Exercise 3.4: Collage Studies

The aim of this exercise was to extend my skills working with collage and to focus on colour and composition.

The first task was to take a photograph of a ‘messy’ corner of a room and the image I used is of some of my art supplies next to my first hand-coiled bowl (shown below.)

Part One

The brief for first collage was to create a one with a ‘simple’ colour combination. I defined ‘simple’ as trying to simplify the elements in the image to as few as possible and I created the following collage.

The second collage had to have an ‘unusual’ colour combination. Initially I found it difficult to define ‘unusual’ as I was able to make an argument why every colour combination was ‘usual’ either because they were complimentary or analogous etc. In the end I created this collage as I was incredibly taken by the fired colour of the glaze of the bowl. As soon as I was putting it together I realised that it is very similar to copper and copper oxide (rust) which arguably isn’t ‘unusual’ either but perhaps I was drawn to this because I have been working with copper recently whilst taking as separate silver jewellery making evening class.

The final collage had to have a ‘complex’ colour combination. I decided to define ‘complex’ as trying to match as many different colours in each section but to simplify things I created a less realistic representation and instead tried to abstract the photograph into sections of stripes (inspired by Exercise 3.3).

I tried to build variety into the three collages by representing the photograph in totally different ways. The first tried to simplify the number of colours used. The second focussed on a small section to look more closely at the interaction between the two colours and how the negative space from one colour created another shape in the second colour. The final collage tried to include more variety of colours but in stripes. Looking at this image and remembering the order that I constructed it in, I can also see an influence from the huge number of quilting videos I have been watching recently when I struggled to sleep. This final collage would be simple to piece and recreate as a quilt top.

Part Two

The brief for Part Two is to select one of the collages to develop further. I decided to select the last collage as I wanted to see what effect changing colour schemes could have on the same stripe structure. From this ‘complex’ collage I created the following three collages:

Monochromatic study – black and white

I enjoyed the restriction of the colour palette as it encouraged me to think creatively. I employed textured papers along with printed papers with a variety of patterns in black and white to enable me to create a range of tones.

Single colour study

For my single colour study I decided to use the blue/green shade that appears in the paper used to represent the bowl. I tried to create a variety of shades in gouache and did find that that the colour dried slightly darker than I had intended the shade to be but liked the result.

Multi-coloured study

Although this third collage was allowed to be a multi-coloured study I wanted to use a similar technique to the monochromatic study as it was my favourite out of the three previous versions. I decided to play with the tonal value position and placed them in rough order from darkest at the bottom to the lightest at the top. I tried to use similar papers in the same positions as the monochromatic study where possible as many were the inside of envelopes and I had also collected a large selection which had patterns in shades of blue. I included papers that had flecks of red for interest and to help draw the eye.

I also could not resist using selected printed words from the outside of the envelopes to celebrate the fact that on February 15th I was awarded a National Lottery Grant to help my fledgling not-for-profit (designing and making adapted clothing and accessories often from recycled materials) create social and employment opportunities for other people with disabilities. It seemed to fit the mood of the collage which made the phrase “blue sky thinking” spring to mind.

4 thoughts on “Exercise 3.4: Collage Studies

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