How to make a collage like this…

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i teach art to children. i have about 8 kids working on this project right now. ages 5-12. this project will take about four hours to complete or 4 art classes. i’ve gotta tell you, i have never had more fun with a project before.

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  1. i googled a photo of a frog. the colorful one above was printed on office paper. i carefully traced him onto card stock & drew in the line that define him. you can create your own stencil of anything this way. the card stock was firm enough for most to trace themselves. i did most of the cutting to save time. to cut the triangle shape between his legs, i cut through one of his legs, then taped them back together.

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2. this frog was painted with nail polish. an addictive medium to use. i bought ‘wet n wild’ for $1.00 a bottle, i bought ‘SinfulColors’ for $2.00 a bottle. i used the wet n wild as a base, working in small sections, after i apply it, i add SinfulColors on top. i would recommend that you buy three colors & play with it. i used red, orange & yellow. to make the circles, you just add one, then the other until you like it. to make the heart, you drop a circle, drag a toothpick through the middle. the marbleized look is, again, small sections (because nail polish dries super quick) i add colors & pick the frog up, tilting him up & down until i like what i see.

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2.a. high contrast to show designs within the red frog.

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2.b. this is a silver & black frog…i haven’t finished him yet…

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this is one of my students using the nail polish (i do ask the parents because of the smell) once kids use nail polish to paint with, all other media is boring.

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this boy is marbleizing three colors.

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3.the base. i used Bristol paper, dropped blue straight onto the paper, then added grey

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4.I used a popsicle stick to spread the colors because i can’t find my damn paint tools. see my frog?!

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5.i wanted it to be night time, so that i could add a nail polish moon. i scrapped the black onto the dried blue/grey paint.

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6. after scrapping the black off to my own satisfaction. i use tinfoil for my drop cloth because nothing sticks to it & i can recycle it.

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7. make a circle for a moon

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8. I used SinfulColors. black first, then add white & silver. i used a toothpick to marbleize it.

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9. i drew bamboo & leaves. I used three watercolors, green, dark blue & yellow. AND you can paint outside the lines because they will be cut out. i told the kids to make small ones, so that the final image has depth.

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9. more bamboo & leaves, watercolored–black sharpie

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10. after everything has dried, the nail polish takes a few days. i found some cool scrapbook paper with poppies (my favorite flower) i cut those out as well. I used Mod Podge–matt. you can use gloss. I first mod Podged the black/blue painting to watercolor paper, so that things could go on the border.

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11. the frog wanted to leap off the painting, so i held him down the the bottles of Mod Podge. to see the finished & framed piece, its the first image of this post. it is hanging in my kitchen.

11 thoughts on “How to make a collage like this…

    1. Hi! You know what is so cool? Your photo is a Koi & that is what i’m painting with NAIL POLISH right now. Once you paint with the stuff, all other media is BORING. My Koi is coming out so darn cool. I hope you get a chance to see it once i post it. I never use nail polish on my fingers, only toes…there are so many crazy fun colors out there. the chemists who create the stuff deserve a standing ovation! AND YOU should try it! ~amy

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