Advanced Collage Tips for Adults

Artist Henry Matisse had it right when he said,  “Creativity takes courage”. The beauty of art and collaging is that there is no wrong way to do something. It’s about your vision, your feeling, and passion for your piece. That being said, it’s great to learn a few new techniques or gain a new perspective.

Arteza Canvas


The art world is your oyster! You can use many different backings as long as they will support your finished piece, but if you’re painting your background, use a pre stretched canvas by Arteza , as your base. Choose a few colors of paint, then brush, sponge, finger-paint, splash, spray, swipe them on your canvas. Select different types of paint for opaqueness and texture, this will determine what order you put them on the canvas. Try credit card painting, where you push and pull the paint around on the canvas using an old credit card as a paintbrush.

Citra Solv to Make Art Paper

The beauty of collage is you can create one using any media, but let’s start with the basics, paper. You can make your own one-of-a-kind paper using National Geographic magazines, and Citra Solv concentrate, which is an inexpensive natural cleaner found online or at your local store. Pour some of the cleaner into a spray bottle and start spraying the colorful pages of your magazine. After five minutes remove the pages and set them aside to dry.




Once your background and your art paper have dried, combine! Rip or cut your art paper and apply some pieces to the canvas with glue and wait for it to dry. Try adding a photo or an image of a person, whether it’s a sketch, drawing or actual photograph.

art paper have dried

Use Pens to Bring Out Shapes and Figures

When the magazine images dissolve, you’ll be left with some truly unique pieces of art. Look at the altered state of the papers once they have dried. Pick out new images and shapes. Use pens to accentuate the figures, and build your vision outward. For example, if you see something that looks like an eye, draw or bring out a face. Make sure you’ve got a decent collection of colored pens before you do this. There are packages of vibrantly colored pens you can get online at a very reasonable price.

Add Texture

While the layers of paint and paper will add some texture, you’ll need something to break up the flat surface. There are a number of texture products you can buy, but give modeling/molding paste a try. Modeling paste is amazing for wiping on an area of your canvas, over some existing fabric or texture, or simply on its own. If you wait until it isn’t totally dry, you can actually stamp right into it using a rubber stamp, and it will hold the image, or use a stencil and press the paste through it. You can mix acrylic paint into the paste and create colored textures, (since it normally dries opaque) or literally paint with a pallet knife.

Minas Halaj


Paint the Finishing Touches

Once you’ve gotten all your media and textures on your canvas, tie everything in together with your last layers of paint, or pen drawings. If your area of expertise isn’t drawing, try an online tutorial to teach you some basic techniques. This will help everything blend together before you seal it in the end. There are different types of sealants you can use, a particularly acrylic medium which comes in all sorts of finishes like matte or high viscosity, which are available in a variety of retail locations, and if you can’t find something locally, there are many options available for online purchase.

Collaging allows such freedom as an artist regardless of artistic level. However, once you dive deeper and start applying more complex art techniques, you’ll find your pieces truly come alive. Have the courage to try something new.

1 comment

This sounds like my process, except I don’t use modeling paste


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