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Make an Easy Collage

Have you ever sat down and made something and then just felt good? Yes! Creating is a wonderful feeling. So join me as I make an easy collage!

First, gather up some old magazines or some old picture books or encyclopedias. You can even use old sketches and artwork that you don’t mind cutting up. We are going to cut them up and glue them down.

No judgements now! We’re just going to play. And the process is what we are focusing on and not the product.

Grab some scissors, glue (I use a glue stick), a couple of markers and some highlighters. You’ll also need some heavy paper that will stand up to having layers of paper glued to it. I use a Canson XL Mix Media sketchpad.

Make Up Some Rules

To make decisions of what pages to use and what to do with my artwork as I go along, I make a few rules for myself before I start. Here are the ones that I used for this process and I’ll do the same process a couple more times so you can see that you can get VERY different results from it each time. Also, you can change a rule to get different results, too. Here are the rules:

  1. Use colors that are similar to each other (analogous colors).
  2. Use text pages for the background – horizontal lines – and layer with wavy lines.
  3. Create unity by using random pattern – repeating some shape or line throughout.

Analogous Colors

Look through your magazines and books and find a few pages that appeal to you. Remember your rule of colors that are similar to each other. I chose yellows and oranges and orangey reds.

Horizontal and Wavy Lines

Think back to the rules. I wanted horizontal text lines for the background, so I pulled out some pages from the atlas and lay them down on my heavy paper page. Then I just cut a few pictures out. don’t think too hard about this if you are just working on process. You don’t want to get critical; you just want to enjoy what you are doing. If something seems difficult to cut out, cut around it.

I also thought back to my rules again. Wavy lines! So I cut some wavy lines from some of the paper. Once I have some things cut out, I arrange them on the paper. If you’re doing this, just move the pieces around until you like the arrangement.

Focal Point

While you’re arranging, you might come up with an idea of what area you want to be a focal point – the area that gets the most attention in the artwork. If you do, great, but if you don’t, no worries. Just play around with the image. When you like the arrangement, glue them down.

Collage in Progress
Collage in progress

Random Patterns

Now, random patterns – that’s one of the rules, remember? I pulled out my pens and started to make some random patterns. I’m thinking “unity” so the patterns have to somehow pull everything together. If I make some outlines round one flower, maybe I need to draw lines around all of them. I’m really just doodling now. My philosophy is to have fun with it a bit. The waves suggested water to me, so I added little fish. I could have added any random patterns as long as I added them across the page to create unity and make the parts look like they go together.

Time for random patterns.

Make It Digital

You can take it a step further with your cell phone. Just download PicsArt and use the free version. I’ll show you how I did this one.

Same image that has been photographed and put into PicsArt.
Same Collage with PicsArt

It’s pretty simple. Just photograph your collage, open PicsArt and touch the pink plus sign at the bottom of the screen. Select the photo you just took, then select FX. Other options will pop up at the bottom. Scroll over and select Magic. I used the Rainbow effect, but you could use any. Just follow the arrows at the top of the screen to complete and save or share.

For another example of working this way, See “Make Something #2!”

If you are interested in the history of collage, This is a good article with lots of imagery.