Friday, February 19, 2010

Earthy Collage

Today we explored collage in my homeschool co-op art classes. Collage is a French word for "to glue" and is an assemblage of different forms to make a whole. It has been used since paper was invented in China, but was not called collage until Picasso and Braque coined the phrase in the modern art era.

Today's project was inspired by a gift card. I enjoy the clever designs on gift cards, and always look at them when going through a checkout. They are tiny, creative artworks. My inspiration was this Toys R Us Earth giftcard.

Earth Collage

You need:
Glue sticks
shapes punches
old magazines
tagboard or other stiff paper

I ran off a simple line drawing of a globe from the internet, and drew it larger with a simplified continental outline. I used tagboard cut into approximately 9 1/2" x 11" size (6 per board) and traced the globe/map outline on each tagboard ahead of class. To transfer, I "colored" on the back of the pattern page wherever the outlines were, then flipped the pattern, held it on the tagboard and firmly traced it, leaving a faint outline behind. I found I could do about three copies before re-coloring (leading) the back of the pattern sheet again.

Before class, I used shaped punches to punch out magazine pages in blues and greens. I punched (LOTS of) each color into their own bowl. I found that smaller, smooth designs were good, and a larger design could be useful for larger areas. Smaller designs are necessary to fill in small areas. I originally tried to find stickers, but could not find enough of one size in one color. The punches I used were flowers that made three sizes.

When the kids came to class, I talked about collage, and showed some examples from famous artists (Picasso, Matisse), history (Japanese poetry, Christian icons), and contemporary childrens book artists (Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, Denise Fleming.) Then the kids each glue stick-ed small areas at a time and filled in the land and sea spaces in the appropriate colors. They were to fill but not overlap much with the punched shapes. (Be sure they are showing the "right" side of the punched shapes.) The results were good. My 6th graders finished today, the 4th and 5th graders will finish next week.

Daughter M.

Some of my 6th grade's finished works.


  1. This is a WOW idea, and I love your inspiration gift card. I may lift the punch collage for this summer's reading program featuring dinosaurs. I think I have a dino punch that could be used for the main object. Mahalo for sharing.

  2. Thanks. Hope it works well for you. I appreciate your comment.

  3. Looooove this! Pinning this to use in the future. thanks!