Thursday, June 3, 2010

Collage in Your Altered Book

Collage is one of my favorite techniques, and it finds its way onto just about all of my AB pages.  It can be an art page all by itself, or done as a background for other images, or even as a background for journaling.
And, it is simple.  It's all about taking papers, cutting or tearing (what I prefer, for the added texture) them, and gluing them down in a pleasing design.  I like lots of layers, overlapping the papers, and using a variety....text, sheet music, old advertising, scrapbook papers, you name it.  Of course you're not limited to collaging with paper.  You can add fibers, fabric, ribbon, metal, acrylic pieces, wood.....again, you name it, you can add it.
But for today, I'm going to concentrate on paper.
Select a page or a two page spread for your collage.  It can be one you've gessoed, colored, or a naked one. Up to you.  Gather together a bunch of papers.  This is where I'll use my scraps.  Every time I do a background technique I save my scraps.  When I cut away excess paper, I save them.  I keep a little box on my work table, and in they go.  So now I'll go through my stash, pull out some papers and begin gluing them down.  Here I'm using gel medium and a brush.  Not because I have to, but because that's what was already on my table.  Use whatever paper adhesive you like.  As I said, this is simple.
Just apply some glue and lay it down.  Use your fingers or a bone folder or a scraping tool to gently smooth in down and get rid of any wrinkles or air bubbles.
Don't over think this process.  If you don't like something either peel it off or glue something else right over it.  There aren't any mistakes in collage that can't be fixed.
I was very excited to find this scrap showing a part of a face!
Just keep adding.....
I'm about done here.  I've left quite a bit of the original text showing, as I think I'll be adding a focal image in that area later on.
I haven't been worrying too much about color up until now, but looking at this collage, I'm pleased with the arrangement of the papers, but would like it to feel a bit more cohesive.  Here is a great trick for bringing it all together, with color.
I already have quite a bit of colors in the brown/copper family.  So, I mix a bit of copper acrylic paint with some gel medium to form a glaze, and brush it over the whole page.
Look how that brings the whole piece together (well, at least it does in my mind):
I will come back to this page later and add some more....maybe a larger graphic image, or some beads or fibers or an old photograph, or maybe I'll use it as a journaling page.  The thing is, you don't have to decide now.  And, I may also wind up leaving it as it is.


  1. This blog is a GREAT idea. I am loving each and every post so far. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I am loving your new blog too, and hope to use the inspiration to finally have a go at an altered book myself.

  3. Great job on your new blog Eileen. I am enjoying it.

  4. Wowza, this is awesome! Loving this step by step process, really need to start one... I know, I know, I keep saying that....

  5. I love the collage process. There's something to be said about taking pieces of paper and gluing them to another. The AB journey is becoming more fun every day. I can see how you don't stop after one book! Thanks Eileen for sharing. Kerry P.

  6. Wow! I just foud your blog's wonderful! ....thanks for ALL your GREAT Tips...I'm new at this and this is the first blog I found to be helpful and your so willing to share what you have learne ...and it's free.
    Thank you so much.