We received a question this week from a relatively new stamper asking how does collaging of stamps work? Here are a few methods suggested by Leandra.
The wonderful samples of art are from Sue Abbott of Paper Paradise, a PaperArtsy stockist in Grimbsy, England. Sue teaches classes with our stamps regularly in her shop.
1. Layers of collage
Pick 3 colours of paper: maroon, green, black/cream) and stamp a series of images you want to work with onto the papers in black (maybe emboss in clear/ gold?) and cut/tear out. Working on a dark surface, lay images in an appealing way, adding colour to your background layers with a stippling brush etc and glue down when you are happy, Embellish with german scrap, tissue paper or vellum, threads, ribbons, watch parts, phrases, words etc. Images from Winter Wonderland Plate 1
Stamp an images, then stamp the same image onto a post it note. Trim out the post it note image, then lay it over the stamped image to create a 'mask' . Now you can stamp another image (even the same one) overlapping the first image, and repeat. Using this method, you can make a stamp of a single tree look like a forest, remember that the first image you stamp will be in the 'foreground' and all the rest will look like they are 'behind' the image once the mask is removed. The way you colour this scene with shading etc can also add depth and interest to a 'collage'. Masking an image, and then stippling colour around the mask can also be used as a way to create depth. See how this is achieved with this domino necklace by Leandra
3. Making Backgrounds
We love to make backgrounds using stamps. This example is great to show how simply this can be achieved in black and white. I think that stamping is always more effective when you use contrasting colours, and this highlights just that. Sue has used black ink to apply colour which is overstamped in white, white areas are stamped in black fine detail script. Fine detail stamps are over-stamped with chunkier ones, and different scripts also provide contrast too. These stampbord pieces are great as stand alone pieces, or you take them the next step by collaging a feature image on top. Add glass, metal tape, solder, and jewellry findings and you have a wonderful pendant. This would be a quick, but precious Xmas present for a special friend. Black leather thong would be a good 'chain' to hang it from. These 2 stampboards have used stamps from Words plate 4
4. Stamping On backgrounds
My personal style, and a 'system' that works for me is:
a. create a background by adding colour to white card (eg direct to paper with ink pads, paints, watercolours etc). Next stamp with numbers, fine writing, textures or other 'background' type elements in a pale colour (usually using the same inks as you used to create the background base colour) over the base to add more interest. (You can make 2-3 of these papers and use them within a collage, or stamp other images onto them, then trim and lay onto one of the other backgrounds)
b. Stamp in black a feature image (usually a person) onto one of the backgrounds from (a) trim out, then position onto the background made in (a).
c. Tear another piece of paper / card/ bespoke backgrounds and use to 'ground' the collage at the base, or a strip down the side, or to frame the feature image.
d. Embellish, with rub ons, mini tags, ephemera, wings, crowns, numbers, bingo numbers, watch parts, words or phrase stamps etc etc until you are pleased with the result. Once you are happy with the placement of all elements, then stick down all of the pieces. These stamps are from Letter plate 5
If you are struggling at this point to get your collage looking cohesive, and are contemplating the bin, then just before you give up, try mixing a thin whitewash of gesso (undercoat primer) with water, and take a wide brush and gently 'whitewash' the whole collage. Suddenly your 'collage' will look cohesive, and you might add a quote, or some words in boxes to finish.
...hope this gets you thinking of the possibilities.....