My absolute favorite thing to use is an old debit/credit/gift card. Even the fake ones you get with the junk mail. It's so easy and quick to spread paint around with it! And they are cheap and in most households (like mine) they are plentiful. It's great if you want a thin smear of paint or a thick layer, and it doubles as a mark maker to give you texture! Some people like to use their palette knives for that, which is also a good tool but everyone has their preferences. I prefer to use my palette knife to push paste thru a stencil or to apply it really heavy on a canvas to build up more texture. I like how with a card I can lay down numerous thin layers of paint in my journal and it doesn't require a lot of paint. And it dries fairly quickly so I can keep adding. Here's an example of two completed pages in my journal.
The one on the right was made by swiping down numerous layers of Paper Artsy Fresco Finish paints in bright vivid colors. I then put down the matte black leaving the bright circles behind and journaled around some of the circles with a white gelly pen. I made this page while contemplating my chronic illness.
The page next to it just started out as a place to scrape excess paint off of the palette. It's a good way to get a page jump started and doesn't waste the excess paint that you didn't use! After it had several layers of multiple colors I started adding in other colors using the debit card and took a stencil from Mary Beth Shaw's collection and stenciled in bright red. I really love that stencil!
The page had a graffiti feel to it, which I also love! On a whim I decided to paint a quick portrait of my dog, Cammie, whom we adopted a year and a half ago. I found a photo and just started without any real sense/perspective going on. The results make her look like a Great Dane b/c I got her muzzle too long. She is actually a Pitbull/American Bulldog mix. But I don't care, I liked it anyways and that's what matters. It's my art journal where I make art for myself.
I love how you can still the layers of paint underneath the white, which is exactly what my intent was. Sorry for the shadows on the pictures! The lighting situation wasn't ideal and after trying a dozen different ways I had to give up!
So I have a friend at work, she's my best work friend, who has a shoe problem. She loves 'em, maybe a lil too much. She has a ton of them and decorates her office with a shoe theme. Customers even bring her little shoe decorations, like miniature shoes, shoe wine glasses, etc. So for Christmas (2013) I decided I would make her a shoe collage and it turned out to be my favorite piece of work I've done so far.I started out with a 12x12 canvas panel and sketched a peep toe on it.
I had a bunch of magazines I had collected for the purpose and started cutting pieces for the collage. I started gluing them on, using mostly black for the background and adding cutouts of shoes and cutouts of clothes for some interesting textures.
I also cut interesting phrases I found in the magazines that went with the theme. I wanted my shoe to be bright pink with a cream insole so then started the task of finding different shades of pink and cutting them out just right to blend and create shadows. This was hard but still immensely satisfying.
I couldn't tell you how many hours I labored over this shoe, but I loved every minute of it.
Here's a closer one of the shoe itself.
My friend absolutely loved it and it's on display in her office. She gets a lot of comments about it. I have to admit it makes me feel pretty good that she loved it so much and I can see it whenever I wish by going in her office! I haven't made another collage like that one yet, but I have several ideas in my head for more. One last pic!