Collage-making: An overview of the course
This online course exists of 12 modules. Almost every module will contain one or more video lessons, and also an assignment, which will help you to put into practice the things that you have just learned.
In module 1, I’ll introduce the materials and tools that you need, and give you a detailed shopping list. This shopping list will be quite short since you don’t need a lot of expensive materials to make art.
In the second module, I will show you the complete process of the making of a piece of collage paper. This is a long module, with four videos, and a fifth one in which I’ll analyze the collage paper. It is meant to give an introduction to how you can work freely and without restraints. There is no assignment in this second module.
From module 3 to module 8 I will introduce you to six visual elements that are important in making art. They are Color, Value, Marks & Lines, Shapes & Images, Texture, and Depth.
In every module, you will get an assignment designed to give you the chance to play and experiment with that particular visual element. This way you will gain experience with each visual element separately. This will make it easier to combine all those visual elements when you are making your collage paper, and also when you’re creating collages.
Module 3 will be about the first visual element: Color. In this module, I will show you how you can mix a whole lot of colors while using only three basic colors, along with black and white. I love to get a lot out of very few ingredients, and only using three colors plus black and white has the side-effect that it will be easier to create harmony in your collages since you use only a few pigments. In this module I will also say something about the color circle, and how you can create harmony by using colors that are on the same side of the color circle and contrast by using colors that are on opposite sides of the color circle.
The topic of module 4 is Value. Value is about how dark or how light a color is. Of course, black is the darkest color, and white is the lightest, but all colors have a value, and it’s interesting to take a look at how the different values play a role in your collages. Value is a topic that is often overlooked, while it is essential for how you experience a work of art.
Module 5 is about Lines & Marks. The fun thing about making abstract art is that you can be completely free in everything, and making lines and marks is one of the most exciting parts of it. Remember when you were a small kid? The first thing that you did with a pencil in your hand was scratching. When we make lines and marks, we can experience the wonder and excitement of making those first marks again, and retrieve something of that free playfulness that might have gotten lost when you were growing up.
Module 6 is about Shapes & Images. Shapes literally shape your collage, and there are many ways of making them. You can draw them, paint them, cut them, tear them, stencil them, stamp them, etcetera. In this module, you will get ideas about how you can create shapes that you love. Images are a particular kind of shape; they seem to carry more ‘meaning.’ There are of course very ancient images, for instance, the infinity sign or other symbols. But you can also create your own images, and even use very realistic images like plants, trees, faces, humans, or whatever else you like. There are no rules in this, and even if you are really an abstract art lover, you can still integrate realistic elements into your work.
The topic of module 7 is Texture. Texture is about the surface of the collage. Is it smooth, or is it rough? Can you feel it with your fingers? You can make texture for instance with wrinkled paper, with different layers of collage paper, and you can scratch with your knife in wet paint and make carvings in your collage. But you can also suggest texture, for instance by dry brushing your paint, or using spraypaint. The possibilities for creating an exciting texture are endless.
Module 8 is about Depth. Depth means that your painting is not flat, but on the contrary gives the impression of space. You can ‘walk into it,’ so to speak. There are different layers, and some layers hide or veil something that is underneath, which makes you curious about what stays invisible. Depth gives mystery and interest to your collage. There are many ways to create depth, for instance by using opaque versus transparent paint, by veiling, by glazing, by layering, and more. Module 8 will be all about that.
Module 9 will be all about creating your own collage paper. Now you have an overview of all the different visual elements, and you have played and experimented with each one, the time has come to combine all the visual elements in your own collage paper. This collage paper will be the basis for the collages that you are going to make in module 10.
Module 10 is a very large module. I will show the making of a whole bunch collages from start to finish, which will give you an idea of how a collage making process could go. Of course, your own collage making process will be your own, since you are a different person, with your own taste, your own movements, and your own inspiration.
But the main thing that I want to show is that you can let the collage unfold as it wants to, to trust the process and allow everything to happen instead of trying to control your collage. Your inner artist is wise and will show you the way. Of course, the most important part of this module is the assignment: start making collages yourself.
Module 11 is about analyzing your collage. This is a tricky lesson, and I did not include it in module 10 on purpose. I deeply believe that you have to give yourself complete freedom while making your collage, and never judge or criticize yourself. Making collages is pure play, pure joy. There are no standards that you have to live up to. Analyzing it too soon can get you in your head and spoil the freedom and playfulness that make creating abstract art so much fun.
Nevertheless, after you have finished your collage, you can take a fresh look at it, and analyze what is going on. Here, composition comes into play. You can ask yourself: is your composition balanced, harmonious? Or does it contains a lot of contrast? How did you use the different visual elements? And you can watch the emotional response you have to the collage. Does it make you happy or excited? Does it touch you? Or does it make you bored or leave you unaffected?Taking a second look at your collage will give you the possibility to learn. And subconsciously you will take this with you when making your next collage. This way, your art will grow and mature.
Module 12 is very practical. It is all about how you can finish your collage and protect it from dust and damage. Also, I’ll explain how you can mount your collage on wood.
In the final bonus modules, I will give you the possibility to download the collage paper and all the example collages that I made.