Working on a small scale has always been my preference. For example:
- ATCs (2.5 inches x 3.5 inches)
- 4×4 canvas
- altered tags
- greeting cards
- handmade envelopes
As a result, my larger canvas collection (8×10, 9×12 and 11×14) would remain in a pile collection dust. I couldn’t bring myself to start working on something, so I’d reach for what I was comfortable with instead. I’ve heard many other artists describe frustrations similar to what I was going through, so I decided to try figuring out a solution to this problem.
Here’s what I tried:
- I cut out (you can use old pieces of cardboard, watercolor paper, bristol board, or any other sturdy and flat paper) three pieces of paper: 4×4, 8×10 and 9×12)
- First, I worked the 4×4 until I considered it “done.” I set it aside for twenty-four hours.
- Next, I primed a 11×14 canvas (you can use a canvas board or stretched canvas) and set it aide.
- Then, I adhered the 4×4 piece to the blank 8×10 and worked the rest of the surface so it flowed together. When I considered it “done,” I set it aside for twenty-four hours.
- When I returned to the piece, I adhered it to the 9×12 and worked it together again. (Note: I found that collaging, using embellishments and other forms of mixed media worked best for each step of this treatment.) This, again, was set aside for twenty-four hours.
- The last phase of this project was adhering it to the primed canvas. I painted the entire piece so it all blended together to look like one solid piece of work. Additional embellishments were utilized in addition to the paint.
I let the piece rest for twenty-four hours between each step of the treatment because, otherwise, I would be intimidated by the scale. This may not be true for everyone, so it isn’t a necessary part of the process. If you find you can do the entire project in one or two sittings, then that’s fine. Work with the process so it’s most comfortable for you.
You may also decide not to collage during each session. I’ve done this successfully, too, by assigning a theme to each step. For example, the smallest piece could be minimalistic with a simple paint color and a quote. Then, each step could play off that quote and simplistic approach. I’ve also had success with creating a series of ATCs, then working them on a 11×14 using different layering techniques with additional decorative papers and paint.