Torn Paper Collage, My Wren Friend

My Wren Friend torn paper collage by April Sproule

   While exploring different mediums, I've become intrigued by torn paper collage. I had only done a handful of random projects with my hand painted papers, but I really wanted to try doing one of my bird designs.

   Even though I was a bit reluctant to start, I thought I'd probably watched enough YouTube videos on this process to give it a try. So I gathered my supplies: glue and a brush, hand painted deli papers, Golden Matte Medium, and my mixed media sketchbook. 

   I started by transferring my Carolina Wren drawing to my sketchbook. I figured I'd better start with the head first as it would probably be the hardest to do. I cheated a bit by drawing the eye on paper, cutting it out, and gluing it on. Then I began tearing itty bitty pieces of paper for the rest of the head. 

Carolina Wren torn paper collage by April Sproule.

   Next I got a bit braver and started gluing bits to the body. I started to get excited because this was actually working!

Carolina Wren torn paper collage by April Sproule
   I added some brown, rust, and black bits of paper for him to perch on. Next I needed a background, but I didn't have any light colored paper. Later as I was cleaning up my desk area and tossing away random notes from a yellow legal pad, I thought maybe that paper would actually work. It did work, so I finished getting all the paper down.
  The colors weren't quite right, but I had seen demos of glazes being applied and I'd always wanted to try it. So I added a couple of different glazes applied with a paint brush and then rubbed it off with a rag for the right amount of coverage.
First Glaze:
  • Golden's Satin Glazing Liquid
  • Daler Rowney's Burnt Umber Acrylic Ink
Second Glaze:
  • Golden's Satin Glazing Liquid
  • Golden's Acrylic Paint in Titanium White
Torn paper collage detail by April Sproule

       This was so much fun. I loved the end result. Now I can't wait to get started on a fabric version. The best thing about trying out different mediums is how it gets your creativity flowing. Now I can use the paper collage for reference when I start my hand stitched fabric version. I can't wait to get started!