Have you ever wanted to express your creative side but needed help figuring out where to start? Or maybe you're an artist who wants to try a new artistic technique but is unsure what to do.
Collage is an engaging and inclusive medium, making it accessible to beginners seeking to discover their creative potential. It is also an opportunity for seasoned artists to experiment with new techniques. In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of collage, exploring why it's an excellent choice for those taking their first steps into the art world and a captivating exploration for those looking to expand their creative horizons. We'll also examine some fascinating artworks from notable collagists. Let's go!
Robert Rauschenberg - Flue
What is Collage Art?
Collage is a dynamic and versatile art form that involves assembling various materials, such as photographs, paper, fabric, and found objects, into a unified composition on a substrate. It's a process of juxtaposing, layering, and arranging these disparate elements to create a cohesive and visually striking artwork. Collage transcends traditional artistic boundaries, allowing artists to innovatively blend colours, textures, and shapes. It encourages free expression and experimentation, making it a medium that both beginners and experienced artists find endlessly intriguing.
Henri Matisse - The Parakeet and the Mermaid
What Materials are Needed to Make Collages?
Unlike some art forms that need a large studio space or expensive materials, you can collage almost anywhere. Whether you have a dedicated art studio, a small corner of your kitchen table, or a laptop, collage adapts to your space.
Collage materials are readily available and affordable. You don't need to spend lots of money to make collage art; all it takes is a willingness to experiment and explore. If you're interested in digital collage, we've launched a free course suitable for beginners - click here to get started. If you want to explore paper collage, you'll need a few items:
- Glue (we suggest sticks for beginners, spray or liquid for intermediate plus)
- Cutting Mat
- Heavyweight Card (we recommend 350 GSM+)
Assembling collage materials is an exciting part of the creative process. The aim is to collect an array of images, textures, and colours. You could find these in magazines, newspapers or your collection of photographs, postcards, or personal memorabilia. Art supply shops also offer a wide selection of speciality papers, decorative sheets, and craft materials designed specifically for collage. If you want to start today, check out our collection of Cut and Collage books, full of bizarre and beautiful images and patterns. Choose from Vintage Anatomy, Sea Life, Butterflies or our assorted collections, Volume One and Volume Two. If digital collage is more your style, the Vault Editions Mega Bundle, featuring 7,537 images, provides endless collage inspiration.
How to Design Your First Collage
One of the most gratifying aspects of collage is the accomplishment of completing a piece; it's a real boost of confidence and encouragement. Starting with a blank canvas can be daunting as a beginner artist, but don't let it intimidate you.
Begin by selecting a theme or idea for your collage; this will help give your artwork a sense of purpose and cohesion. As you review your collected materials, cut out images, shapes, or text that resonate with your chosen theme. Experiment with arranging and rearranging these elements on a blank canvas or sheet of paper until you're satisfied with the composition. Remember that there are no strict rules in collage – it's all about your creativity and intuition. Once you're happy with your arrangement, glue the pieces down and let it dry. Don't be afraid to embrace imperfections and let your intuition guide you; collage is a medium that celebrates the unexpected and the unique.
Why is Making Collage Art Relaxing?
Collage isn't just about creating beautiful compositions; it's also about the journey. For some people, collage can be an excellent form of relaxation. It's a time when you can disconnect from the outside world and mindfully focus on a creative task, whether the rhythmic sound of scissors cutting through paper or the careful editing of a digital collage. Take a moment to enjoy the process of making. There's no need to worry about making a wrong step - with digital collage, you can revert to an earlier version in seconds. If you're experimenting with analogue collage, you only need to glue something down once you're sure how to proceed. Even better, the Vault Editions range of Cut and Collage books includes a digital version of all images featured, so you can re-print any image you like, as much as you want.
Pablo Picasso - Guitar, Sheet Music and Glass
As you embark on this creative journey, remember that there are no limits to your imagination, no rules too rigid to bend, and no mistakes you can't overcome. Unleash your creativity, embrace the joy of discovery, and let your inner artist shine. Whether you're a seasoned creator or taking your first artistic steps, collage invites you to express yourself in ways you might never have imagined; why not try it today with our free digital collage beginners course.