Anne Ryan

Recycling scrap paper for creative projects

During the making of my latest picture book Follow the Rainbow, I enjoyed exploring creative ways of recycling scrap papers that are often discarded in the creative process. I have often collected scrap papers left behind from creative projects. These left overs hold great memories and stories from previous art making activities and look magic.

Have you ever looked into the sky and seen interesting shapes in the clouds?

Ruby and Tavish begin the story doing exactly that. First they see a wizard with a cape

…and then a witch on a broom.

These collaged images are all made from scrap paper. Just like the clouds, the fun part is playing with the cut shapes until you find new exciting images. All you need is curiosity and imagination and time to play.

Creating illustrations of rainbows with collage requires a variety of colour, texture and tone. This was the perfect project for recycling my scrap paper collection.

I explored a lot of simple mono-printing techniques whilst creating the illustrations of this book.

These ideas are incorporated in my Creative Storytelling Workshops for primary and early years programs, artist/illustrator school visits and artist-in-residence programs. Read more about these programs here.

My video demonstrates a simple technique for recycling scrap papers using mono printing processes. Mono printing is a playful way of building young children’s awareness of colour blending and basic mark making techniques. Some young children may find creating and forming confident shapes required for detailed drawing quite challenging, especially if they struggle with their writing skills and forming letters in their language and literacy development. These open, experimental mark making activities build confidence with young learners and invite experimental and fun learning experiences for all young artists.

These colourful papers are an exciting way to introduce new projects with fun collage techniques and mixed media art making with young artists.

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