How to Create a Cubist Collage, Part 1.


While researching Cubist collage techniques, the history of Matisse and his Cubist contributions, this nice bit of “how to” came up on Google. Many thanks to Ken Schwab for posting a lesson plan geared toward high school-age art students on

The Assemblagist gives you these “Tips”:
1. Magazines to cull for photos, text, color in collage construction can usually be found on the FREE table at your local library.
2. Take old old magazines from your doctor’s waiting room. The 2008 May 25 issue of Time magazine is not relevant to any patient. Seriously.
3. Check sites like: Create for Less clearance section for more supplies. (not a paid endorsement)
4. AC Moore, Michaels, you know the drill, JoAnn’s ….
5. plywood can be used in place of cardboard or mat board, 1/4″ thickness.
6. I frequently use parts of discarded chests of drawers for my base — disassemble the drawer and use the bottom or side pieces of wood. The better made furniture with dove-tailing on the joints makes for interesting art.


And now for your lesson, again thanks to Ken Schwab:

1. After reviewing Picasso and Braque with a video (several titles are available – Google it) and a text portion of Cubism (Art History), students are set up with a ruler, newsprint, pencil and eraser. Have a group of objects set up in the room for a still life. Ken likes to use the same things Picasso and Braque used such as guitars, wine bottles, fruit, violins, trumpets, etc.

2. With the students around the still life have them begin with a few straight lines on the newsprint, some vertical, some horizontal and some diagonal (about five to start). Talk to them about stylization and simplification of form into to flat shape.

3. When they start to draw these contours of objects, have them start at the top and move down the page.  When they get to the lines, shift over and continue to draw the object.  Add more lines from parts of the objects that they have started.  Have them make at least three studies differing the object used and new lines.

4. Pick out the best design and transfer it to the scrap matt board and this will be the color of the picture.
5. Outline the design with a narrow black pen.  Plan out a value pattern using a black felt tip pen.
6. Select at least three areas to collage newspapers or sheet music and use a spray adhesive to glue them down.

7. Use the palette and watercolors to produce a faux wood grain by painting lines, blending with a moistened brush and putting a tone across the area for a light value.

8. Lastly use white and black charcoal pencils and graphite pencils to draw into shapes and make gradations where you like.


Part 2 will discuss Cubist Collage as an art form, yes, it’s backwards. Part 1 should discuss history and technique with Part Deux being the actual creationist part of the collage.

So check back irregardless of contextual order. I’ll post the Cubist Collage Dialog on Monday.


One Response to How to Create a Cubist Collage, Part 1.

  1. lishywishy says:

    my, this is fab info once i finish painting the inside of my houe, i will collect all old mags at my drs office. or go dumpster diving on my block in the new 90 gallon recycle bins on wheels.

    i would like to make a collage of my scrapbook from 1907.

    this is wonderful information, for me at age 30

    thanks for sharing.

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