The Smiling Koala

The Smiling Koala by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Smiling Koala” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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The other day, I wanted to get started on a new collage. I’ve been thinking that I really need to revisit still life, portraiture, or landscapes again since I’ve been focusing primarily on animals. But then I remembered how much fun it is to make animal collages, so I decided to tackle a koala collage again.

Working on this little guy wasn’t easy. I found myself realizing that koalas are pretty strange looking creatures – they look almost like mice with their rounded ears, and their noses are quite unique and unusual. I think I just haven’t really studied the features of a koala all that much, and realized that I was getting tripped up over the details in their quirky characteristics. Eventually I was able to layer the magazine strips in such a way that I was satisfied with the result. This piece is done…for now.

Collages Inspired by the National Zoo

I’ve found a lot of inspiration from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Over the years, I’ve visited the zoo numerous times, and have taken lots of pictures of the animals in their different exhibits. I thought I’d share some images of the work I’ve made that was specifically inspired by some of the animals found at the National Zoo.

Red Ruffed Lemur by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Red Ruffed Lemur.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I’m fascinated by lemurs, and think that the red ruffed lemur is a beautiful creature with colorful fur and bright eyes. When I was walking by the exhibit where this particular lemur lives, I just had to take a few pictures which later inspired this piece.

Fine Dining for Pandas by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Fine Dining for Pandas.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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Pandas are a lot of fun to collage. This collage was inspired by feeding time for the pandas, where one of the pandas was so engrossed with eating bamboo.

Tree Baby (Firefox) by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Tree Baby (Firefox).” Collage on paper. 16″x12″
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This collage was inspired by a day when one of the red pandas was pretty active, climbing around his or her home.

Cuddling Meerkats by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Cuddling Meerkats.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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Meerkats are one of my favorite animals. During one of my zoo visits, several of the meerkats were clumped together and looked like they were all cuddling with each other. I just had to take several pictures of them and use those images as references for this collage.

What Are You Looking At - orangutan - by collage artist Megan Coyle
“What Are You Looking At?” (Orangutan).
Collage on paper. 16″x12″
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It’s eerie how much orangutans look like people to me. They’re so expressive, and it seems like half the time I see them at the zoo, it’s difficult to tell who is really watching who.

Turtle that thinks she's a Giraffe by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Turtle that thinks she’s a Giraffe.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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During another zoo visit, I noticed a turtle that had an unusually long neck, and it reminded me of giraffes. From the turtle’s unusual appearance, I was inspired to make a piece modeled after that species.

Flamingo by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Flamingo” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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I love how colorful flamingos are, and I always enjoy taking pictures of them to use as references for future works of art. I suppose I’m really drawn to their vivid pink feathers.

The Otter Sisters by collage artist Megan Coyle
“The Otter Sisters.” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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I think otters are adorable and I always get excited when I see them at the zoo.

Animals are definitely one of my favorite subjects to collage. I love how they come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors. And I really appreciate that Washington, D.C. has a zoo that is so easily accessible to the public. Being able to visit the zoo frequently, makes it a lot easier for me to tackle my animal compositions.

Malachi

Portrait of a Dog by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Malachi” Collage on paper. 9″x12″
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Animals are one of my favorite subjects to tackle when it comes to piecing together my collages. Here’s a piece where I was commissioned to collage a dog that has two different color eyes. I’m thinking my next couple of collages will involve some more wildlife.

In other news, I’m planning to get started with exploring a couple different mediums. As much as I enjoy making collages, it’s always good to change things up every once in a while.

Alligator

Alligator by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Alligator” Collage on paper. 9″x12″
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Last night I completed my first collage in 2015. This piece was commissioned by a teacher from Washington state, who is having her students study my work in class. I think it’s absolutely wonderful that she reached out to me to have a work of art made that she can share with her students, so they can see one of my collages in person! I also had a lot of fun working on this piece – especially with the detailing for the gator’s scales.

And now I’m off frame and prep the collage for shipping…

Red Fox

Red Fox by collage artist Megan Coyle
Red Fox by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Red Fox” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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A couple of weeks ago I completed this commissioned collage of a red fox. I definitely had a lot of fun working on this one. I enjoyed working with the color palette and finding bits and pieces of texture to add alongside solid pieces of color. Foxes are such beautiful and colorful creatures. No wonder I liked putting together this collage.

Watchful Tiger

Watchful Tiger by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Watchful Tiger.” Collage on paper. 16″x12″
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I’ve been taking a bit of a break from my art-making so I can unwind and experiment with other media. However, I’m still working away on collages here and there. This week I completed my latest commission, a tiger collage. The client had purchased my “Watchful Lion” collage, and was interested in getting a tiger collage to go along with it. She also wanted a sunset in the background of the composition.

So as I worked on this piece, I kept a thumbnail image of the “Watchful Lion” in front of me so I could make sure the new collage would look related to the previous piece. This one was definitely a fun piece to work on. I really enjoyed using all the bright colors.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Barn Owl.” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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Above is the finished “Barn Owl” collage. The client gave this piece to her sister (who is expecting) to go in the baby’s room. The color scheme I worked with matches the colors used to decorate the room.

Fluffy the Chinchilla Portraits

Fluffy the Chinchilla - Profile by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Fluffy the Chinchilla – Profile.”
Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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Above and below are the finished portraits I did of Fluffy the Chinchilla. They were my first ever chinchilla portraits, and I had a lot of fun making them. The client had some great Fluffy photos that I used as references for these.

And now I’m off to work on a red panda collage. Hope everyone has a great week!

Fluffy the Chinchilla - Front by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Fluffy the Chinchilla – Front.”
Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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Noah

Noah by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Noah.” Collage on paper. 9″x12″
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And here’s the completed collage of the smiling dog. Looking back at all the previous commission work I’ve done, it looks like dog portraits have been the most popular subject. When it comes to tackling pet portraits, I’ve found that it helps a lot if the subject is a happy-looking pup.

In other news, you can check out my article that was just published on Bourgeon Online – Art is a Story. I discuss the writing and illustrating process for Duck & Fish as well as the storytelling I do with my other art projects.