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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > FREE Sample Issue > Verdaccio collage

Verdaccio collage

Philip Tyler demonstrates how to explore the figure by making a collage in a range of tones made from just three colours, then develop that work into a palette-knife painting, drawing on knowledge gained from previous articles in this series

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Originally developed by the cubists, collage is a means of both asserting and denying pictorial space. By placing textured paper onto canvas, the flatness of that support is clearly in evidence, yet at the same time the material itself can act as a mnemonic for real objects. There are three main types of collage: mosaic, cut and torn.

Mosaic collage uses lots of tiny, cut paper squares; the collage is built up rather like a mosaic. Cut collage requires scissors or scalpel, whereas the paper is carefully teased into shape with the hand for torn collage. Tearing along the grain can produce thin strips, but paper does not easily tear against the grain. It is useful to create a range of tones/colours when constructing a collage.

Monochromatic collage can become quite flattened, so by using two temperatures of tonal paper to separate foreground and background, space is created.

Working from an illustration

The use of just yellow ochre with black and white is a classic underpainting technique called verdaccio. The painting is established tonally with these limited means before being glazed on top of to establish the colour (the other methods being grisaille and bistre). So what would happen if you were to revisit your collages and glaze into them? You can of course use the collages themselves as starting point for new paintings, where you have already gone a long way to simplifying the images.

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About The Artist

Paint lively watercolour landscapes using the hard and soft edge technique, learn how to capture the movement of water in your watercolours, become a wedding sketchographer, depict the figure in pastels, improve your compositional know-how, develop your colour-mixing skills - all this and much more in this month's issue! Hazel Soan encourages you to you paint informal portraits, BBC1's The Big Painting Challenge winner Suman Kaur shares her top ten tips learnt during the series and David Gould explains how he combines digital and traditional techniques to create contemporary artworks. Soraya French is back to invite you to discover the joy of mark making and create a mixed-media landscape, whilst Jake Winkle reveals the importance of interpreting your subject for more creative results. Charles Williams talks about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Ian Sidaway tests the new Winsor & Newton Professional Water Colour Paper range, Glyn Macey shows how Andy Warhol's work can inspire new approaches, and Adebanji Alade offers his regular motivational tips to keep you painting with energy and confidence. Enjoy!