Ex.3.4 Collage studies Part one
Aims to help you extend your skills at working with collage, with a focus on colour and composition
I took a photo of one end of my studio. It’s always messy at this end as that’s where everything tends to get put when I finish with it before I can be bothered to tidy up! I printed the photo out and then wrote a list of all the colours I could see in the photo. This gave me a starting point and made sure I didn’t miss any colours out. I used my light box to make a drawing of the photo which I could then collage onto.
The first collage was a ‘simple’ collage. My first go at this was to use the simple drawing I had done and just use purple, blue and white tissue paper, just 3 simple colours. I wasn’t happy with this as it looked ‘empty so I added brown and black into the mix as well. I still wasn’t feeling it so decided to start again. I interpreted this by using simple block shapes for the collage and using the seven dominant colours in the photo. For the papers I used gouache paint to achieve the colours I needed. I also did a smaller line collage of these colours to go along with the simple collage.
For the second collage which was an unusual colour combination I used Adobe Color CC to look for the smallest areas of bright colours in the photo. I then used my Gelli plate to create the colours I needed. This also gave a bit of texture to the colour and I could mix different colours together on the gelli plate quickly to get the colours I wanted and create a whole page of colour I could then cut up. The only issue I need note here is that I mixed the colours by matching them to the colours picked out on the screen. Then when I later printed off that colour palette for my sketchbook the colours came out a bit darker. In future I need to print the colour palette out and work from that so that my tutor and assessors are seeing the same colours I am seeing.
The third collage was a ‘complex’ one. I decided to use patterned papers for this one, staying sympathetic to the original colour scheme and making sure that I didn’t introduce any ‘new’ colours into the mix within the patterns. This is my favourite collage. Using the patterned papers really takes it up a notch and it has a clean fresh feel to it even though it’s the complex one.
For the monochromatic collage I used magazine pages in black, white, grey and text and pattern. I used black and white ink to outline and highlight areas. I like the contrasts in this collage but I feel it came out quite messy looking so I wasn’t happy to put it in my colour book so I have put it in my sketchbook.
Next was a single colour study collage. I chose the yellow ochre colour of the desk, Gouache paint box and the shelves to explore. I photocopied my earlier simple colour collage to get a reference for the tonal values. I used my gelli plate again with antique gold acrylic paint with various amounts of white, black and grey for the mixes. I liked making the mixes on the gelli plate because you don’t know what you are going to get and it gives you a large range of colours to play around with.
For the multi coloured collage I made my own patterned papers with the gelli plate using a range of tools and different papers like cake cases, greaseproof paper, old ledger paper, creased packaging paper, copy paper and corrugated card. For the colours, I literally just grabbed a handful of colours that were pleasing to me and played with them on the gelli plate. I stuck to the simple block collage as I wanted the colours and patterns to be the feature point.
I made the conscious decision to stick with 2 styles for the collages so they would be cohesive in the colour studies book. One style was very simple, using blocks of paper to create the collage and the other was more complex, using a drawing I did of the photo and tracing and cutting out each piece of collage material for a more detailed, composed collage. I feel I have chosen the right design for each collage and feel that they explore the exercise given for each one.
The single colour collage was a really good exercise in tone and shade. Mixing colours to get those tones and shades and trying to keep the same tonal values in the collage was a (good0 challenge. I am pleased with the monochrome collage and the papers I chose to use but I feel it came out a little messy and when placed next to the other collages it didn’t seem to fit in so I made the decision to leave it out of my colour book.
I wasn’t keen on the gouache paints because of the chalkiness and also the tubes are only small in the set I bought and I knew I would need a lot to cover whole pages of paint to cut up, so I went with acrylics for the collages. Mixing the colours on a gelli plate was fast, easy and created a huge variety of colours and tones. On some of the prints the paint hasn’t mixed properly so you can the different colours used to make that mix which was great for the single colour collage. And on others it has given a flat, even colour so there was lots to work with and enough for sample swatches in my sketchbook and colour book.