The previous colllage tutorials showed you how play with basic collage and mixed media. Now we continue with applying those techniques to other types of canvases and experimenting with unique textures and effects. Lets's begin with collaging on book covers.

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Additional Materials Needed:

Book Collage

  • A blank notebook or old hardback book*

Textures and Backgrounds

  • A variety of papers, fabric, other textured materials

Popular choices include blank books from teacher's supply stores, hard-covered composition notebooks for journals, and old Reader's Digest volumes for altered books.

Part 4: Book Cover Collage

Book Cover Collage

Here are two examples of magazine collage assembled onto the cover of a blank book support instead of on thick paper.

Technique: This book cover was first painted over with gouache paint and let to dry. Next, magazine collage was assembled over the cover and glued down and sealed with Mod Podge. The sealing helps protect the cut papers from handling and wear.

With the growing interest in altered books, book cover collage is a good place to begin experimenting with unusual arrangements of type, color, and imagery. For more tips and techniques on altered books art, see this Altered Board Book tutorial by Karen Hatzigeorgiou and these Altered Art projects by Tatiana Kuzyk.

Book Cover Collage

You can see how possibilities are endless with collage. The next part shows how unusual and interesting textural background effects on your collages will enhance the process and product.

Part 5: Create Compelling Collage Textures, Backgrounds, and Effects

The Experimental Process of Texturization

As you've seen, it's the eclectic mix of colors, textures, and elements that make creating collages not only fun, but interesting and joyful to the eye. By using a variety of materials and techniques, you can discover "happy accidents" in texture design that adds to the appeal of your collage.

The following examples demonstrate some unique texture effects I discovered during my own collage experimentation. Be open to trying anything, including allowing yourself to "ruin" some materials, make less-than-perfect "messterpieces", and let your creativity flow!

Peeling Paint

Collage Technique: "Peeling Paint"

Made from found papers and acrylic paint on a wood support. This texture, reminiscent of peeling paint, is the result of combining and painting over different papers in the collage — while leaving some parts unglued and lifted.

Wrinkled Blue

Collage Technique: "Wrinkled Blue"

Made from tissue paper, coffee filters, and acrylic paint on a wood support. This texture was created by painting over and down folded tissue paper and coffee filters onto the support.

Mosaic Kitty

Collage Technique: "Mosaic Kitty"

Made from brown paper bag strips, shredded origami paper, and acrylic paint on a wood support. Using strips from a paper grocery bag gave the background on this collage a hard, leathery texture. Torn bits of foiled origami paper gave the inner kitty a flecked, mosaic effect.

Webbly Weave

Collage Technique: "Webbly Weave"

Made with tissue paper and acrylic paint on a wood support. When tissue paper is crumpled, pressed down, and painted over, it creates an interesting textural effect that reminiscent of fibers or spider Webs.

Shredded Treat

Collage Technique: "Shredded Treat"

Comprised of shredded papers glued on a wood support. Mixed shredded paper also creates an interesting texture effect that can act as a background or design itself. An assortment of tissue and printer paper was run through a paper shredder and used for this background.

Ready to see all of these techniques come together? Keep reading to see how I combined background texture with magazine collage and other interesting elements to produce more unique and interesting collage combinations.

Part 6: Creative Collage Art Combinations

The Experimental Process of Texturization

To inspire you further, here's a few more "experimental" examples demonstrating a combination of background texture with magazine collage or other found elements to produce interesting collage art effects.

Remember, anything you can glue down, paint over, or affix to your canvas support is fair game in collage. Don't be afraid to experiment. If it doesn't work out, that's okay, you can always change it up. Allow your imagination to run wild and just truly enjoy yourself!

Hands On

Collage Piece: "Hands On"

This collage was constructed from origami paper, newspaper, and acrylic paint on a wood support. Real palm prints were added over the top by using two hands in a rubber stamping fashion: dipping them in paint and gently pressing down.

Fishbowl Freedom

Collage Piece: "Fishbowl Freedom"

This collage was made from torn magazine pieces, tissue paper, and acrylic paint on an illustration board support. Notice how the tissue paper is crumpled and painted into a background texture behind the lone fish outside of the fishbowl. It's always fun to create "new stories" into collage art from existing sources. The fish were originally part of a magazine advertisement.

Eye Am Be You Tiful

Collage Piece: "Eye Am Be You Tiful"

This self-affirming collage was made from tissue paper, torn magazine pieces, and acrylic paint on an illustration board support. It features a two-tier message ("I am beautiful", and "be you") that begins in the orange fish's eye and continues down toward the bottom under the other two fishes.

Chocolate Pollock

Collage Piece: "Chocolate Pollock"

If Jackson Pollock could do it with paint, why can't we do it with chocolate?! Actually, even though it looks real, the "chocolate syrup" on this collage is a chocolate-brown acrylic paint that looks amazingly realistic. Other elements include a colorful assortment of name brand chocolate-bar candy foil wrappers and a wood support spray-painted white.

The best thing about creating this collage was eating all of the chocolate beforehand. Well, how else was I going to get those wrappers?

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