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Collage Tutorial: Background by hogret Collage Tutorial: Background by hogret
A journey though creating a collage background.

Starting with a simple text page and adding layers and layers of finishes.

This is not intended for you to replicate, as you will undoubtedly have your own inspirations and aesthetic preferences, but I was interested in tracking my own process.

It is worth remembering that there will have to be a sequence in the media you apply.
Ink (or watercolor paint) has to go first because it absorbs into raw paper.
If you want to sketch with pencils or marker pen, you would need to do that next, because they don't adhere too well to acrylic glazes.
Acrylic paint goes next, and last go oil-based media.
You need to leave beeswax until pretty much the last step, although you can still apply oil pastels over it.
Ink stamping can happen anytime up until you use an oil-based medium.

Finished collage:

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:iconladyjewell:
ladyjewell Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Professional General Artist
so where is part two? inquiring minds want to know...
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
I got lazy!!!
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:iconladyjewell:
ladyjewell Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
*assumes Colonel Klink voice* Zat is unacceptable! Off to work with you! Schnell, schnell!
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:iconmindfullyartistic:
MindfullyArtistic Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Professional General Artist
It amazes me that out of all my art forms collage is really one I over look. I keep wanting to do it, and now have a project planned.... it is a large one- 24x36 canvas... trees, organic colorings etc... I have been searching for a 'how to' and yours came up on pinterest! I actually have an account both places, so I ran right over! I <3 what you have done with this! Thank you for the tutorial as well, makes this make so much more sense!
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
Cool! I hope you have lots of fun on your huge canvas!
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:iconmindfullyartistic:
MindfullyArtistic Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
I had a lot of fun :) I made this huge tree as part of my thesis.... I'll get them posted soon... and lookout for an update with my blog as well!
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:iconsamirashamseddin:
samirashamseddin Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
thank for help :la::la::la:
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:iconpmdart1408:
pmdart1408 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012   General Artist
Cool tut. Thanks for sharing.
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:iconhyperskygirl:
hyperskygirl Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ty for sharing
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:iconweirdalbatross:
WeirdAlbatross Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Student Artist
Thank you so much for posting this! I've always wanted to try this sort of layering, but it has always seemed too complex to pick apart. I'd only just learned about distressing the paper with sandpaper in my drawing class last year, and this adds a few more levels. Going to use your tutorial as a guideline and see what happens. :)
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
The most important thing is to play and not to stress about the end result. Often, "mistakes" (eg paint spills, smudged stamps) work out fabulous in the end. And you can always slap more paper over ugly bits, or tear strips off and paint or ink over the bald patches that result. Collage is so forgiving!
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:iconweirdalbatross:
WeirdAlbatross Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011  Student Artist
Yes it is! And that makes for a wonderful type of art therapy. From needing tight control of everything I did at school to learning how to relax and have fun again, collage makes for the perfect transition. :D
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:iconlauratringaliholmes:
LauraTringaliHolmes Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
Love this, and the result. What were you using as an icon, or whatever, to keep you on the rich, Russian track? Or were you simply conjuring from an image in your head? At times, if I am going for a look (say, a 1930s feel), I'll grab a magazine of that vintage to steer me clear of mis-steps before I make them. I'm enjoying the white shapes in the upper right corner. As you have instructed us previously, that is where the eye doth tend to wander. Well done piece. Bring on the second installment!
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 29, 2011
All in my head, I assure you.
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:iconlauratringaliholmes:
LauraTringaliHolmes Featured By Owner May 29, 2011
I spash turquoise on everything every since you got me hooked....
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:iconraulzito2112:
Raulzito2112 Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
Amaaaaaaaaazing tutorial! THanks a lot for that! ( **)
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 24, 2011
I had fun doing it!
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:iconjillykaren:
JillyKaren Featured By Owner May 23, 2011
Thank you for the wonderful tutorial!
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 24, 2011
You're welcome ... hope it's useful.
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:icon22thorn:
22thorn Featured By Owner May 22, 2011
I've just ordered some beeswax to experiment with, Margaret, so the timing of this tutorial couldn't have been better!

Would you recommend buying a quilting iron? I looked at them, but 30 seemed a bit expensive for the amount of use I would get from it. I have ordered a heatgun however.
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 24, 2011
See my note to mcdermid also on this page - you might like to get an iron that you can use for heat transfers at the same time.
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:iconaudreysmith:
audreysmith Featured By Owner May 22, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Very cool. I like learning about what media other artists use, and how they use it.

I've wanted to try encaustic for some time now. I was recently watching how to videos on You Tube.

I've noticed that some inks for stamping do not play nice with acrylic mediums. Have you ever tried using block printing inks for stamping? I was thinking that if you used it sparingly it might work. I haven't tried it yet.
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 24, 2011
Proper encaustic is wax blended with resin, and I can't find that here, so I suppose my technique is more of a faux encaustic.

I haven't tried block printing inks - may work better. The pigment inks do tend to go a bit smeary, and they don't like sticking to glazes much.
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:iconaudreysmith:
audreysmith Featured By Owner May 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
This is what I've been looking at: [link]

Part of the reason why I haven't pursued encaustic yet is the price. So expensive! What if I spend the money on the materials and then decide that I don't like it? I can't tell you how many times I've browsed the encaustics at my local art store, only to wind up buying my usual supplies.
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 25, 2011
Oh so tempting, but eek expensive. Particularly if you have one go at it, hate it, and then shelve it. This is where it would be nice to have a collaborative studio, where we could invest in new mediums together, and all have a try!
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:iconaudreysmith:
audreysmith Featured By Owner May 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Not only that, in a collaborative studio we could afford to experiment as we learn, and bounce ideas off of each other.

The online art store that I often shop from (Dick Blick) has an encaustic starter set that is $600. Don't think I've ever spent that much on art supplies ever in one go before.
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:iconlauratringaliholmes:
LauraTringaliHolmes Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
Audrey, I think it's time we moved across the world! Love your collaborative studio idea.
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:iconaudreysmith:
audreysmith Featured By Owner May 28, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Could you imagine the fun that could be had if we were all able to meet up? Woo hoo! Collage party!
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:iconlauratringaliholmes:
LauraTringaliHolmes Featured By Owner May 29, 2011
It would be the coolest thing. Who's the geographical wiz here? What would be the midpoint between east coast, west coast, mid-atlantic states, the south, South Africa, Germany, Lebanon....
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 25, 2011
Ohmygoodness. NO!
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:iconbunnykissd:
bunnykissd Featured By Owner May 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooo Very nice! Thank you for sharing! I should get some beeswax to try out, I've heard good things!
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 22, 2011
Beeswax gives a wonderful finish and makes your collage smell of warmed honey!
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:iconalmcdermid:
almcdermid Featured By Owner May 22, 2011  Professional Writer
This is exactly what I need, but could you say more about preparing and applying the beeswax, and about preparing the acrylic glaze?
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 22, 2011
I buy beeswax in solid bar form,and shave bits off of it with a vegetable peeler. Scatter the pieces evenly over the collage,and then iron over them so that the wax melts into the paper. (I have a small quilting iron, but a household iron will work too, provided it's not a steam iron, and - of course - you can't use it for the laundry afterwards!) I've tried painting with melted wax, but it just doesn't work for me.

Acrylic glazes are a tinge of coloured acrylic paint of your choice, mixed with a good dollop of acrylic gloss glaze medium. Proportions depend on how intense you want the colour. The more glaze medium you use, the more transparent the colour. You can layer glazes over each other (letting each coat dry first, obviously) to build up translucency and depth.

Hope this helps!
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:iconalmcdermid:
almcdermid Featured By Owner May 22, 2011  Professional Writer
Extremely helpful. Thank you so much.

Can the iron simply be held above the paper?
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 22, 2011
You need to make contact and iron the beeswax into the paper. A heatgun works if you want to keep your distance!
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:iconalmcdermid:
almcdermid Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Professional Writer
Okay thanks. I only have one iron so I either need a heat gun or another iron. I'm guessing an iron preferable?

How did you like my first foray into collage-inspired haiku?
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 23, 2011
A heat gun is useful if you want to do resin work, or embossed stamping because you will use it for those too.
Otherwise a heat transfer tool is a good buy, because you can use it for wax and heat transfers (one available at dickblick - [link] ).

Info on heat transfer technique is here [link]

But a small travelling iron is probably easiest to get hold of, and works fine!
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:iconalmcdermid:
almcdermid Featured By Owner May 26, 2011  Professional Writer
Thanks. I think I will go with the travel iron option; pretty sure I can find a cheap one.
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:iconhogret:
hogret Featured By Owner May 28, 2011
If you iron the beeswax onto the collage through kitchen paper the iron stays fairly clean.
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