It is, of course, impossible to create true transparency without using transparent materials. But you can create the optical illusion of transparency using opaque materials such as paper and fabric. At our August NTAQ meeting we tried to create the illusion of transparency in our paper collages.
It is logically very simple. If a red square overlaps a blue square, the area of overlap will be a mix of both colors, purple. If a yellow circle overlaps a blue square, the area of overlap will be green. And so on.
If you are working in white, black and shades of gray, as we were, the overlap will be the middle value of the two pieces. So if a light gray rectangle overlaps a black square, the resulting overlap will be medium gray.
The success of the illusion depends on finding a middle color that convinces us of its authenticity. To do so, it should look like a mixture of its parents.
This was my paper collage:
As logical as this concept may seem to me in theory, I found it difficult to execute. It was rather confusing to piece. I had to lay things out carefully, and still managed to sew things together incorrectly more than once. Sheesh!
|Gray study, 12"w x 30"h|
Here are the collage and the piece side by side: