We have something truly special for you today—free downloadable collage elements from our Artist of the Month, Seth Apter! Seth has provided some incredible collage elements for you to use in your artwork, and these images are perfect for art journal pages, collage, cards, tags, and books. All you have to do is download them, size them to your needs, and go create something!
Seth is one of those artists who loves sharing his knowledge, and we all benefit from his generosity. His signature techniques include building intriguing layers, turning ordinary books and photographs into artful pieces, and developing color and texture effects with acrylic paint—and he’s able to translate all of that creative wisdom so clearly. Many of those methods have become staples in my own work.
His monoprinting technique using canvas paper is one of my go-to backgrounds. Pressing a freshly painted scrap of canvas paper onto a dry painted piece of canvas paper results in exciting areas of sketchy color. I tried it here using shades of gold and dark red.
Keep building up layers this way, and you’ll have a complex piece to which you can add stamps, stencils, ephemera, and more.
Another technique using acrylic paint involves translucent layering. By building color with drops of acrylic paint, you can gradually shift colors without losing what’s underneath. It’s a fascinating process that I hope you’ll try.
In the video 10 Techniques for Painting Layers in Mixed Media, Seth has a bunch of tricks up his sleeve, and it’s fascinating how one idea builds upon another. One of my favorite techniques involves creating an ombré effect with acrylic paint. Instead of stopping there, Seth adds stamps, then more paint, then does a splatter effect.
Although I’ve learned so much from Seth, one piece of advice stands out above all others: Don’t be afraid to push yourself. So often we’re afraid of adding extra collage elements, or going for one more layer. I’ve learned that art shouldn’t be about fear and hesitation. Yes, sometimes I’ve crashed and burned when attempting to take my artwork further. But more often than not, I make amazing breakthroughs. And some of those mistakes have resulted in great discoveries as well.
So embrace the process, learn as much as you can, and create some incredible art!