Origami Paper Collage

This is Quinn from QuinnCreative encouraging you to try collage with origami paper. I also used Splash Inks, Yasutomo’s gel pens, and a touch of the gold sumi-e watercolor paint.

fleur1Yasutomo’s Fold ‘Ems origami paper is double sided. One side is a print, the other a pattern. This was the star pattern, which worked well to give parts of the collage texture.

Start by choosing a sturdy watercolor paper–300gsm is good. I used cold press because it works well for the background. Spray the paper with water, both sides. You want the paper to be covered with a mist of paper, but not slick with a wash of water. The size of this piece is 6 inches by 9 inches. You can make it smaller to make it a postcard, or this size to create a journal page of a piece for framing.

Free-mix Splash Inks in a palette to make green, teal, and purple. If you want to mix specific colors, use the blending palette instructions that come with the inks.

fleur2Dilute the colors with water, then drop the colors onto the wet paper using a fat watercolor brush. As the colors spread, blend with a light hand, allowing the colors to run and mix. Keep the background light to contrast values across the finished piece.

fleur3Allow to dry completely. Select some coordinating colors from the origami paper. I like abstracts and a rustic look, so free-hand drawing loose flowers appeals to me. Cut the majority of the flower from the solid paper, then add touches of the patterned side for contrast, depth, and visual interest. Try several shapes rather than just one. It makes the completed piece look more natural.

Decide on the orientation of the paper–I used vertical (portrait). I placed the cut pieces of paper flowers in an arrangement that looked pleasing, then drew pencil lines for stems. Using Nori glue, I glued the pieces down, including leaves I had cut from the same origami paper.

fleur4Cut double portions of leaves, so you have a mix of dark and light. It makes them more interesting. As a finishing touch, I added a bit of gold watercolor shine to a few of the leaves and darkened the stems with a green gel pen. You can use the purple pen to add depth and give the flower petals some definition. Your work is now ready for signing and framing!

Origami paper makes a great collage element, too!

Quinn McDonald is on the Niji Design Team; she is a creativity coach and collage artist.