Yesterday I showed you some examples of collage art that has inspired me lately.  I was surprised at how easily my layout came and I thought I'd share some tips on how to copy this fun style.

choose a theme.

I chose an outside/Spring/Summer theme because it matched my pictures.  I also knew that I wanted to include bees because my daughter has been obsessed with bees and buzzing lately.

gather ephemera.

Guess what? You can find tons of royalty free ephemera for FREE!  The Graphics Fairy is a good site, although kind of hard to navigate.  I really like Old Design Shop because if you follow her board on Pinterest, you can see the new scans that she adds daily and save them as you go.  Sahlin Studio has some excellent ephemera kits that cost money. I found myself buying the school themed one this weekend just because it would take me too long to gather all of those items myself.  She has an eye for matching and clustering.

Examples of things to search for:
-seed packets
-old valentines/cards
-old documents like birth certificates
-old illustrations (I searched for bees)
-book pages

find a poem that fits theme.

This is optional, but I think it adds to the "artiness" of the piece.  I just typed in "Emily Dickinson nature poems" and found mine.

cut creatively.

If you don't know how to do this in Photoshop, see my tutorial HERE.  The good thing is that the cuts don't (and shouldn't) be perfect.
cut out parts of ephemera
cut out random angles in photos and use the cut out part as another layer.
cut out parts of pictures and layer

layer on the ephemera.

Layer it on!  And shadow them well. See my shadowing tutorial HERE.

play with composition.

My high school art teacher would always make us have a reference for everything. He would walk by and say, "Where's your reference for that rock/fence/tree/cloud?" and you had better have something out or else you'd be cleaning dried up paintbrushes.  The reason being that it is so much easier to copy when you are learning, than to start from scratch yourself. 
Play with proportions. The boy is much larger than the boat full of people on the left.
Play with orientation. I flipped on picture and word strip upside down.
Repeat similar elements. I repeated the bee and flower in my layout.

have fun!

9/11/2012 09:01:14 am

Thank you for posting some places to find ephemera! I would have had no idea where to look.

2/10/2013 09:29:06 pm

Thank you for all the nice freebies!


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    about elle designs.

    I'm not really a designer, just a digital scrapbooker who wants to encourage others to scrapbook by sharing my  finds and creations.  For free.

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