Lesson #6: Beginning the Collage


How can we begin making our collage?
Students will be able to:
Select materials to match the values in their still-life sketch
Trace and cut the materials to fit the shapes on their enlarged sketch.
Students will understand that:
Value is determined by the density, size, color, and type of texture or pattern on a material.
Creating an art work requires a plan and a sequence for execution.

Collage materials, student still-life value sketches, enlarged final sketches, ebony pencils, tracing paper, scissors, envelopes for storage


Reproductions of still-life collages by Picasso, Gris, and Braque.

  • How does a fashion designer go from a rough sketch to a finished garment? (sketch, selects fabrics, makes a pattern, cuts the fabric, assembles the dress)
  • How is this similar to our process in making a collage?

Select a student value sketch.  Ask the class to assist in selecting a material from that student's collection to match the value in a student sketch. 

  • What factors determine the value of a particular material? (the size, color, density, and type of texture  or pattern are all factors that contribute to the way we perceive its value)

Demonstrate how to trace a shape from the sketch, darken the traced lines on the opposite side of the tracing paper, place it over the collage material, and press hard on the outline until the line is transferred The shape can then be cut directly from the material. 

  • What can we do if this method doesn't work because of the nature of the material being used?

Demonstrate how to cut out the tracing and use it as a template. Lay the traced shape over the material and cut around it. Remind the students that they can also rip their shapes to create more irregular edges.

Remind students to refer to their value sketches as a guide for selecting the collage material to use for each shape.  Students will cut or rip the shapes for their collage.

Select a student who cut has cut out several shapes.

  • What challenges did you face today?  How did you meet them?
  • In what ways was your value sketch helpful to you?
  • To what extent did you depart from your original plan?



Artmaking: Selecting and cutting materials for a collage

Literacy: Looking at and discussing art; developing visual arts vocabulary

Careers and Life Long Learning: awareness of careers; developing a plan