I’ve taken a short break from my dessert-inspired collages to return to one of my favorite subjects, animals. This time I thought I’d tackle something I’ve never collaged before, a cheetah. I enjoyed working on the patterned background, as well as cutting out all the intricate shapes for the cheetah’s spots and whiskers.
After completing this piece, I realized that there’s a pattern with the color palettes I use. A lot of my animal pieces use oranges and greens. I suppose I’m drawn to the color green when it comes to the background for my compositions. And I’m looking forward to experimenting with something a little new for my next pieces.
I haven’t explored collaging different dog breeds all that much, so the other day I figured I’d tackle a Collie portrait. I decided to use a simplified background with a warmer green, to create more of a contrast between the Collie and the background. I worked in bits of texture as well as solid colors, and I like how this dog seems to be smiling.
It’s always good to explore different ways to tackle a medium. Sometimes I like to work with more patterns and textures in the magazine strips I use, while other times I like to focus mainly on solid colors. Other times I have no idea what direction I’ll lean towards, and that element of surprise is all the more reason why I continue to make collages.
Long haired dachshunds are one of my favorite kind of dogs. This portrait was made as a gift for my boyfriend’s parents who got a long haired dachshund earlier this year. Their dachshund is a beautiful puppy who has a lot of energy, and I wanted to see how I could capture her likeness in collage form.
It might be fun to explore different dog breeds in the future. But I suppose at the moment, I’ve got my hands full trying to tackle a number of projects. That’s one of the many great aspects of being an artist – having more ideas than you know what to do with.
The other day, I wanted to get started on a new collage. I’ve been thinking that I really need to revisit still life, portraiture, or landscapes again since I’ve been focusing primarily on animals. But then I remembered how much fun it is to make animal collages, so I decided to tackle a koala collage again.
Working on this little guy wasn’t easy. I found myself realizing that koalas are pretty strange looking creatures – they look almost like mice with their rounded ears, and their noses are quite unique and unusual. I think I just haven’t really studied the features of a koala all that much, and realized that I was getting tripped up over the details in their quirky characteristics. Eventually I was able to layer the magazine strips in such a way that I was satisfied with the result. This piece is done…for now.
I’ve always thought rhinos were fascinating animals. They look like aliens in many ways, and for that reason, I thought I’d focus on their peculiar appearance when naming this piece. And sometimes you just want to have fun when titling your work!
I also wanted to play around with layers, so this collage has more obvious layers than my usual work. Typically my collages are pretty flat, while this one is raised in different sections. I think I’ll try to focus more on layers and texture for my next few pieces.
Kim’s 8th grade class from Durham, New Hampshire, recently created their own collages. It was great getting to see what they came up with while using my “painting with paper” technique.
Their work is pretty impressive. Back when I was in 8th grade, I remember the collages I used to make were more like what you traditionally think of when you think of collage. So seeing what these students made, while only using paper for the shadows and highlights for each composition, was wonderful.
I enjoyed seeing how each student used a mixture of solid colors and textures.
Some pieces, like the one above, used a lot of variation in the shapes cut from the paper.
While other student artwork, like the two pieces above, had more rectangular magazine strips.
It was absolutely wonderful seeing images of what the students made. I hope these young artists continue to make art.
Erica’s Grade 3 class from Japan made their own animal collages after using one of my online collage lesson plans. It was wonderful getting to see images of their work – I like how several of the students incorporated magazine cutouts that had bits and pieces of text.
I always enjoy hearing from students and teachers who study my work in school, and I enjoy it even more when I get to see what the students have made. It’s a lot of fun seeing how each artist has their own unique style and adds their own bit of personality to their art.
I hope these students continue to make artwork. Their work is already very impressive, just imagine what they could accomplish in a few years!
Animals are one of my favorite subjects to tackle when it comes to piecing together my collages. Here’s a piece where I was commissioned to collage a dog that has two different color eyes. I’m thinking my next couple of collages will involve some more wildlife.
In other news, I’m planning to get started with exploring a couple different mediums. As much as I enjoy making collages, it’s always good to change things up every once in a while.
Yesterday I created a time lapse video that shows the making of a parrot collage, and above is the finished piece – a photo in better lighting! I’m realizing that I’ll need to play around with lighting for future videos. In general, I’ve decided that I need to make more videos of my process and I’m thinking of perhaps coming out with a series where I answer frequently asked questions. So stay tuned – brand new content has yet to come!