Torn paper collages are made using small pieces of paper which are glued onto a surface to create an image. In this case we’ll be making portraits using old magazines, which will provide the colourful palette you’ll need. You can also go black and white by using newspapers. The image children select for inspiration will help with some basic direction in colours, composition and proportions, but they shouldn’t expect to duplicate it. It’s simply to provide a starting point, which they can then take in any direction.
- magazines and/or newspapers
- base for the collage e.g. thick cardboard, mat board
- glue stick
- portrait to use as inspiration for the collage
Have a look here at TORN PAPER COLLAGES to see some great examples. You’ll also find some on the internet.
1. Find a drawing or photograph of a face you would like to use as inspiration for this collage. You can easily find this in magazines, books, printed from the internet, or from an old record album like I did. It will be easier if the size is similar to what you will be making.
2. Use something sturdy as a base for the collage. Thick cardboard or mat board will work well. Any size will do, although something like 8 1/2″ by 11″ is ideal to start – not too big, not too small.
3. Begin by going through your magazines and tearing or cutting out the main colours you will be using e.g. skin colour, hair colour, background colour, clothing etc.
4. Next, focus on the facial features. You can either make them from scratch, or cut out the various parts (e.g. eyes, nose, mouth) from magazines and alter them with torn pieces of paper (see photos below). Beginning with the eyes is a good starting point. Skin tone paper can then be added to create the shape of the face.
Once part of the face is in place, you’ll find it’s easy to begin working on the other areas as well. Larger pieces can be used for the background, with smaller pieces added on top. Torn paper collages can involve a lot of layering, so just keep adding paper until you feel it’s finished.