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Box It Up Collage

Abstract collage art piece on cardboard

I am a collector of interesting packaging - not just for printmaking, but sometimes I just can't go past the structure offered by an unusual box! Everything gets vetted before it goes in the recycle bin....

This sketch piece was all about exploring colour contrast using existing shapes and structures offered by waste cardboard packaging. Using a surface that had existing folds provided a wonderful innate structure which was simple and easy to work with and allowed me to focus on colour contrast and colour placement. The composition had already been decided by the way I put the packaging pieces together, so that was taken out of the equation and was one less thing to think about!

I loved the opportunity to create a piece with an irregular edge, it was great to break out of the usual square and rectangle shapes.

To get started, I stuck several pieces of cardboard packaging together using a heavy matte gel and once dry, gave the whole surface a coat of gesso to even out the tones in the cardboard.

This piece was part of my recent colour explorations, so having settled on the basic split complimentary colours of red, yellow-green and blue-green, I gathered together a few gel prints that were within that range of colours. I didn't print anything new for this exercise, instead I chose to use up papers that I had.

I then began painting the surface, thinking about spacing out the main colours and adding white to create tints of the basic colours.

With the surface mostly painted I went on to collage paper shapes over the top.

I could have pushed the piece further with more and more detail, but I'd satisfied my curiosity in a matter of a couple of hours so I left it at that!


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