Collage Skills Lab
Collage Skills Lab
Old magazines and newspapers are great sources of images that can be repurposed to use in your collage. Tissue paper, craft paper, and construction paper are great materials for collage work. Other found items that you could use are fabric scraps, thread, string, drawings, old calendars, envelopes, junk mail, graph paper, maps, sheet music, postcards, and wallpaper. You can find these materials at thrift stores, dollar stores, craft stores, library sales, and yard sales. If you like making collages, keep a box for found materials and add to it any time you come across some interesting materials.
Bright, colorful and highly appealing, the six-volume hands-on “Art Skills Lab” series encourages readers to unleash their creativity and try a variety of visual art media. Each title explains the elements of design (line, shape, texture, pattern and composition) as they pertain to the featured art form and profiles famous artists and their works as examples. Topics also include a brief history of the specific art form, the color wheel (warm versus cool colors, complementary colors, and tints and shades), materials and techniques. There are step-by-step instructions for 11 hands-on activities in each title as well as text boxes with additional information, tips, and ideas for extending the creative process. The authors encourage readers to examine works of art and to bring that awareness to their own creations. For the home artist, the projects require an initial outlay of money for supplies, especially for items such as watercolor paint, brushes, cheesecloth, brayers, etc., but many of the supplies can be purchased for little cost at dollar stores. Teachers would find this series useful as teaching tools for art lessons in the classroom. Abundant color photographs, not only accompany each of the steps in a project, but also showcase real life works of art. A table of contents, a glossary, an index and a list of books and web sites for more ideas and copyright-free images are included.
Modern collage began in 1912 with Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Henri Matisse called collage “painting with scissors”. Readers might be familiar with the works of author-illustrators Eric Carle and Ezra Jack Keats. In Collage Art Skills Lab, readers will be introduced to abstract versus realistic art, foreground, middle ground and background, and the terms focal point and juxtaposition. Using a variety of materials (tissue paper, fabric, string, photos and maps, to name a few) and techniques (e.g. cut and torn mosaics, decollage, rubbings and photo montage), children can create landscapes, animal mosaics, symbolic collages, and letter collages which express a message or theme through the use of cut-out text in various fonts.
Interesting, educational and fun, the “Art Skills Lab” series is well worthy of purchase.
Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.