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Flower-Power Collage

Updated on February 15, 2016
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise has been studying and teaching art and painting for 40 years. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her art and design.

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Washer Woman Collage
Washer Woman Collage | Source

Three-Dimensional Papercraft by Dawn Allen

Cutting and gluing paper together to make art.

I have been painting and drawing since I was a pre-teen, maybe earlier. Art is more than a form of expression for me; it is my voice. Watercolor is something I picked up some years ago because the oil paint smell sent my dear husband right out of the house. I don't understand that, really. I LOVE the smell. But I also love him and don't want him to leave, so I switched over to the less toxic watercolor.

I have loved playing with collage for some time. The process of cutting and gluing paper together to make art intrigues me and gives me a satisfaction to know I'm recycling at the same time. One day I came across the book, Three-Dimensional Papercraft by Dawn Allen, which shows how to take cards or other printed heavy-weight paper, cut and form, then layer them to create great collaged, raised art. As I read this book, I thought how great that would be with my watercolor. It is painted on heavy paper. I often do several versions of the same picture using stencils. I started creating stencils of my work for teaching purposes. This meant that all the students would be learning a technique starting with the same drawing. It also meant that I often had 6 or 7 (sometimes 10) of the same painting.

Photo credit: All photos were taken by me of my own work. The Washer Woman is an award winning watercolor collage created using this process by me, Denise McGill.

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Watercolor illustration of my grandson, Scottie, using the three-dimensional collage technique.
Watercolor illustration of my grandson, Scottie, using the three-dimensional collage technique. | Source

I used some of my own work to experiment.

I immediately pulled out some of my duplicates to see what would happen if I tried this technique on my own work. The results were fun and fabulous. Some of them have won awards in art shows. Plus I have the added benefit of downsizinga rather large stack of paintings, all of the same picture.


One piece created for a larger flower collage.
One piece created for a larger flower collage. | Source
Photo of the Canna Queen watercolor painting and others already cut and numbered.
Photo of the Canna Queen watercolor painting and others already cut and numbered. | Source

Step 1.

Then I pulled out some of my flower paintings. These were the most fun because they really lend themselves to the three-dimensional process.

1.To start, you will need at least 5 of the same picture. Six or seven are best but 5 will do. Next, arrange them. Pick out the painting you want to be on top. It should be the one with the best detail and best technique showing. Also pick the one you want to be on bottom: the one with the least detail or added details like the blue rectangles shown here.


Another flower design for collage.
Another flower design for collage. | Source
Cutting carefully and beginning to round the backside.
Cutting carefully and beginning to round the backside. | Source

Step 2.

2. Start cutting out the flowers for the layers. I labeled the backside of mine so that I wouldn’t get mixed up and glue them in the wrong order. Cut carefully around each of the petals and details.


Silicone glue.
Silicone glue. | Source

Step 3. Glue

3. You can use Silicone glue or those cushioned squares they sell for scrapbooking. I find both work very well, although the book suggests silicone glue.


Rubbing the backside to make the paper rounded.
Rubbing the backside to make the paper rounded. | Source

Step 4. Rounding Paper

4. Using a bone creasing tool or even a Popsicle stick, rub the backside of the paper to cause a bulge or bend. This gives the three-dimensional look.


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Putting it all together.
Putting it all together. | Source

Step 5. Putting together

5. Begin layering the pieces of the flowers and stems deciding which would be sticking out the most and layering it last.


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My finished three-dimensional collaged watercolor called Canna Queen.
My finished three-dimensional collaged watercolor called Canna Queen. | Source

There you have it.

There you have it: A work of art ready for box framing. The matting will have to be cushioned to leave room for the raised work. You do not want the glass to touch the paper. This will cause sweating and discoloration of the paper after time. That is why matting is used on all paper art, to keep it from touching the glass.


Three-Dimensional Art Papercraft

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Washer Woman was the first experiment and the first to win an award.Scottie showing the layers.I also played with the drawing of my grandson.  You can see the different layers if you look sideways.Canna Queen with cut pieces.Preparing the pieces.Rounding the pieces on a magazine for cushion.More rounding of the backside pieces.Adding silicone glue.Adding silicone glue.Just a few dabs is all you need.Layering on the pieces.Detail of raised work.Finishing up.Me with my finished piece.All done.
The Washer Woman was the first experiment and the first to win an award.
The Washer Woman was the first experiment and the first to win an award.
Scottie showing the layers.
Scottie showing the layers.
I also played with the drawing of my grandson.  You can see the different layers if you look sideways.
I also played with the drawing of my grandson. You can see the different layers if you look sideways.
Canna Queen with cut pieces.
Canna Queen with cut pieces.
Preparing the pieces.
Preparing the pieces.
Rounding the pieces on a magazine for cushion.
Rounding the pieces on a magazine for cushion.
More rounding of the backside pieces.
More rounding of the backside pieces.
Adding silicone glue.
Adding silicone glue.
Adding silicone glue.
Adding silicone glue.
Just a few dabs is all you need.
Just a few dabs is all you need.
Layering on the pieces.
Layering on the pieces.
Detail of raised work.
Detail of raised work.
Finishing up.
Finishing up.
Me with my finished piece.
Me with my finished piece.
All done.
All done.

Hope Knoll Collages

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image
      Author

      Denise McGill 2 years ago from Fresno CA

      Did I mention how much fun collage can be? I've see it done with multiple greeting cards with the same flower photo or drawing, so you really don't have to do the art yourself. Cool.