that digital art looks very flat and cold when printed.

On my latest trip to America, I thought it would be fun to keep a digital journal, more practical, quicker, less messy. But messy is good, it’s tactile, three dimensional, just like travelling. I felt that I had to find a way to bring to life my digital journal, so that it would be true to my travel experience, the emotions and adventures.

So here are two “pages” of my journal. Originally I drew the car with a ballpoint pen in a notebook. I photographed it and digitally coloured it in and framed it. Then I imported it into the journalling app and added text and marks. For the second journal page, I used various photos I had taken with my mobile phone.

creating journalling on canvas

I decided to use stretch canvas as support, printed the digital journal pages and other photos on printable canvas, glued them to the big canvas with pva, and then added all the paint splashes and details that I felt communicated the heat, the light, the atmosphere.

travel journalling and photos collaged onto canvas

Lastly I also painted a self portrait as a dreamy observer . I am satisfied that the digital elements in these two pictures have a warm, natural feel about them, and gel well with the acrylics and paint markers.

Perhaps keeping a journal on stretch canvas is not very practical, but one or two meaningful pages per trip could turn the walls of your home into an inspiring memory lane.

 

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Francesca is a visual artist using pretty much everything she finds around her to record and relive feelings and memories of places and emotions. She collages, paints, draws, photographs. Francesca loves mixing modern technology, such as mobile phone apps, with the simplest of tools such as glitter glue, crayons and other children’s art supplies. Read her blog at franjournal.blogspot.com

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