Exercise 3.4 Collage studies

For this exercise we were required to take a photograph of a ‘messy’ corner of a room or cupboard, not a problem in our little house with the amount of clutter I have!  I selected this area of our kitchen because it is not too personal and has everyday objects.  There is some colour, reflection and shapes.


Part 1

Simple colour combination

In these studies we are looking at colour and colour complexity and the colour story of the image we have selected.  The first collage is ‘simple’.  I have interpreted this to mean simple identifiable shapes cut out from papers that are similar colours to the ones in the photograph.  The papers I have used come from old magazines, catalogues and papers that I have in my stash.

Collage 1 – “Simple”


Unusual colour combination

What is an unusual colour combination?  We are surrounded by colour, our clothes, TV and magazines, in particular adverts use all sorts of colours to catch our attention.  We are so used to being bombarded with colour that I don’t think “unusual” is so unusual these days.

When I look at either my photograph or my first collage the two colours that really grab your attention are the bright yellow and cerise pink.  With this in mind I have mixed up my gouache paints to replicate these two colours and painted large sheets of white paper.  I have also mixed the yellow with a little of the cerise to make the dull yellow and the orange colours.  I did not want to replicate the first simple collage so I have tried to interpret the image as an abstract stripe design, moving across the centre of the photograph to identify the different intensities and proportions with the stripes.

Cropped and special effect added by using an app on my tablet



Collage 2 – “Unusual” colour combination

In this photograph I have not trimmed the strips of painted paper down yet as I like it so much as it is.

Complex colour scheme

For this collage I went back to my old magazines and have used pages that had the same or similar colours of the photograph.  I have tried to use a wide variety of tints and tones within each colour along with text and pattern.  I did not use scissors but just ripped small bits of the paper and stuck them down with PVA glue.  I have managed to produce a fair representation of the original photograph and I am happy with the outcome.

Collage 3 – “Complex” colour scheme


Part 2

I have selected collage 1 – simple as the collage to develop further as it shows the basic composition, shapes and colours of the original photograph and allows me some scope for the next exercises.

Monochromatic study – black and white

Monochromatic collage – black and white

I wondered what I was going to use all those sheets of paper that I had made during the mark making processes in previous exercises! I have used these and old envelopes, magazine pages, letters and computer generated text to build the image.  The text and pattern are used to convey the shapes of the objects and their relationship to each other.

Single colour study

Single colour study

For this collage I have painted some different papers in different shades of magenta.  I chose magenta because it is one of the colours in the original image.  I have constructed this collage by tearing the painted papers and sticking them down with PVA glue.  Where the paper has been torn there are white edges which I really like as it breaks up the larger areas of colour.

Multi-coloured study

Multi-coloured study

This time I have used coloured papers mostly sourced from magazines and some foil papers.  I have selected different tones of the colours to denote the different shapes in the ‘simple’ collage.  Again I have just torn the papers (not the foils though) as I like the unevenness of the edges and the random shapes.  I have been less specific with the shapes of the objects but they are still identifiable as the items in the original collage.

I have enjoyed this exercise, it started out quite daunting with me not knowing where to start to me finding a method that I enjoyed and will use again in the future.  I was really pleased that I could utilise some of the mark-making papers that I had made for earlier exercises that were languishing around my home as I won’t throw anything remotely useful away!  I did find completing six collages a bit of a challenge for many reasons and this is the one thing I find quite frustrating with this course. The watercolour exercise had the same effect on me.


Exercise 3.3 Watercolour studies

Working with watercolour paints and using the same mixing theory that I have used with gouache paints I have started to work towards mixing the colours that I can see in the first glass arrangement.

Watercolour mixing exercise


The first arrangement of glass items had a mix of green and blue glass jars, two with smooth surfaces and two with faceted surfaces.  I laid out my arrangement in different rooms in my home as the light is different in each of them and I have chosen to use my kitchen which has lots of light.   I have placed the glass items on white paper with a white paper background, and white paper on the left hand side which just shields the arrangement from kitchen items on the work surfaces.

Arrangement and stripe design 1


Arrangement and stripe design 2

Arrangements 1 and 2 were completed on the same day which has resulted in similar results, the weather outside was overcast and I have used the same glass items for both arrangements.

Arrangement and stripe design 3

Arrangement 3 was painted on a very sunny day and I wore a bright pink t-shirt which was reflected in the glass along with the bright light which reflected off the surrounding kitchen surfaces.  This time I have replaced one of the jam jars with a drinks glass which has a direct effect on the colours on the painted stripe.


Arrangement and stripe design 4

Arrangement 4 and 5 were painted on a bright but not so sunny day and I have used different glass items which have a blue hue.  My clothing colour had a direct influence on the colours in my painted stripe along with the other items in the room.

Arrangement and stripe design 5

I found this exercise interesting and enjoyable although I am not sure why we have to do so many of them!  They are quite time consuming and initially I struggled to know where to start and how translate the colours in the glass to the paper.  However once I made a start I felt better about my stripe designs although I’m not sure if I have over complicated them.  I keep telling myself that there is no wrong or right way, it’s my interpretation of the exercise!


Research point 2

Digital resources

Adobe Color CC (Adobe Kuler) – I have found this programme easy to use and you can download your own photos or artwork to create colour palettes.  I have downloaded a version to my tablet which I have found useful.

Mudcube Colour Sphere – this is a much more sophisticated tool, quite complicated and a bit out of my comfort zone.  You can make colour palettes and find the Hex numbers of those colours.  I have not heard of hex numbers but I understand that they are a 6 digit code that can be interpreted by computer systems to produce a specific colour.

Color Halipixel – This program uses a different method of selecting colours, you scroll around the screen until you find the colour you want, click and it will be saved and you can continue selecting colours.  I don’t think this works with my tablet or phone as it is Apple based. Quite a clever design and easy to use.

Color Hunter – This is a free programme which allows you to create colour palettes from uploaded photographs and images.  You can search by hex codes, image URLs and tags and lists favourite colour palettes.

CoIRD – A free programme that enables you to create colour palettes from photographs which are available for everyone to see and use.  I don’t want to sign up to another application so I will keep this in mind for the future.


I have discovered that there are lots of apps that you can use to experiment with colour palettes, creating pattern and using special effects to alter your image and I have experimented with them for future use.  I have used ones that are compatible with my tablet and are easy to use as I don’t need anything too complicated or sophisticated at this stage! There are also some drawing apps that I have identified for future use.

Adobe Capture – An application that is compatible with my tablet where you can download photographs and images and create patterns, shapes and identify colours.

My photo for exercise 3.4 with colour identification using Adobe Capture



befunky – A free app for phones and tablets,  you can download your own photographs or images and use editing tools, effects and frames.  There are lots different processes to modify your image and they can be saved to your own gallery or other social media.

My photo from exercise 3.4 edited in befunky