Collage tips and tricks!

Author: Tessa  Date Posted:25 January 2024 

Collage Tips & Tricks with insider info from the collage queen herself Tessa Anne

If you've ever wondered what you needed or where to start finding inspiration to begin collaging then this is the blog for you! Today we're going over all the essential tools you need plus a few tips & tricks from our resident "collage queen" Tessa. 

"I think I've always found collaging a great way of keeping some control in creating art, it allows me to lay things out and consider composition before really getting stuck in, I guess that's because I'm not always the best planner, I like to just go for it! Sitting down and cutting out all the materials, ripping and rummaging through my saved box of papers is a therapeutic night time activity for me."


"These are some of my favourite tools, that I think are pretty essential when starting collaging! A cutting mat, to protect the surface of any area you are working on, some scissors and a craft knife or hobby knife. An A3 mat is a really good size to get started, if you're sourcing materials from magazines, or even printing up to A3 size images, this is a good size to work with. Often some of the images I'm using are on the smaller size so I tend to create smaller pieces than I would with big abstract paintings."


"This new DecoPudge from Mont Marte has been a massive game changer!! Their Matte finish is actually Matte!! Much more Matte than the Mod Podge equivalent. It comes in a squeeze bottle with a small nozzle, so it keeps everything clean and easy to control.

Another great product to quickly adhere and lay down your materials is the Krylon Repositionable Adhesive Spray, this is a great all rounder for adhering paper to canvas or paper to wood etc. It also gives you a bit of time to move things around and get the composition correct. 

And of course for paper on paper collage, double sided tape is always reliable!"


"If you are already used to collage on paper why not change up the surface and try collage on a skateboard? Collage on a wooden board? You can prime these with a clear texture gesso and create a beautiful surface with tooth to start creating on! Painted canvas can be a stunning background for larger collage pieces, try impasto, iridescent or fluid art techniques to add even more interest to your collages backgrounds."



Now for a few tips and tricks on best practice and sourcing great material!

"As I tend to work in monochromatic colour schemes I find grouping my cut outs and scrap paper together in colour really helpful if I'm looking for a certain element to fill a spot in my composition. Even if you don't work in colour groups, your piece might need a pop of orange; it's super handy to have this organised and at hand for those art emergencies!!"

"Sometimes as I'm sorting through my papers, things will have grouped together organically and inspiration strikes in that moment!"

"Don't discount the scraps that you cut away from the main subject/image, you can recycle them into your own unique paper!"



"One question I get asked all the time is 'where do you find your images?' and the answer is everywhere!! I'm always on the hunt for interesting vintage books or magazines and if I'm on the lookout for a particular image then I'll usually head to Pinterest to see if I can find what I'm looking for. Usually one image will start off the creative process and I'll source materials to suit that one theme from that one image. For example this vintage lady above in blue gloves, might give me a feeling of luxury and opulence and then I'll go on the creative journey looking for images in that rich silky deep blue tone that also gives that feeling, sometimes pulling it all together with a jarring or contradicting bit of text or image just to add some tension." 


"And this is the fun part! Get experimental!! I always like the reactive nature of fluid art and the unexpected results you can get, but I love the control from collage and being able to perfectly compose the piece without too much room for error. So bringing those together gave me some unexpected fluid art with the curated restraint of collage."

"If you're printing some of your source material, try unusual paper, vellum, tracing paper, coloured paper and even recycled paper. I could really go on about all the different medias you can bring into collage but maybe I'll save that for another blog!"


Thanks so much for joining us, we hope you learnt some valuable tidbits of information and wish you happy creating! 

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