What is Collage?

A Day in the Park by collage artist Megan Coyle
Megan Coyle. A Day in the Park.

Collage is a form of artwork that is made by assembling different pieces to create a new, finished work of art. Collages can be made from a variety of materials such as paper and fabric.

There are so many different styles of collage. Some collagists create abstract artwork while others make artwork that tells a story with people in different settings.  There are also lots of different collage techniques. A technique is the way an artist puts together a work of art. This includes the materials used, the way they were glued together, and the way the pieces were cut.

A common way to make collages is by cutting out different objects from photographs and magazines to glue them together to make a finished scene. Take a look at this collage. Have you made a collage like this before?

You can also make abstract collages by tearing and cutting paper. Megan Coyle has made a few abstract landscape collages. Take a look at this one. Can you tell which pieces of paper were torn? What colors do you see? Abstract artists like to focus more on colors and shapes in their work.

Some artists also make collages by using several different materials. Collages can be made with paper, paint, string, and objects from nature like leaves, just to name a few. Some artists look for materials that were thrown away like cardboard and newspapers. Take a look at one of the collages Megan Coyle made by using different materials.

Autumn Flowers by collage artist Megan Coyle
Megan Coyle. Autumn Flowers.

Megan Coyle mainly makes collages from magazine pages. How do her collages look different than the other collages you saw on this page? Coyle likes to think of her collages as paintings made from paper. She cuts out different shapes of paper and glues them down to make collages. She focuses on color when she looks through magazines, trying to find specific colors to use for her artwork.

There are many different ways to make a collage. Which collage technique do you like best? For this lesson, you’ll look at more of Megan Coyle’s “painting with paper” style collages. After this lesson, try out one of the collage styles listed above. Find out which one you like best.

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