Lesson #8: Adding details and accents to your collage


Why should you add details and accents to your collage?
Students will be able to:
Add details and accents to their work by drawing, painting or overlapping collage materials
Students will understand that:
Details can make abstract objects more recognizable.
Accents focus attention on a particular area.
Details and accents help make a composition stronger.
Student collages, collage materials, stick glue, scissors, assorted supplies that can be used to accent or add details: paint, brushes, charcoal pencils, conte crayone, wax crayons, ebony pencils, colored pencils

Reproductions of still-life collages by Picasso, Gris and Braque that have been used in previous lessons.


Display still-life collages by Picasso, Gris, and Braque.

  • What have these artists done to make the abstract objects in these works more recognizable? 

Ask for a volunteer to show a collage that needs details to make the objects recognizable. 

  • What can this student do to make his objects more recognizable? (draw or paint a few realistic details directly on the collage, cut out details and glue them in place)

Ask the students to identify a master collage in which the artist draws the viewer to a specific area.

  • What did the artist do to make you focus there? (used lighter or brighter colors, added details, make the shape larger than the others)
  • What should you be doing next with your collage to strengthen its composition?

The teacher should have a table set up with drawing and painting materials that are familiar to the students. Materials could include:  colored pencils, conte crayon, wax crayons, charcoal pencils, tempera paint, cray-pas.



Select a student work in which the still-life objects cannot be easily recognized or in which there is no area that attracts more attention than the others. Discuss what that student could do to strengthen his work.

Placing tracing paper over the student work so as not to work directly on it, demonstrate one of the suggestions.

Turn and talk with a partner to discuss what you each need to do to create emphasis and to make some of the objects more recognizable. 

Select appropriate materials and add details and accents to your work.

Display a student collage that demonstrates the most progress. 

  • What objects can you recognize in this work?
  • How did the student use details to make that object recognizable?
  • Which area attracts the most attention?  Why



Art Making:  adding details and accents to a collage

Literacy:  looking at and discussing art, developing visual arts vocabulary

Making Connections:  observing and interpreting the world