Photography Project: Creating an Abstract collage From your Photographs

Today’s post is inspired by a lesson in Amy Wynne’s course on CreativeLive, Experiment with Abstract Collage. I started learning about collage techniques to help inform some of the art lessons I am taking In Pamela Caughey’s course, Art Success Masters Course. It was a busy 2022, and is shaping up to be a busy 2023.

I found the shapes I created in this project, to be shapes I use in my abstract art projects all the time either as stencils or masks. While these collages would not be something I would hang on my wall, they did help me learn to see a more simplified photograph, and focus on shapes rather than the actual subject and details in front of me.

The supply list for this project is straightforward: a square photograph, construction paper, tracing paper, graphite paper, a glue stick, a pencil, a pen, and scissors. All of the collages at the top of this post were created from 1 photograph. I re-traced the shapes 4 different times picking an orientation first (landscape or portrait), and then focusing on a particular aspect of the photo, for example the reflections. The basic idea is to simplify your image into 5 different shapes that all fit together like a puzzle. You can see in the last collage, I lost count and ended up with six shapes.

What I would do differently: Next time, I would pick a photo with less detail, and a balance of horizonal and vertical shapes. I the photograph I used the vertical shapes were dominant in every version of the collage. I would also try it with subtler and more natural colors. Although, I did have a difficult time finding construction paper that was not in the same basic color palette, and I found cardstock too tough to cut.

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