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Ripped Paper Collage by Deanna Masselli


Deanna Masselli is a member of the CrafterNews editorial team. We were so pleased when Deanna offered to share one of her own projects with CrafterNews this month!

I’ve been honing my collage skills for many years, but until recently, had not done much with ripped papers. After reading Collage Techniques: a Guide for Artists and Illustrators by Gerald Brommer, I decided to try my hand at ripped paper collage. I created my own ripped papers, but you can also use pre-printed or tissue paper.

To begin, I mixed various hues of blue and white acrylic paints to my liking, and then painted a 9” x 12” sheet of watercolor paper, darkening the blue tones as I moved down the page.

Once the paint dried, I was ready to rip! I tore horizontal pieces from the paper, beginning at the top. The paper ripped unevenly, pulling off a layer at the edge, and leaving a small strip of unpainted paper. I liked the design, so I continued tearing horizontally until I had 13 ripped pieces. When I started piecing the papers together, they reminded me of ocean waves, which I loved.

Once I organized the “waves” in a way I found aesthetically pleasing, it was time to begin gluing the paper onto a craft board. But first I stained it with red mahogany, since craft boards come untreated. I glued the ripped papers in place, applying glue only to the base of each strip. This technique created a layering effect with more depth.

I thought the piece needed more color, so I diluted some orange watercolor paint and applied it above the ripped papers with a craft sponge. I chose watercolor paint for this process because I wanted the grain in the board to remain visible. The bright orange combined with the stain was reminiscent of a late sunset. This ocean scene reminded me of a pelican from an ad I had saved from one of my vintage magazines. I was elated to find that the pelican image matched my piece, so I made color copies of the pelican in different sizes and added each to the piece. Again, to add depth, I only glued the base of each bird. When looking at the piece, the birds and waves do not lie flat, producing a layered, almost three-dimensional feel.

I named the piece Bird, Watching. It deviated quite far from what I initially thought I would create with ripped papers. I began the project thinking I would create something insanely abstract, but that’s not what the ripped papers had in store for me that day. In many ways, Bird, Watching controlled its own destiny, and I, willingly, followed its plan.




Jill Gewirtz May 30th, 2012

Lookes Beautiful!!! jill



About the Book
Collage Techniques
A Guide for Artists and Illustrators
Written by Gerald Brommer
Category: Art - Techniques
Format: Paperback, 160 pages
On Sale: August 1, 1994
Price: $27.50
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