Torn Art (Magazines, Ads, Cards)




Introduction: Torn Art (Magazines, Ads, Cards)

Want to do something creative with all those magazines and catologues you never look at? Here's the project for you!
It requires very minimal artistic skills, with professional looking results. (Can't go wrong!)
And hey, it's a step up from merely tossing the paper in your recycle bin! You might actually get a nice piece of art out of it.

Here's a list of all you need to begin:

-your canvas (doesn't have to be anything fancy, a piece of cardstock does the job) 
-your glue (again, simple is ideal: go for the glue stick) 
-pencil  or pen
And, most importantly: your materials to recycle.
Magazines and catologues are recommended, since the paper is thin and tears easily. 

Step 1: Creating Your Guide

Start by outlining your basic picture on your canvas. This will undoubtedly end up looking different once your picture is completed so don't stress about making it perfect. All you need is a general guide for the shapes that you want to create.

Label your sections with the colors or color schemes that you want to fill them with. This way, when you search for strips, you will have an idea of what to look for. 

Step 2: Cut (or Tear) Your Strips.

Cut or tear various sizes and shapes. (Cutting will obviously give you a cleaner edge, while tearing adds to the ruggedness and uniqueness of the art.) Accumulate a decent amount of each color before moving to step 3.

Try to keep the color schemes in their individual piles. Having the strips sorted will make the gluing process much faster. Think of your piles of paper as swatches of paint on an artist's pallet. 

Tip:Be sure to pick out all kinds of textures. It may look odd to you at first, but once they are layered it will add depth and interest to your art. 

Step 3: Arrange and Glue

Arrange and glue the strips within the outlines you drew.

Tip: Start with the background! Once the background is completed, it is easy to layer the other pictures on top. Starting with the background makes it much less likely that you will have annoying little blank spots to deal with. (I did not follow that method in the picture below, and as a result I had to go back and fit each piece perfectly for the background. Quite the hassle.) 

Continue to cut and tear more strips as needed. Experiment with tearing the papers different directions to get different edges.  

This process will take up as much time as you want to devote to it. The process can be detailed (using tiny pieces and lots of colors for shading), or it can be simple (with larger pieces and a less diverse color scheme). 

Step 4: Perfecting

Layer, trim, re-glue edges. 

Sign your art. To sign your work, find magazine letters that create your initials and incorporate the pieces into your art. 

Add a motif. If you want to create a theme for your picture find a word or symbol and place it strategically into your picture. (See my example, with the word "cold" floating in the pale sky.) If you feel ambitious, you can even incorporate lines of a poem or lyrics from a song into your art. 

Step 5: The Final Product

Now that your picture is complete you can have it framed, photocopied and reprinted, scanned and edited with photoshop, or made into other projects/gifts. With my last few photos I chose to photocopy them and print them onto cards. The possibilities are virtually endless!

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