People and Settings

Hide and Seek on the Subway by collage artist Megan Coyle
Megan Coyle. Hide and Seek on the Subway.

Artists pick and choose different details that they include in their artwork. These details can tell you a lot about a work of art, especially when it comes to the way a scene or person looks. What do the details of a person or setting tell you? What can you learn from them? What clues can you find from “Hide and Seek on the Subway” that tell you what the collage’s setting is?

Megan Coyle likes creating narrative collages that illustrate scenes of everyday life – like people cycling down a boardwalk, dining in a restaurant, or hiking outside. When artwork illustrates a familiar, everyday event, you can easily connect to the subject of the work of art. How do the collages below remind you something that has happened to you?

(Click on one of the collages below to view a larger image)

By using bright colors, Coyle makes the settings more distinct. How do these bright colors make you feel? Take a look at this collage in black and white. How does it compare to the when it is in color?

Coyle mainly does portraits because she thinks people are very interesting. Every person’s face is complicated and has its own character. People are a challenge to collage because every face is made up of lots of shadows. There is also a great range of emotion that can be conveyed through different facial expressions. In order for an artist to capture these different emotions, the artist needs to carefully study all the shadows and lines that appear on a person’s face. Take a look at this collage – the man looks like he’s yawning or yelling. His eyebrows are arched, showing that he’s making a face. Take a look at this collage – the woman looks very thoughtful. What do you think she’s thinking about? How can you tell that she’s daydreaming/thinking?

Ali by collage artist Megan Coyle
Megan Coyle. Ali.

When it comes to portraits of people, Coyle enjoys using bright colors for each work of art. Take a look at all the variations of color on the face of the man in the “Ali” collage. Look at the close-up image of the “Bren” collage – can you see all the different shapes of paper that were used?

Color can create a mood for a work of art. How can artwork have a mood? Well, color can make a work of art seem peaceful, sad, cheery, or full of activity (just to name a few). How does the color in this collage make you feel? How about in this one?

Leisure Day by collage artist Megan CoyleCoyle likes to think that her work is very bright and cheery for the most part. Do you agree with her? Why do you think her work looks cheery? What colors does she use the most?

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