Book Review: Discovery Collage Workshop

My Amazon Review of Discovery Collage Workshop

collage discovery workshop book review 230x300 Book Review: Discovery Collage WorkshopI wrote this review of the Discovery Collage Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth quite a few years ago. But I figure since I did write it, I could post it here without copyright worries. I loved this book, and here’s why…

This is a book that I just love! When I first got this book, I had been trying to make collage artwork using magazine images, etc. But all my artwork looked like crap, to put it mildly. And I’m usually pretty good at creating beautiful artwork, even when I don’t know what I’m doing (ok, so I’m a little vain about my art). But I just couldn’t figure out how people created some of the collage effects that I was seeing.

This book has taught me so many collaging techniques, and my own collage artwork improved a thousand-fold (I’m not kidding) as soon as I started putting the collage techniques into practice.

The first section of the book covers the basics of collage: what types of paints are best to use, recommended materials and supplies, and copyright issues.

Some of the fifteen collage techniques in the “Creative Collage Techniques” section include:
* Creating backgrounds using painting and glazing techniques
* Making image transfers (one of my favorites)
* Using beeswax for collage, transfers and stamping
* Antiquing techniques using paint, rust kits, and other means

Some of the topics covered in the “Piecing It all Together” section include:
* miniature assemblages
* composition
* storytelling using collage

I especially liked the “creating background” information because it was one of the things I was having problems with. The background techniques include paint glazing, peeling paint (I LOVE this effect), textured paint, and peeling paper (another VERY COOL technique that I apply to much of my artwork now).

“Collage Discovery Workshop” is a big book (8.5″ x 11″, 128 pages) with glossy full-color pages throughout, and is filled with how-to-pictures of techniques and finished artwork.

Throughout the book, Hellmuth gives the reader a short description of the collage techniques used in each piece of artwork. Its very helpful to see this, because it gives readers an idea of what can be done by mixing various collage techniques together. And Hellmuth’s artwork is gorgeous. Its very inspiring to look at her artwork, try out the art techniques, and apply them to my own artwork. Some of her collages are displayed full-page-size, so readers can get a detailed view of the work. Her collages gave me lots of ideas for subject matter, mixing techniques, color combinations, and many other creative ideas.

In the back of the book Hellmuth gives a list of collage artist’s websites to look at. I checked them out, and most of them are filled with beautiful and unique collage artwork. It was a really nice resource for her to include as I had a lot of fun looking at other artists’ collages. She also lists some publications of interest and I found that list to be very useful.

I highly recommend this book. Especially if you like doing collage and are just starting out. But even if you’re a pro at collage, you might want to get this book anyway, since Hellmuth’s mixing of collage techniques will give you some new creative styles to consider, and lots of creative fodder.


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