Meccano Collage Step by Step

Yesterday I started work on my Meccano painting. I wanted to create something that would appeal to a Meccano enthusiast - after all, there will be a few of them at the Maghull Frank Hornby Exhibition in May - but also something that would be suitable for a child's bedroom wall.

I also knew that I wanted to include a few pieces of Meccano, so I had to choose a surface that would be thin enough to take my Meccano screws, but be thick enough to hold shape. I decided that I would try one of the tough cardboard backings from my watercolour pad.

I began by priming the card with Acrylic Gesso, applied with a palette knife.

While the gesso was drying I began to prepare the background. I decided that Hornby data should be a feature of this work, so I printed some very old Hornby tables onto ordinary photocopier paper, and tore it into pieces ready for collaging. 

To get nice edges when tearing paper, you can draw water onto the paper using a brush

Wait for it to soak in

And then pull the paper apart along the damp line. It's very easy, and the paper tears exactly where you want it to.

Here are some of my papers, ready to go.

I wanted a yellow background, so before adding the papers I glued a sheet of yellow tissue paper to the gesso coated card using Gloss Acrylic Glaze Medium on both sides of the tissue so that the surface would still be OK to paint over with acrylics.

Using the same medium, I then glued all my papers in place, leaving some areas without papers, and then glued another piece of yellow tissue paper on top.

Then I painted some meccano models onto card and stuck these down with PVA glue.

And then I added my Meccano pieces. 

Oh doom and disaster, this was not at all the vision I had in my head.

Decidedly disgruntled, I took myself off to bed to sleep on it.

In the night I had a brainwave - I would take off the small cars and replace them with a single larger one. I sketched out a longer car onto white tissue paper and then stuck it down, again using the Gloss Acrylic Glaze Medium.

I then painted this using my Acrylics and also added a new slightly larger and brighter Meccano badge. Looking better already. I then painted a red border around the whole painting to complete the frame.

I'm very happy with this now, I just need to add a hanger on the back and I'm done. It is slightly warped so I may need to fix it to a wooden frame on the back.

I hope you found this step by step useful. If you have a go yourself, enjoy creating!

Please do not use my design for commercial gain.

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  1. looks like fun. Good choice on changing the cars. It works a lot better

  2. Thanks Gina, I really enjoyed creating this. I might make a few more along a similar theme - just need to get hold of some more Meccano first!

  3. I think it turned out beautiful, I think the tissue paper car made it! Nice job! Margaret on Paint My Photo

  4. Very well done and great tip for tearing paper!! Does it work on watercolour paper too?

  5. Thanks Judith. Yes that tip for tearing paper works very well on watercolour paper, you'll get that lovely deckle edge finish. You can use a brush or a ruling pen loaded with water, just wait long enough for it to soak in and then pull away!


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