As I’ve been experimenting with styles, I’ve been mixing watercolor with collage and ink, and having a lot of fun with it. The first one I tried was a bouquet with butterflies, in homage to Odilon Redon. I wanted to capture the richness of his oils in watercolor by adding texture, crumbled tissue paper. using white and colored tissue paper. First I painted the flowers and butterflies watercolor, and then tore off larger swaths of crumbled white tissue to paste over larger areas. Then added smaller bits of colored tissue where needed on some of the petals and leaves and butterfly wings. When that dried, I added more detail with water watercolor paint and pencils. I was pleased with the results. I don’t think the photo here does it justice. Although you can make out some of the texture.
I followed a similar method on the painting of the blue oak tree. This is from a photo I took of an old oak tree., one of my favorites. It’s featured as the heading of my Facebook page. I’ve always loved the way the branches of some oaks look like octopus arms, and I was striving for that look. You can see some of the texture from the tissue here along the branches and also in the foliage background. I hadn’t planned on adding the white dove. That came later after I completed the painting and just didn’t feel satisfied. Something was missing. That’s when I drew a small dove on white paper and glued to a tree branch. Then I pasted my white tissue over it and around it to help it blend in more. That seemed to be just what it needed..
The last one here isn’t a collage, although it almost looks like it is. I was aiming for a playful, abstracted look, using the intense colors you find in a marina setting and focusing on the “dancing lights” reflected on the water. When I was finished painting, I outlined the boats and dock with black ink to help the images “pop” even more. I used to do that as a child when I colored, outlining the images in black. I always thought they looked better that way.
I’ve found I like working with collage and ink and the way they enhance my paintings. I imagine I’ll be experimenting more with this technique as I continue playing with watercolor.