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Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Nature’s Collage

Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Nature’s Collage
Nature's Collage

Nature’s Collage

The craft NATURE COLLAGE is adapted from the project “World of Nature/Spring Mural Collage” found in the Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin and published by Parker Publishing Company in 1971.

MATERIALS:

White glue or glue stick

cardboard any size

Scissors

Any combination of: poster or acrylic paints, brushes, fabric scraps, newspapers, magazines, photos, pen and ink, crayons, construction paper, tissue paper, brown paper bags, ribbon, buttons, etc.

Objects from nature: leaves, twigs, bark, shells, pebbles, seeds from plants, etc.

1. A collage is a composition or picture made by attaching different found objects and materials to a surface. That surface is often (but not always) flat. Like all forms of art, the first step in making a collage involves thinking. What will the collage be about?

2. Decide the size of the collage. Glue, draw or paint everything on the cardboard so it is important to decide if you want a large or a small collage. Use a large sheet or cut it in half.

3. Next, decide if you want the design to flow across the cardboard (horizontally), from the top to the bottom (vertically) or from corner to corner (diagonally).To create depth, larger objects should stand in front of smaller ones. It is smart to work from the back to the front of the collage so glue the smaller objects first. This gives the person looking at the collage a feeling of depth. “Depth” means that you can see objects in back of the objects that are in front of the scene that you are creating.

4. Collect the materials that you will be using. Different materials make up a collage.  This collage project has one main subject (nature) so collect many objects from and about nature. Photographs, drawings of objects from nature (the sun, butterflies, bees, birds, clouds, etc.) can also be used.

Use cut paper, too. Cut the paper into different shapes suggesting nature (i.e., leaves and flowers) using scissors. This will produce paper edges that are wavy, zigzagged or straight.

Or fold the paper once. Turn the paper on the other side and fold again in the other direction. Tear the paper along the fold. Continue to fold and tear the paper into shapes. This creates ragged paper edges which will look different from the papers cut with scissors.

Glue the papers down and overlap them. The layers of tissue paper will show the color and shape of the paper or board underneath and create pretty designs.

5. Glue the materials to the cardboard. If you are not sure about the design, glue them to a piece of paper like construction paper before you decide to use them in the collage. If you decide that you can, glue the paper with the objects to the cardboard.

6. Frame the collage and hang on your bedroom wall!

VARIATION:

SEASHELLS: Find a couple of seashells. The kinds that are sort of flat are the best for this idea. Choose two or three colors of paint and squeeze some on a palette or piece of wax paper. Brush the paint on one side of the shell. Experiment with the amount of paint. Print the shell on a piece of construction paper by rolling it and pressing. Do this with the other colors and shells, occasionally overlapping some of the shells to create a pattern. To add another dimension to the shells, glue tiny seeds or pebbles on the ends of the printed shells. When the paint is dry, cut the printed shells and glue to the cardboard along with the other objects collected. (See the Summer Camp for Kids: Nature Prints tutorial on this website for more information.)

The collage below includes a drawing of a flower, a sun print of leaves and twigs, a part of a nature print of leaves and rubber stamped leaves.The background consists of assorted cut paper.

 

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Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Prints from Nature

Two-Dimensional Ideas on Paper: Prints from Nature

The craft NATURE PRINTS was adapted from the project “From the Yard/Nature Prints” found in All-Around-the-House Art and Craft Book by Patricia Z. Wirtenberg and published by Houghton Mifflin Company in1968

Materials:

Leaves, bark, twigs

Printer’s inks or poster or acrylic paints in various colors (cheaper to use)

Drawing pencils (optional)

Rice or bond paper in white or various light colors (works best with poster/acrylic paints)

Brown wrapping paper or construction paper for use with printer’s inks

Brayer (or roller)

Piece of glass

Newspaper

Solvent for cleaning brayer and glass if using printer’s inks unless using water-soluble printer’s inks

  1. Collect fresh leaves from the trees or bushes in your neighborhood or yard. You will need some to experiment with and some for the last print. Other objects such as tree bark (if it’s easy to peel off) and even some twigs will work along with the leaves, too.
  2. Cover your work surface with newspaper. Lay down the glass and brayer on the work surface. Select the paints or inks that you will use. Acrylic or poster paints are less expensive than oil-based printer’s inks and easier to clean up after use.
  3. You can squeeze one color for each leaf or squeeze two or three colors side-by-side on the glass. The leaves in the samples shown used one or two or three colors at one time.
  4. Roll the paint or inks on the glass until the pigment covers the brayer. If you are using more than one color, let the colors run into each other. Roll the brayer over the leaf several times and turning the leaf over, lay it on a piece of paper like rice paper or bond paper. Use your hand to press the leaf so that it prints on the paper. Paper that is not too thick or too thin is the best to use if using acrylic or poster paints. Printer’s inks can use a slightly heavier paper like construction or brown wrapping paper.
  5. Remove the leaf and see how it printed on the paper. Experiment until you have a print that you like. Experiment with other materials from nature combined with the leaves.
  6. To create a mixed media design, color the whites of the leaves or the background paper or outline the printed leaves with colored pencils. See the two samples below.
  7. Frame the print or using old note card stationery, make note cards or poster cards of the printed leaves. They make a thoughtful gift for people who still write notes!
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Summer Camp: Textured Prints

Summer Camp: Textured Prints
Textured Print

Textured Print

  Materials: Printer’s ink, black and two colors Glass surface Brayer Lightweight paper (rice or bond) Cleaner Rags

  1. Squeeze a line of black ink on the flat piece of glass. Roll the brayer over it and back and forth on the glass. Cover the brayer with ink.
  2. Find a very rough surface i.e., woven fabric, a collage of leaves, brick, stone, etc. Place the paper over this surface. Hold it firmly with one hand as you roll the inked brayer back and forth over it.
  3. Ink the brayer again and try another textured surface on a clean sheet of paper.
  4. Clean the glass and brayer thoroughly and wait to dry.
  5. Squeeze ink in the second color on to the glass and roll the brayer over it. Coat the entire brayer with the ink.
  6. Roll that color over a clean sheet of paper on another surface or roll the new color over the first sheet inked in black. Try different combinations of the two colors and black and different surfaces.
  7. Frame the finished textured prints or use them to make notecards.

ALTERNATIVE PROJECT:

Two textured collages,the one superimposed over the second, resulted in the textured print pictured above. The print was first printed in black ink rolled over a collage made of strings arranged in a pattern and glued to a board.  Geometric patterns made from poster board comprised a second collage. After the black ink dried, the print was placed on top of this second collage. Brown ink was rolled over the geometric shapes creating the design.

 

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