The Joy of Collage Making

Get into the flow of painting through collage making



Making art on a daily basis is one of the most beautiful things you can do. If you paint regularly, you really get into the flow of painting, instead of staying in a cycle of starting and stopping again.

If you paint daily, you start to care less about the final paintings that you make. Because you are making so many paintings, you don’t get so attached to the results. If you make something that you don’t like, you don’t worry, because tomorrow there is another day. Daily painting enables you to start focusing on the process, instead of on the product, which is so much more fun, and you learn so much more along the way.

By painting daily, you invite creativity in your everyday life. That not only makes for beautiful paintings, but also has a silent but unmistakable power to change your life from the inside out. Creating on a regular basis grows your resilience, resourcefulness and joy in life, and it helps you to get out of your head and into the Now.

Daily painting costs time, though. You have to prepare your studio, get out your painting supplies, clean up afterward, and take care of your brushes. If you don’t have tons of spare time every day, you might not even start.

Here is where collage-making comes in: a beautiful and easy way to unleash your creativity and make art on a daily basis.



The beautiful thing about making collage is that you divide the painting process in two. First, you make your collage paper and, second, you make your collage.

Making the collage paper

What do I mean by that? Well, the collage paper is a painted piece of paper that you tear or cut up for later use in your collage. By making your collage paper you can freely express yourself, try out all kinds of mark making techniques and experiment with shapes, colors, and value. Because you don’t think about making a final product yet you can feel free as a bird, and try whatever you want. For making this piece of collage paper, you pull out all of your paint and use your brushes and all of your mark making tools, which takes some time. So you can make your collage papers at moments that you have some time on your hands.

Making the collage

A collage, on the other hand, is a piece of cardboard or other sturdy material, on which you mount pieces of collage paper, and combine this with paint and mark making tools if desired. A collage can be made relatively quickly. Since you already have put an effort into making beautiful collage paper, you already have some great basic material to start with. I often don’t use brushes for making my collage but, instead, use only my fingers. Then I just have to wash the glue and the paint off my fingers, and I’m ready to move on with my day.

Make compositions in a very easy way

The other thing that I love about collage making is that it helps you to experiment with composition in a very easy and natural way.

When you make your collage paper, you don’t worry about composition at all. You are free to paint whatever you like. Once you start making your final collage, you can play with how the different visual elements relate to each other. You do this playing with composition very intuitively, not from theory. And by playing a lot, you learn what kind of compositions you like. Slowly you develop your artistic eye and your ability to make beautiful compositions that carry your very personal signature.



This course is for you if:

  • You have never painted before, and don’t know how to start
  • You have painted realistically, but want to start making abstract art
  • You are already making abstract art, but you feel stuck, uninspired or blocked
  • You don’t have much time or space to create, and you are looking for ways of incorporating making art in your life.
  • You want to establish a regular painting practice, and find it difficult to do that with the way you paint right now.




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. You can find the shoppinglist if you click on the link in the first module of the Course Curriculum.


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.


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? Does it make you happy or excited? Does it touch you? Or does it make you bored or leave you unaffected? Taking a second lookat your collage will give you the possibility to learn. And subsconsciously 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.



BONUS #1: Downloadable and printable pdf of an example collage paper that I made in this course

If you haven’t made your own collage papers yet, you can start straight away with prints of this piece of collage paper that I already made for you. This way, you can directly jump into the process of collage making, and start making your own collage paper later on. I also added some detailed shots. You can preview them below in the curriculum.

BONUS # 2: Downloadable and printable pdfs of the example collages that I made in this course

By printing them out, you can study the example collages that I made in detail. You can preview them below in the curriculum.

BONUS # 3: An extra piece of downloadable collage paper in a very simple color scheme

I used this piece of collage paper and made a whole lot of small business card sized collages out of it. You can download this piece of collage paper, and create your own collages with it. If you want, you can use my own collages for inspiration. Preview them below in the 'Curriculum' section.

BONUS # 4: Downloadable prints of ten of my collages

You can print them out, and use them as art cards or mount them and enjoy them on your walls! Preview them below in the curriculum.

BONUS # 5: Four extra video’s about the making of collage paper

In these four bonus video’s I’ll show you the process of the making of the second piece of collage paper, to give you more inspiration on how to create collage paper yourself.

Course Curriculum

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  Module 5: Visual Elements part III: Marks and lines
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  Module 6. Visual Elements part IV: Shapes and Images
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  Module 7. Visual Elements part V: Texture
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  Module 8. Visual Elements part VI: Depth
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  Module 9. Creating and analyzing your own collage paper
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  Thank you!
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My name is Simone Nijboer. I'm an artist and art teacher, and I live in the Netherlands.

My personal art-journey is long and winded. For many years, I wanted to paint, but did not dare to start. When I had gathered enough courage, I started painting, but dropped it again quite soon, since I had lots of insecurities, doubts and unhelpful thoughts around painting.

This all changed when I started painting on a more or less daily basis – and loved it! It might sound exaggerated, but I personally feel that daily painting changed my life. Creativity became an indispensible joyful ingredient of my day, and this joy spread over to the rest of my life. In a miraculous way, being in touch with my creativity grew my resilience and resourcefulness, and it strengthened my ability to stay in the Now instead of staying trapped in negative thinking.

When I started making collages, I found it to be so much easier to sustain my daily painting practice, even in busy times. Making collages happened to be a fantastic counterpart to more time-consuming types of painting.

Because I enjoyed the collage making process so much, I decided to make an online course about it. I wanted to inspire other people like you to start making art on a regular basis, and in a very intuitive, easy and light-hearted way. Collage-making is the perfect way to do so.

I hope you will enjoy collage making as much as I do, and I hope this course will help you to get your creativity up and running!



I haven’t painted before. Is this course for me?
Yes. This collage-making course is a perfect place to begin your creative art-making adventure. You don’t need to have any experience in painting.

I have already a lot of painting experience. Is this course for me?
Yes. Making collages offers a fresh perspective on the painting process, and it can add a whole new dimension to your current way of art-making.
Next, this course is all about letting go, exploration and –last but not least– making a lot of paintings instead of thinking about it. That can be very worthwhile if you have a lot of experience, but feel blocked in any way.

What materials do I need?
I work with only three colors of acrylic paint (plus black and white). One red-ish, one blue-ish, one yellow-ish. Two of them (and black and white) can be student-grade paint, and one of them needs to be professional paint. Next to that, you need some mark making and other tools, like brushes. You can find the details inside of the course.

How much physical space do I need?
Collage Making can easily fit into your life without the need for a big studio. You can just work right in a corner at your kitchen table! A table specially reserved for making art is convenient, but not necessary. Since you don’t need a lot of supplies, you can easily store them in a box and carry them around. In this course, I aim for working on a small size, for instance a postcard or a business card, which makes it even more easy to work in a limited space.

How much time do I need?
You don’t need a lot of time to make collages. When you have your own collage papers painted, you can make a small collage very quickly, even in only five or ten minutes, and without a lot of mess. That’s why collage making fits so well in a busy life.

I hear you talk a lot about the importance of daily painting. Do I need to paint on a regular basis for this course?
No, you can follow the course at your own pace. That said, I will encourage you to free yourself up and paint a lot. The main goal is to stay in the process of painting instead of starting and stopping again or only aiming for making beautiful end-products. Daily painting is a fantastic way to do so.

What if I’m not happy with the course?
If the course does not meet your expectations, I’ll be happy to give you a full refund within 30 days of your purchase, no questions asked.

How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

Can I share my login codes with other people?
No. If you have friends you think would love this course, please send them the URL to this page and invite them to sign up.

I have a question that’s not on this list.
Please drop me a line at [email protected], and I’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.



Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page! I am sure this course will give you the tools to get your art practice up and running or give you new inspiration to dive into your creativity. Be welcome to join me, and experience the joy of collage making!