Collage Background Page (Part I)

Here’s another simple way to make a background for a collage. Take a magazine you like, and flip through it, looking for colors you like. Avoid detailed photographs or words. Big patterns are fine, but keep them in small amounts.

collage backgroundRip out long strips of color, keeping them vertical. Stripes and patterns should run up and down. You can tear or cut. I like a mix of both.

You don’t have to stick with one color, but keep the values the same. In the example, the values are all medium to dark, and the colors are all in the gold-brown/ gold-green range.

Many people work “intuitively,” placing pieces as they pick them up. I prefer to shuffle the papers till I see what works, then glue. That way, I can focus on the gluing technique rather than look out for color placement, size and glue technique all at the same time.

Start from the middle and work out. Keep the color uniform, it’s a background and you can soften it later. You are looking for an even overlap, mixing torn and cut edges, and adjusting the pieces so that not all overlap in one direction.

I used matte gel medium, in a heavier consistency, and I take an extra step: I apply gel medium to the back of the paper first, then let it dry. When I work on the front, it doesn’t warp or buckle.

Next step: Creating the collage. We’ll do that as soon as the collage is completely dry.

Note: Another collage background to try.

–Quinn McDonald is a collage artist who focuses on words in her art. She creates journal pages in collage fashion, and is working on an art book as well. See her work at (c) 2007 All rights reserved.