If you want to know how to make abstract collage art I can show you the step by step process. This collage ideas for adults will be combined with … … a tutorial how to paint like Jeff Cowen. Just after this. Hi there, my name is Albert van der Zwart, welcome to Imperfect Paintings … … where it is all about improving your painting skills by looking at art, yourself and the world around you. Jeff Cowen is an American art photographer who likes to play around with his materials. His still life have this nice messy atmosphere. And the portraits are also not exactly what you expected. This portrait of Camilla I and II, I was mesmerized when I saw her at an exhibition. What got me hooked on Jeff Cowen artwork were these abstract pieces. The still life and portraits have a subject to look at … … but when you don’t you start to notice what he really does. He cuts, staples and anything else you can think of, layer after layer. And he plays around with photography chemicals in the process … … and maybe a splash of paint somewhere. Multi-layered treasure hunting objects. Every time I look at them I discover new things. Abstract collage art this time. I start with a white and a black sheet of paper. I will show all the steps how I get to the final piece. In the beginning it is a black and white game. With scissors I cut a piece … … and by working fast and messy it gets interesting edges. By moving the black around on the paper I trust my instincts if this size is right or that spot is best. Think of it as redecoration your livingroom … … you look around and just know the table is too close to the window. Or that painting on the wall has to move just a half inch to be perfect. The devil is in the detail. I take an extra sheet of stained white paper and cut a piece and play around with forms. It is all about balance. Too much white and the black has no meaning … … too much black and the white gets irrelevant. Learn to trust your instincts. The leftovers are used to fill the bigger empty areas. When you work like this, it is always interesting to look at dull or boring spots. Where does it have to change to make the total more interesting? Remember, the artwork of Jeff Cowen didn’t look that clean and tidy. Be bolt and mess around. So some black in the top corner. And a bite out of the circle. By moving the white piece closer to the circle, you can feel a tension in that area. Nice. An easy way to check if it looks interesting is by first looking at the whole. Then look at each half, every quarter and so on. When you do this more often, you learn to do this unconsciously. In the next phase you have the option to correct it, but is best done in every step of the way. First it’s time to glue it all together. Back to the Jeff Cowen photography. You saw me stacking layers on top of each other. You can also do it differently. Look at the right one. The white behind the photos is the wall. When you look closely you see 3 borders after each other … … and the square in the center would be number 4. But in the left one you will find 5 nested borders … … and in the middle a circle with a rectangle in it. In this one I want to show you the pins he often uses to hang his art. It creates a curved side on the artworks. Around the portrait you see this brownish border with the patina of an old photograph. On this last one you see some dark red paint at the top … … a big white dot, a larger green area in the middle … … and when you look on a bigger screen, you can even see a little lower a row of yellow spots. So let’s grab some paint for an additional layer. I mix some acryl medium and white and sprinkle white spots. With a straw I try to blow the fluid in different directions but the paint was still too thick. With a paper towel I make paint stains here and there. In a feel good magazine I browse around for interesting things to add. I find an old looking photograph and some burning oil lamps. It adds and interesting extra layer and new colors. I apply a little paint on and around it to integrate them. Because I am missing something I browse around my materials … … and come up with this veil like fabric used by florists in a bouquet. It’s hard to glue to the surface so I use a little piece of paper to help me. And again some paint to make it more interesting. And here is the artwork made by the participants of my painting course. Who knows it’s just that little extra to get you started too. Enjoy. If you like to play around with compositions like this with paint and paper … … I can show you some more exercises and questions to ask yourself during the process. Click on the link and I will see you over there in the next video.