Complimentary Colour Collage on Dark Background

March 30, 2019


The final collage project of Module Four incorporates stamped and printed colour sheets in a complimentary colour. Red and green are demonstrated with the emphasis here on green. You can swap the emphasis or choose another colour with it's complimentary colour alongside. For example, orange could be the main colour with blue details or vice versa.

The inspiration for the collage is a retro-stylised floral design, like a square cushion. Have a look at the Pinterest boards for inspiration:




Coloured sheets: stamped, printed and textured sheets in the two chosen complimentary colours will be used for this project. It's crucial to paint the backs of these sheets with a thin coat of white high flow paint. You can thin it with water ever so slightly, and leave to dry overnight if possible in order to cure the paint.


Prepare an A2 (or larger) sheet of thick watercolour paper (300g or 450g weight) by painting a mixture of Pthalo blue, black and Azo gold or brown. You can also use black: thin the paint with matt medium but keep the colour opaque. I created a square artwork rather than using the whole sheet of paper.


Once dry, create a template to work with from floral designs made from letter drawings. Spend a bit of time to draw imaginary flowers and leaves from the letter shapes. It is important to create drawings in your own style and way.


Use the flower drawings to create five larger flower drawings on copy paper and cut them into templates for the collage. Observe the drawings in different arrangements on the paper. Move it around until you have found a good balance.


You can create a design with a strong mid-century retro-feel, or something more free-flowing and closer to your own creative voice. Explore and experiment with the templates on the dark background.


Once satisfied with the design figure out what textured and stamped colour sheets work best with the different flower designs. Draw in pencil on the coloured sheets around the floral templates. Cut out the shapes and position on the dark background. Once all sections are cut out and arranged around the paper you can look at adding the details in the complimentary colour.


Stick down the main colour sections using only matte medium and then add the contrasting colour details to the design.


Pay attention to colour balance, using the complimentary colour for detail, allowing the main colour to be dominant. Keep it simple, do not add to many components to the collage.


Once you have stuck together all the components of the collage you can paint red details on the artwork as well. This is optional and you do not need to do this for the project.



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© 2020 Esté MacLeod

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