They really don't like the idea of giving up that control.
After demonstrating how to tear paper in a controlled
manner we discussed how they could use these rough, irregular shapes to create beautiful, abstract flowers. Although they got off to a tentative start they were soon ripping and tearing paper with wild abandon. I was worried we would end up with a huge pile of confetti. Everyone had a good time and each student was able to create some very lively looking flowers.
I like torn paper collage. When you tear paper you have less control and sometimes that's a good thing. It's easy to get tight and controlling when creating art, obsessing over every little line and shape. The finished work can end up being well done technically, but boring. When tearing paper you have to work with what you get and the end result can be very dynamic and sometimes even more interesting than a similar work with smooth, perfectly cut and spaced elements. It works especially well for younger students or when you would like bold, organic shapes and painting is not a good option.