(unavailable.....6" x 6" collage created on 140 lb. HP)
A strong graphic look is achieved here and in many of my other mixed media pieces by painting the background with black gesso first. The shapes are then determined by where the old book pages and rice paper are placed to create positive and negative shapes.
In some of my past postings, I did leave more black showing, but I think it looks more integrated and subtle to allow the slivers of black to create a strong division of space rather than a large or equal amount to the text pages. There is a larger black shape right beneath the pumpkin which I like very much and that actually helps the eye to go directly to the center of interest.
Without deconstruction (adhering and then removing papers), this type of work becomes too static. It is a technique which truly helps with the back and forth that needs to take place between shapes or color color blocks. It marries the different areas together. It is also called breaking up surface tension.
If you want to include personal drawings as I did here, it is best to draw the image about twice as big as you actually need and then reducing it and printing the image on silk tissue paper. This gives the illusion that the drawing was actually done on the original piece. Again, this is all about a contrast of transparency and opacity to create depth. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.