Nita Leland writes, in Creative Collage Techniques:
With nonobjective design, the picture has no apparent reference to a subject….Instead, the formal elements of design are the picture. The picture is “about” color, line, or shape without a specific realistic image to create the visual sensation.
So here’s the problem: I can’t really tell you exactly how to make an abstract collage. I have no way of knowing which design elements are going to speak to you. My piece is a combination of cut and torn papers in analogous colors and similar shapes, and when I started out, I only had the vaguest notion of where it was going: it was going to be pink. Bright pink.
Some people won’t start working until they know what they’re going to do, but with abstracts it’s a whole different ballgame, at least for me. Once I had painted the canvas and glued down the first piece of tissue paper, the process took over. I don’t know at exactly what point that started to happen, just that it did.
So, I can tell you how I made this piece, but not why. I can tell you my steps, but I can’t direct your path. I would suggest that you do NOT make a copy of this piece, but rather just read through the instructions for the technical aspects…which are pretty darned simple…and then go make your own.
Materials & Tools
Sheet of canvas or watercolor paper
Acrylic paints (I used Jacquard’s Textile paint in pink)
Liquid polymer medium
Assorted papers, handpainted
Assorted pieces of tissue
Larger piece of heavy watercolor paper for mounting
Waxed or parchment paper
Heat gun (optional)
Something to weight the piece flat