Collages are pieces of art, created out of a collection of objects, of different forms. History takes us back around hundred years, when collages came into prevalence, although this form of art faded away within a few years of its inception. However, this technique of visual art made its reappearance in the early 20th century and since then its popularity has only increased. You can create collages using almost any unused object including newspapers, bits of colored papers, old photographs, ribbons and buttons, or anything else you can think of, glued together on a paper or a canvas.
The word "collage", derived from the French word "coller" meaning "glue", is a predominant part of our modern art scene and is practiced by many enthusiasts. To create a collage, all you need is a collection of some old, unused materials and your imagination. There is no hard and fast rule in creating this form of art and so, you have enormous opportunity to let your creativity flow, within the collage.
According to the principal material used, collages can be broadly classified into the categories, such as collage in painting, paper collage, collage with wood, Decoupage and Photomontage. It is believed that the famous painters, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso started the art of collage, assembled within their painting, thus giving birth to a form of modern art.
You can glue bits of paper, colored or hand-made or even newspaper cuttings, together on your painting and create a beautiful collage. Further, you can also cut your painting into uneven bits and then form a new collage on a fresh canvas. Both these techniques of collage in painting are practiced by artists and enthusiasts around the world.
To create a paper collage, the main ingredient is paper of any kind. You can collect bits of magazine or newspaper cuttings, colored, hand-made paper and even glossy paper. On a canvas or a full sized paper, glue together the collected bits of paper in a specific or abstract form and you have a beautiful paper collage ready.
Collage with wood, also involves a combination of wooden pieces, and it originated around the 1920s, after the advent of paper collage. Pieces of wood, scraps and wood carvings are glued together either on a canvas or a wooden board. There are no limits to the enormous depth of texture and natural color you can imbibe within your wood collage, using these natural items.
Decoupage is yet another beautiful style of creating a collage, which is made by simply placing a picture on an object for ornamentation. Now, decoupage, although not very difficult, is not as simple as it seems. It involves various images being cut and pasted in layers having different depths. To hold the pieces together, you can put paint or varnish and seal the art to the canvas. You can also use glass, sand and other substances along with the images to give them a three dimensional effect.
Another variation, photomontage, involves creating a new photograph with old photographs or parts of old photographs. Photomontage is done in such a manner that the collage seems to be a composite photograph. Creating a photomontage is easier using image-editing software such as Pixel image editor, Adobe Photoshop and GIMP. Without much effort, these software not only digitally enhance the photographs, but also coalesce them in a way that the separate boundaries are unrecognizable.
Collages can be applied in architecture, music, dance and literature, wherein various forms of individual pieces can be combined to form new creations of art.
Now that you have some basic knowledge of the different forms of collages, you can begin creating your first collage. To begin with, collect small bits of various substances from your house and buy a canvas or a paper, and put it all together. To get a visual idea of a collage, search the internet for art works of various artists. You can even get hold of books such as "Collage: A New Approach" by Jonathan Talbot to get a feel of collages before actually creating them.