Paris Collage

Kristin Ashton of Kirkland, Wash., shows how to make a collage of the City of Light.
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While on a trip to Paris, Kristin Ashton from Kirkland, Wash., stumbled upon some vintage postcards at a flea market. She liked them so much she decided to purchase them and make a collage out of them. Her stunning Paris wall hanging includes a photo transfer of one of her own original photographs, taken in Paris, and tons of fun embellishments.

Materials and Tools:

slide photo of Eiffel Tower
photo-transfer materials
slide printer machine
instant photo paper
warming tray
laser printer
matte gel medium
watercolor paper
travel ephemera, including vintage postcards
scrapbook papers
computer with photo editing software and scanner
scrapbook punches
glue stick
golden acrylic paint
clip art

Steps for making the photo transfer:

  1. Take slide photo of Eiffel Tower.
  2. Create a photo transfer (photo transfer process).
  3. Take slide film and use a slide printer to create an instant photo. The goal is to print a photo of your slide, peeling it apart before it develops and letting it develop onto the watercolor paper.
  4. Follow the instructions for the slide printer machine: Pull the instant photo out of the machine after one minute (instead of five) and pull apart the instant photo. Place the chemical side down on a piece of photo paper. Place photo paper into a hot-water bath (uses a warming tray) and allow photo to continue to develop.
  5. Once developed, hang picture and allow to dry.
  6. Scan photo.
  7. Manipulate using photo-editing software to darken, crop, resize, etc.
  8. Print image with a laser printer (an ink-jet printer will not work).
  9. The printed image becomes the base for the 5 x 7-inch collage.

Steps for creating the collage:

  1. Take dry photo paper with Eiffel Tower image and use matte gel medium to apply it to watercolor paper.
  2. Assemble a collection of ephemera from travels, scan and make laser copies (to preserve originals). Also gather scrapbooking papers.
  3. Use several techniques to create the collage pieces: Use punches to create shapes from scrapbooking paper, use tearing techniques to lay down other pieces, and ut out vintage postcards.
  4. Use a glue stick to collage all the paper pieces down.
  5. Apply another layer of gel medium. Let dry.

Steps for the painting:

  1. Add layers of undiluted golden acrylic paint (lightest to darkest).
  2. Use three to six colors, and work from the inside of the collage out.
  3. Use a dry brushing technique to stipple on the gold paint. Let dry.

Steps for the gel medium transfer:

  1. Copy a page of text from a clip-art book.
  2. Reverse the text and create a toner-based photo copy. (With a home setup, scan the clip art from the book, flip the image using photo-editing software, and print out on a laser copier. Gel medium retains the toner. Ink jet wouldn't grab. (Office supply store photo copies works well for this.)
  3. Add another layer of gel medium to the collage. Let dry.
  4. Place a layer of gel medium onto the printed side of the reversed text copy.
  5. While still wet, place copy face down onto the collage. Peel away paper. The text will be transferred to the collage. Allow to dry.
  6. Once dry, rub away the remainder of the paper backing.

Final Touches

  • more dry-brushing of golden acrylic paints
  • scribbles with crayon
  • using a "splatter tool" to spot the collage with paint
  • paint on a border
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