My friend Nat Kalbach and I taught a three-day workshop in the UK called, "Mixed Media Circus: Whimsical Collage." Nat and I have taught together several times -- in Germany, New York City, Australia, and England. We had a wonderful time with a fabulous group of students.
Day one and two were dedicated to color mixing, making custom patterned paper, and learning the principles and elements of art. And before I forget (and since it's the first photo), Art Foamies is having a week-long sale. If you want some of these awesome foam stamps at a discount, use the code COLORMEHAPPY in both their regular web shop and their etsy shop.
We covered all kinds of tips on layering patterns and creating "mud-free" papers full of crisp color!
Paint was provided, so everyone in class used the exact same colors. We also provided all the stencils and stamps for students to use. And even though they were all working with the same supplies, everyone's work turned out so different! Isn't that cool?!
We did a collaborative painting exercise that was so much fun! We had these long strips of paper and kept rotating them through the room. It was great fun to see how they turned out and then divide up the paper for students to use!
Working collaboratively is a great opportunity to relax and loosen up. It takes some of the preciousness out of your work when you know you don't get to/have to keep the finished product. If you have some friends around you who like to make art, it might be a fun thing to try some day!
There was so much self-discovery in the room. After the day-long lesson on elements and principles of art, one student said that she felt like she had just learned a new language and was excited to be able to practice and use it. I loved hearing that!
The six collages you see above are the (unfinished) demo collages that Nathalie and I made in class. Each one demonstrates a particular art principle. If you're unfamiliar with the elements and principles of art, they're worth learning. They are the building blocks of all art and knowing how to use and/or abuse them can empower you to create work that you love time after time.
As a side note, I can easily tell which of those collages are mine and which ones are Nathalie's. I think we each have a distinct style and it emerges even in the simplest of exercises. It's in the colors we choose, the patterns we gravitate towards, and even the way we hold the brush. The advice I gave to each of the students and I will give to you too is: Don't run away from the things that make you unique, odd, different. Run towards them. That's your style. That's who you are.
I have three existing online classes that cover some of the things from class:
- Getting Started with Color Mixing
- Getting Started with the Design Principles
- Getting Started with Collage
In addition, two of my new online classes (starting Dec 1) cover some of the skills from class:
- Notan or Expanded Square -- focus on design and composition
- Book of Color -- exploring monochromacity
Tomorrow I'll share day three of our art adventure!