In the previous two posts, I talked about gathering flower petals and pressing them for collage. This time, the actual collage process begins. I like to use 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ squares of heavy watercolor paper (300lb cold press) for these collages. The paper is expensive, but you can get 12 sheets out of the full size 22″ x 30″ watercolor paper by cutting it to these squares. I use acrylic matte medium as an adhesive and inexpensive, fairly stiff bristle brushes to apply the medium and brush the petals flat into place. You can see these tools and materials along with some clematis petals, a bowl for the medium and some water to moisten the brush in the two photos below (click on the images to see larger versions).
As you can see in the next two photos, the top and underside of the petals can differ in color and value, so that is something to keep in mind while placing the petals.
Clematis petals – top
Clematis petals – underneath
In the collage I will make for this post, I’ll first cover the entire 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 sheet with petals to serve as a background. Below, I have painted acrylic matte medium on a section of the paper large enough to cover the area where the first petal will be placed. Then I paint more medium on top of the petal to seal it to the surface.
I continue across the sheet, placing petals to cover the surface, watching the pattern that is created. In the corners, plenty of medium needs to be used so the petals will not pull free of the surface. It’s the trickiest place on the sheet.
The petals are adhered in rows until the sheet is covered. While wet, the petals still have a shine.
You’ll notice that I let the petals overhang the edge to make sure the surface is covered. Once the matte medium on the petals is dry, the shine disappears and the petals appear matte rather than glossy. It is possible to use a gloss acrylic medium if a glossy surface is preferred.
When the medium has dried, I trim the petals at the edges before continuing with the collage. (The collage is sitting on top of a sheet of illustration board in this photo.)
Next time – Collaging the subject….