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How to Be Creative With Collage

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Drawn Line in Collage
How to Be Creative With Collage
(cc) Ms Neaux Neaux
While most collage involves multiple images, sometimes a single image can be fabulous 'starting points' for a drawing. A photographic or perhaps text element will set off a line of thinking that becomes a drawn line. In painting there can be a strong desire to make the collaged element and paint become homogenous, with edges disappearing under paint and pigment blending over the surface. Sometimes though, the separation of an image can work very well as a compositional element. So don't try to make your picture look like it's drawn or painted (unless you want to!)... its crispness can form an interesting counterpoint to the texture of chalk or pencil. Collage can work with, alongside or against a drawn element, depending on how you use it.

In this example by Ms Neaux Neaux, the interface of drawing and photograph is abrupt, but somehow they manage to work together. The composition is interesting, with the vigorous lines leading us towards the figure, who is about to move out of the image!

Drawing Mediums in Collage

Always test your materials. Glue will often seep through paper, particularly at the edges, and different papers have varying levels of sizing and tooth which can give dramatically different effects under drawing mediums. You can use any medium in collage, so long as you are aware of how they might interact with your paper and other mediums. Universal markers, such as Sharpie pens, can give very good results over a variety of surfaces, as will gel pens. Other mediums, such as watercolor and ink, will sink in to unsized papers, and 'bead' on the surface of glossy paper. Chalky pastel pencils work well on toothy paper but slide over glossy magazine paper, while crayon or oily colored pencils won't give opaque coverage over colour.

Tip:Layering transparent tissue paper over collaged elements can provide a good drawing surface; a spray of workable fixative can also improve the grip.

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