Thursday, March 16, 2006

The "How" of the Pugsley Collage

A few people have asked how I did the collage of Pugsley, so I thought I'd run through my steps. If I had known ahead of time that anyone would want to know, I'd have made pictures during the progress!
I used a 10 x 7 inch water color pad I had lying around - 140 lb cold pressed cheapo paper. I sketched Pugs as she sat on my board - just a quick contour with some shading indications. I scoured through the Pottery Barn catalog for my colors and shades. I'm still in my orange month, so Pugsley turned into an orange tabby, even though she's really a blue. I looked for plenty of light, mediums and darks - really concentrating on those three values - no sense in getting too complex, you know! Then I looked for background colors - especially in blue as a nice complement to the orange.
When I had all my colors ready to go, I coated the sketch with a layer of acid free paper cement and let it dry. I picked out my background and coated the back of the catalog paper and let it dry. Once it was dry, I started cutting and fitting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. I did all of the background first, paying attention to where her shadow should fall, then started on the body.
For the body, I picked out my values and cut them into strips that would be the size I needed for length of the hair. I started at her back and overlapped the triangles, trying to pay attention to the direction of hair growth, length and value. I added the whiskers the same way.
The key to it, for me, is the paper cement dry mount technique - you can leave it and come back the next day without having to recoat with more glue. Oh - and did I mention the insomnia?