Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mixed Media Collage Tutorial

I decided to take photos as I was creating my last mixed media collage in hopes of creating a basic tutorial to show people how easy it is to make a collage using vintage papers as the background. 

Step 1.  Collage an array of vintage papers to a canvas using Matte Medium or Mod Podge.  You can layer and collage them however you want. 

Step 2.  Use distress ink pads like the ones from Ranger and distress the collage once the matte medium is dry.

Step 3.  Using a paint brush or a rubber brayer, add a layer of paint across the collage.  Make sure you don't add to much and completely cover your collaged background.  I usually do this very unevenly to give it some interest . 

Step 4:  Draw the subject of your painting directly on the canvas with a pencil.  You can erase as necessary.  This will help you as you start adding paint and other papers to your subject. 

Step 5:  Depending on what your subject is, you can add gesso to certain parts of your painting.  I added it to the areas where I didn't want the collage to show through, and I wanted a nice bright white background to add lighter color paints.

Step 6:   You can add more paper and layers of paint to your collage to finish the subject. 

Step 7:  Continue using brushes, fingers, and other items to add paint to your collage around the subject.  You can use so many different items, get creative.  Try sponging paint on through a piece of metal screen or dipping a round cap in painting and dotting it around your painting.  This is the fun part.  Just let loose and see what happens.  You might just surprise yourself.

Step 8:  Add final details with charcoal, pastels, or colored pencils (Or all 3 like I did in this painting)  When you're finally happy with the product, I recommend using a sealer to protect the painting.  I like the Liquitex Matte Spray.  It doesn't change the look or finish of the painting and it gives it a nice protective coat. 

Step 9:  You're done.  Sit back and enjoy your work.  Or, start a new piece. 

These are just some very basic ideas on getting started in collage, and there are LOTS of techniques.  What's great about collage and mixed media art is the lack of rules.  You are in control.  I stole Nike's slogan for creating my art work "Just Do It".  You don't have to have a solid idea in your head when you start.  Just let yourself go and see where your imagination takes you. 

Good luck!   Feel free to leave comments :)


  1. I LOVE seeing the artistic process being that I am lacking in artistic talent and imagination to figure out how things are created, thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing the process, I love seeing how others create such wonderful pieces.

  3. Wow, that is so cool! Thanks for sharing the tutorial, I'll have to pick up some vintage paper from your shop.

  4. Just lovely! I enjoyed seeing the your layering process. Thanks for a great tutorial.

  5. Wow! I don't think I could try it and have it come out so nice. =)

  6. Great tutorial!!!
    Makes it look too easy... I know it isn't but it inspire me to try!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I've never done a mixed media collage, but you're making me want to

  8. Thank you so much for sharing! I am going to give it a try!

  9. This looks so fun! I just need to gather some courage and try it out! :)

  10. Enjoyed it, thanks.
    Joyce, Windsor, CT