Monday, January 16, 2012

serendipity style mixed media background for collage, atcs, twinchies, etc

When asked to write up a tutorial for the current
theme (Use What You Have) at Gingersnap Creations,
I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

This is, undoubtedly, one of my all-time favorite,
tried-and-true techniques. It's easy, it's fun,
the results are great, and guess what?? It uses
your stash, your scraps, whatever you have on hand--
perfect for this round of challenges at Gingersnap.
But I'm always up for something new, so please leave
me a comment with YOUR favorite background technique!

First, you need something for the base--I usually
choose an old piece of 12x12 scrap paper--plus
your favorite adhesive, and, of course, your scraps.
I keep mine in a (okay, yes, SEVERAL) collage boxes.
AKA as old shoe boxes, but that's beside the point . . .

Ready to dig in?

Start gluing scraps all over the base. Don't worry
about lining things up just right, and don't fret
about color combinations--don't think, just glue!
Sometimes it's helpful to continually turn the base
as you glue, to prevent a discernible "top" or "bottom"
to the background.

If you have some pet piece you want to remain in the
picture, be sure to save it until last, because you
really should . . .

COVER the base. At this point, you could stop
and use your background piece as it is, but I
generally try and unify the colors somewhat.

Here, I'm using a light acrylic wash, first in
a blue, and now with a pink.

Once again, you may want to stop here, but
why stop when you can STAMP???

Randomly stamp images all over the background--
again, don't think too much, just stamp!

Finished? Whatchya gonna make? Time to CUT:

Here are some twinchie (oh, did anyone mention
the Gingersnap Twinchie art exchange??) and atc
backgrounds, all ready for some main images and

If that's too pastel for you, go bright like
I did in this background:

Squirt paint over the top of your background,
and then smear it around, making sure the paint
is thin enough that the images show through.

And there is always the option of more paint!

Here, I printed with found objects.

Some other serendipity backgrounds:

Some finished pieces using this type of background:
One Last Autumn in Paris
Autumn in Paris skinny
Cats in Costumes ATCs
moo cards and holder (whoa, these are from 2008!)

What's YOUR favorite background technique??
If you have a link, that's even better!



Sandi McLean said...

Must confess that I have a hard time "just letting it be" in that I try to unify from the start...BUT I have been trying to think what I can easily take on the road to do in the evenings. This is PERFECT! Take only so much, then I am faced with having to use just what I have..Thanks!

trisha too said...

You are so right, Sandi--this is actually one of my favorite take-along projects, especially for the gluing part. I do a LOT of waiting for basketball practice to be over, violin lesson to be over,
you get the idea!


Jeany said...

thank you for this inspiration, it looks lots off fun!! Bset wishes from janine (jeanysbrunnen) from Germany

Suze Bain said...

This is something else I've yet to try - I'll definitely give it a go! Thanks for the tutorial. xx

1CardCreator said...

These are amazing! Loved the technique, thanks for sharing!

2amscrapper said...

Catching up Trisha--love your tutorial. And your little books in the previous posts are wonderful--I've been making some as well.

Rhonda Langley said...

I think I could actually do this! Of course you make it look so easy...

Gez Butterworth said...

Beautiful and so clever! Thank you for showing us how to.. I must try this!!

I love the shaving foam marbling technique.. it always turns out differently.

Have a great weekend. Gez.

Gez Butterworth said...

Just saw you mentioned a link.. hope it's okay to post mine.. it's a few years old now but still a favourite :-) Here is my link.. shaving foam!

Shar B said...

This is such a fab use of all the bits and bobs we all acquire! Thanks for sharing it!

Alexa said...

I think this is a fab idea and your cut out pieces are gorgeous. x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

I so forgot to comment on this when you posted it on Gingersnaps. Thank you for taking me back to basics!!! I so needed this, as I get in a rut a lot. Your projects are wonderful and I love to see your work!!!

Contessa Kris said...

I'm always enamored with your backgrounds!

Unknown said...

LOVE this method for creating backgrounds! Thanks for sharing with us!