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The Figure In Collage.

"I love collage!"

I love collage as an art teacher because it's part drawing, part painting with colored paper, and found materials. Collage forces students to work looser than they naturally would, and for students who already possess a daring attitude about making art, it's a comfortable medium--as long as I instill high expectations.

Like most of my art projects, I always begin with art historical references. For this project I showed my tenth grade Advanced Art students collages by Cubists, Dadaists, and Romare Bearden. Students could tear or cut paper. As for glue, I prefer acrylic gloss medium and glue sticks. The only problem with using gloss medium is the brushes must be washed immediately!

Building on Experience

After teaching my students how to make gesture drawings of student poses, they drew several forty-minute poses and made studies using watercolor and ink. The collage project was the last figure study. The students thought it was the best.

While I planned on them doing just the figure, they all went further by adding the classroom setting, and the results were outstanding. I was amazed at how well the pose of the student model was captured so naturally with just a couple pieces of paper. The faces were not collaged because I stressed the importance of the overall figure. This project took them about five class periods to complete.


Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems.

Ellen Melchiondo is an art teacher at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.
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Article Details
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Author:Melchiondo, Ellen
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2000
Next Article:Zipping Along.

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