Term: 2 Year: 2006
Collages 3 5
Collages 3 4
Collages 3 3
Collages 3 2
Collages 3 1

The idea for this project came from reading the storybooks Eric Carle has created.  During Semester 2, 2005
I was teaching a Storybook Writing and Illustration elective for years 6 to 8.  I wanted to create and activity
that would engage students in the process of both writing and illustrating their own story.  While they were
hard at work writing the stories during single lessons, they created artwork during the double session.  The
creation of the collage could have been related or unrelated to their story, as I was hoping to demonstrate a
method of illustrating their books. 


  • Students will learn more vocabulary about the Art Elements and Principles.
  • Students will be able to speak about their artwork as well as that of others using correct vocabulary.
  • Students will work independently to create a collage.
  • Students will use line, shape and colour, balance, and contrast in their collage.
  • Students will learn a new collaging technique involving planning, painting and gluing.
  • Students will practice blending/layering/applying colours using acrylic paints to create various tones
    and variations of colour.
  • Students will use problem-solving skills to create the collage they plan through sketches.
  • To review their knowledge of basic cutting, gluing, and painting skills.


  • Eric Carle storybooks
  • Visual Diary
  • A3 paper
  • Pencils
  • Fine liners


  • PVA Glue/glue sticks
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water pots
  • Coloured pencil
  • Erasers
  • Acrylic paints
  • Newspaper
  • Oil pastel
  • Crayon



  • During class Eric Carle books will be read aloud.  Students should be encouraged to participate in
    discussion about both the illustrations and the story. How do they think the illustrations were created?
    Do they like how the illustrations were done? Do they like the story?  How might the illustrations been
    done differently?
  • Look at the Eric Carle website and go through how Eric Carle creates and illustrates
    books. There
    is also a book available about the process Eric Carle uses to create his illustrations called The
    Art of Eric Carle
    as well as a video Eric Carle: Picture Writer, which can both be found
    on his website.
  • Complete three sketches in the visual diary of possible collages they would like to make. 
  • Students should sketch out 3 different compositions.  It is only necessary for out lines to be drawn
    with simple details, as they will refine their piece once they start collaging.
  • Have students record what colours they will need to do for their collage.
  • When they have chosen a final composition, students should redraw the image (out lines only) on A3 paper.

Creating the paper for the collage

  • Demonstrate how to mix/blend colours on a sheet of A3 paper so that it creates a streaky effect of one
    dominant colour. 
  • That means if red was needed in the collage, you would put red, yellow, white, and black on your
  • Then dipping the brush in the paint using different combinations cover the entire sheet of paper.
  • Different tones and colour variations will be created as the colours should mix/blend as you put them
  • Encourage students not to blend too much, but enough to create a smooth united surface.  They should
    create enough sheets of paper to cover the colour requirements for their collage. 
  • Remind them if they don’t have enough of a colour or forget to make one, other classmates will
    have extra that can be shared. 
  • Eric Carle uses tissue paper to paint on but I felt that material is too thin for students to work with
    and they would create more waste than usable material.

 Creating the collage

  • Some students were able to look at their final sketch and cut pieces out freehand and glue them down on
    another sheet. 
  • Other students found it best to use the light box and trace the shapes they needed onto their painted
    sheets of paper. 
  • This only worked when the colours they had used weren’t too dark so that light could shine
  • Another method I also found successful was to have the students cut out the pieces from the planning
    and trace them onto the painted
  • When this was done it was necessary to make sure the pieces were traced correctly on the paper, as there
    was the potential for the painted side to come out backwards.

General tips for putting the collage together

  • Have students store all pieces in a plastic pocket or envelope.  It might be helpful to number these
    pieces so that they correspond to the original drawing. 
  • This might make it easier for the students to put the collage together.
  • I requested that students must show me how the piece will be arranged before they are allowed to glue
  • This will help make sure there are no white spaces coming through and that all pieces overlap correctly.
  • When students begin gluing they should create their background first so that objects overlap and create
    a sense of depth. 
  • Discuss this concept with them before everyone starts gluing. 
  • Ask if they can come up with any other reasons as to why it is important to work from the back to the
  • There are several ways for creating a background.  Some students used a light box to trace shapes
    on to the sheet of painted paper. 
  • Others cut up smaller pieces of one colour and rearranged the pieces to create a more varied and textured
  • The shape of these small pieces varied from similarly shaped rectangles to random cuttings from the larger
  • Once all pieces are glued down additional detail can be added with fine liner, oil pastel, coloured
    or crayon. 
  • Remind students these additions should be subtle and not take away from the effect created from the


  • When finished, students should either have a class critique or complete a self-evaluation for their
  • This will allow students to reflect on the process of making the collage, the goods/bad elements of their
    work, what they like/would like to fix, as well as show their knowledge of art terms and techniques.

Deirdre Zabel

Wycheproof College