Origami Paper Collage

As a Yasutomo Design-team member, I get to have a lot of fun playing with the company’s art materials. One of the ways I experiment is using different materials in unexpected ways. I’ve always liked origami paper, so today I tried using it as a collage element. You can read the complete instructions on the Niji blog site, but here are the highlights. For the project I used Fold’Ems origami paperSplash Inks, Yasutomo’s gel pens, and a touch of the gold sumi-e watercolor paint.

fleur1Yasutomo’s Fold ‘Ems origami paper is double sided. One side is a print, the other a pattern. This was the star pattern, which worked well to give parts of the collage texture.

Start by choosing a sturdy watercolor paper.

Free-mix Splash Inks in a palette to make green, teal, and purple.Dilute the colors with water, then drop the colors onto the wet paper using a fat watercolor brush.

As the colors spread, tilt the paper to allow blending. I like to avoid mixing watercolors in wet-in-wet technique.

If you must blend, use a light hand, allowing the colors to run and mix.

fleur3Allow to dry completely. Select some coordinating colors from the origami paper.

I like abstracts and a rustic look, so free-hand drawing loose flowers appeals to me. Cut the majority of the flower from the solid paper, then add touches of the patterned side.

Try several shapes rather than just one. It makes the completed piece look more natural.

fleur4Cut double portions of leaves, so you have a mix of dark and light. It makes them more interesting. As a finishing touch, I added a bit of gold watercolor shine to a few of the leaves and darkened the stems with a green gel pen. You can use the purple pen to add depth and give the flower petals some definition.

Quinn McDonald is on the Niji Design Team; she is a creativity coach and collage artist. She was not paid to create this post or any she does as a design team member. She was given materials to experiment with.

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5 thoughts on “Origami Paper Collage

  1. Hi Quinn,
    Just wanted to say thank you for the blog – I get loads of ideas from it – I like to think I’m “creative” though I rarely share any of my output and respect very much those who do. It’s why I can never write a bad review on Amazon – just cos the book didn’t gel with me doesn’t make it a “bad book”. I love the picture you created above – beautiful colours – and only wish I could see it in 3D!

    • Thanks, Anne. It was a fun experiment. I think giving your opinion is important (lots of people didn’t like “Raw Art Journaling” on Amazon) for others who think like you. A good book review, with examples of what the reader liked and disliked, is valuable. There are many badly-written books–not just grammar mistakes, but plot lines that change halfway through the book, or that have characters that are not well developed. What’s really important is being clear on what you did and didn’t like. One person told me my book had too many words, which is true, it is more than a craft-project how-to book. So is my second one. Another one said it didn’t have enough projects. The book had 47 projects, but she didn’t like them. That’s a different story. So feel free to like or dislike books, and tell people why. If they agree, wonderful, you’ve saved them time. If they disagree, they have a surprise waiting for them.

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