Home » You Can Accomplish This Before Your Effing Head Explodes: Collage Art on Canvas

You Can Accomplish This Before Your Effing Head Explodes: Collage Art on Canvas

Our internet was on the fritz – again – the past few days.  I have no idea what happens to it, but the wireless network just stops working.  And then my poor Husband has to listen to me whine about it until he reinstalls everything.  (Reinstalls?  Is that the correct term?  I don’t have a lot of interest in technology. . .it just needs to WORK).

Anyway, I the Husband got us back on track last evening.  And then I overslept this morning.  On CLEANING DAY!  GASP!

So instead of a 2000 word rant today, you’re getting my most recent project. . .lucky you.

Recall MONTHS ago, Mac ripped a bunch of art off the walls in our living room?  And it looked like such hell, I ripped EVERYTHING off the walls, patched and with the help of my Mother, repainted EVERYTHING?

The walls have been pretty bare ever since.  I intended to hang a few things that would be more “kid friendly” (cheap and not sentimental or valuable) but I was dragging my feet (as always).

For a few months, I debated my options. . .And the room pretty much looked like this:

I look like the ELEPHANT in the room in this photo!  Yikes!  Anyway, please disregard surly pregnant lady and disgusting sofa slipcover and notice large expanse of empty wall. . .

I look like the ELEPHANT in the room in this photo! Yikes! Anyway, please disregard surly pregnant lady and disgusting sofa slipcover and notice large expanse of empty wall. . .

Then I was reading the Aug 2013 Real Simple magazine and I stumbled upon THIS and my heart skipped a beat!  I LOVE that elephant!  How cool is that elephant?!

Original by David Ryden as seen in Real Simple Magazine

Original by David Ryden as seen in Real Simple Magazine

Of course, I immediately assumed a reproduction of that elephant was pricy and therefore not kid friendly.  So I started to think about how I could plagarize err use it as inspiration for some art in our own home.

The magazine mentioned that Ryden’s original is a pallet knife painting.  I knew I didn’t have the time or frankly the skills to actually copy the art with paint alone on a canvas.  So I tore the sheet out of the magazine and set it aside.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps I could make a collage?  Collages are pretty forgiving.  If I screwed something up, I could probably just cover it with more bits of paper.  And if I was using bits of paper or other materials, Mac could probably help in some fashion.

I decided I wanted to use painted newspaper for the collage and perhaps have some of the text show through.  So in late August, I covered our kitchen table with a bunch of newspaper (we get A LOT of those free local news papers).  I loaded up a plastic cutting board with several variations of gray acrylic paint I had mixed and gave Mac a variety of large, dry paintbrushes.  He went to town painting.

And when he grew bored with the paper he was painting, I offered him another and took his to “even out” areas and add more variations of black and white to the page before allowing everything to dry fully.

Then while he napped, I painted a ginormous canvas I had from an aborted project years ago.  I painted it a bright almost cherry red color since that color appears in some smallish dose in nearly every room of the house and I thought it would look great with the black and gray newsprint of the elephant.

Then I got side tracked.  For about a month.

But yesterday morning with the internet down and about 1 hour of free time on my hands, I decided I just HAD to get the stuff assembled and OUT of my basement.

HERE’S HOW:

1.  Study your inspiration for “shapes.”  You’ll form a foundation for the art with roughly cut shapes of paper (painted or plain newspaper, magazine pages, construction paper, etc).  I started with the elephant’s backside since it was going to take up the bulk of the canvas.  Then I proceeded to cut legs, big ear, head, smaller ear, etc.

Elephant painted paper

2.  Lay out your shapes on the canvas until you are pleased with the arrangement.

3.  Lightly, with a pencil, mark a few spots on the canvas to map out the location of each piece.  If you use a charcoal pencil, the charcoal will be easier to lightly paint over should any of it show after you’ve glued everything.  Although, careful use of a regular pencil is fine too.  You don’t have to trace the entire outline of every piece, just make marks to guide you.

4.  Using white glue or Modge Podge and a paint brush, lightly brush the canvas where you first piece of paper will be placed.  (The first piece of paper you glue to the canvas is the LAST piece you removed while marking the positions of the paper.  It’s the “lowest” layer.  In my case it was the tusk.

5.  Proceed to lightly glue and secure every piece 0f paper to the canvas.

Elephant 2

6.  Survey the scene.  Are you happy with what you have?  Do you need to add more layers?  Smaller pieces of paper for more detail?  (In my case, a tail).  Add to the composition accordingly.

7.  Touch up any of the original canvas paint as needed and allow to dry.

8.  When I took a look, I decided our elephant needed a little sparkle.  So I used a pencil eraser and some silver liquid leaf to stamp a few metallic polka dots on her in select places.  Once that was dry. . .

9.  Cover the entire canvas with shiny Modge Podge, varnish or other gloss medium.

All DONE. . .in just over an hour!

All DONE. . .in just over an hour!

That easy.  

A couple of thoughts:

1.  Painting newspaper is great for little ones who like to paint A LOT.  It’s inexpensive and once dry, can be stored flat in small spaces. Then when the child wants to make a picture or card or other project, you already have cool colored paper at your disposal.  Works well for gift wrap too.

2.  If you child is a little older, they could easily make their own canvases.

3.  This is a great project for children because the steps breakdown into fast small projects over the course of a couple of days.  Nice if you’re short of time or attention span.

4.  As I mentioned above, any sort of paper would work and plain old white glue is just as effective as commercial Modge Podge.  You might want to water it down just a little to make it easier to manipulate.

5.  If you’re so inclined, Real Simple suggests checking out this website for animal art.

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “You Can Accomplish This Before Your Effing Head Explodes: Collage Art on Canvas”

  1. Pattie says:

    Adorable! You are to talented.