BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY - The Leading Experimental Photography Platform


For Beginners

Collage is a medium of art which involves cutting out various textures, materials and media and placing these cut outs together to make one image. Gaining popularity in the early 20th century with firm roots in Dadaism and Surrealism, Collage has earned its place as one of the key forms of communicating subconscious ideas in an art form. We're going to show you what you need to get started. 

1. What you will need

The basic essentials of what you need are: a flat cutting board for graphic design will allow you to effectively make your cut outs, a sharp blade to cut out your images with smooth lines and create more detailed Collages, and a ruler to create geometrics shapes for your artwork. Of course you will also need glue but this is a heavily contested area and many Collage artists use different glues. You can use any glue, but you must test the glue against the paper first before sticking. In many cased a glue stick will suffice, however it can easily allow the paper to tear. You may also get gloss glues, however these adhesives are more expensive and more challenging to work with. 

2. Source your materials

Literally anything can be a collage! Look for interesting textures, shapes and images which could be interpreted into something else. Think about an item's colour, texture and size and find things that compliment. You can use more traditional methods to get started, we created a collage book which is filled with media that simply needs to be cut out and immediately used. 

3. Begin cutting out your pieces

Take your blade and begin cutting out your first pieces. We recommend cutting out the most important pieces first or the pieces you want to focus on most, this allows you to create a jigsaw puzzle of work and you can then see what is missing. 

Make sure your Collage blade is sharp so you can get into the intricate areas and be very careful. The smoothest cuts will create better artworks. Having extra blades is going to be important for keeping your cut outs clean. 

4. Getting into the edges

When you are making the first incisions, go a little wider than needed so you don't accidentally cut into the collage as you can see in the 4th finger here. It is much easier to go a little wider and then cut closer when you need too. 

5. Finalising your pieces. 

Begin laying out your pieces and find what works. We find that it is best to come up with some sort of concept or comment which you want to make, or perhaps you want to capture a feeling. Once we had cut out the hands and the background, it was clear that a central focus was needed. Then lay your images and even take a picture on your phone so you can remember exactly how to lay your Collage. 

Now that we're starting to get somewhere with this artwork, we will now cut away those final white bits that are unsightly and stick down! 

These are the main steps for creating Collage art! You don't need fancy tools and technology, it is more about your ideas at first, and then you evaluate how to elevate your craft as a collage artist as you develop. Tools like scanners, screen printing, Guillotines, professional printers and expensive glues are great tools to have as a Collage artist, but they are not necessary! Don't be afraid to just get started with the basics. 

Our cutting board and blade cost £4 from a typical hardware store that sells art supplies, the ruler was £1 from a pound shop, and our media is from our book which we are selling on Amazon. You can have tonnes of artistic expression for under £20 and you can make it much cheaper if you're thrifty! 

Show us your collages with our #featurebeyondphotography hashtag on Instagram. 

Using Format