Color and Collage 1

Every artist has times when inspiration is elusive. Just go to the studio anyway and play in a sketchbook. This 8.5″ x 11″ sketchbook has sturdy watercolor paper that is great for mixed media techniques. This group of studies was an exploration of matching mixed colors to a paper collage.

These collages and color swatches resemble a color mood board. Each features a focal piece that sets the color scheme then collage papers and fabric scraps were gathered to complement that palette. This is a great way to use tiny scraps. I pick my focal points then make big piles on my studio floor of everything in my stash that relates to those colors. Then each pile is edited and finally glued in the sketchbook in a pleasing arrangement.

Next, it’s time to color match paints, markers, and other mediums to the collage swatches. This is an excellent way to hone your color skills. Make notes on the colors and materials you used as a future reference. Begin the swatching with the pure color along the top. Then, mix each color with every other color and swatch them out. There will always be fun surprises. This completed palette is now a reference for a future painting. A tight palette of colors mixed together keeps the colors unified.

Though this is a time consuming exercise, it can be very meditative. The resulting collage and color swatches are a treasure trove of information for future work.

These pages feature Daniel Smith Watercolors, Tombow Markers, and King Art Gel Sticks- all available at

Collage and Color 2
Collage and Color 3
Collage and Color 4
College and Color 5
Collage and Color 6
Collage and Color 7
Collage and Color 8