Collage Techniques on Canvas

by Nora Zavalczki, Demand Media

    Collage is a type of art that involves gluing different objects and materials on a background such as wood, canvas, textile, metal, cardboard or plastic. Canvas is a sturdy background, so you can choose heavy objects to glue on and create three-dimensional collages. Canvas is also more durable than paper or cardboard. Gluing various objects on canvas doesn't require any artistic experience and you don't have to adhere to sophisticated rules; you just need a theme, ideas and a fair sense of composition.

    Photo Collage

    Create a collage using photographs. Decide on a theme such as the '80s, family tree, relationships or vacation, and choose a few photos that you want to include. Organize the photos, and to avoid having photos of the same size and a boring composition, cut out the people or certain details from your pictures. Glue the photos and cutouts on your canvas using white glue. Cover the canvas with pictures or leave empty spaces that you can fill with colors or other compositional elements such as ticket stubs or birthday cards.

    Paper Collage

    Use newspaper clippings, magazine cutouts and colored paper to create your collage. Organize the elements of your collage according to a theme. Cut the colored paper into various shapes and glue them on your canvas alongside the other cutouts. Create papier-mache dolls or figurines and glue them to create a 3-D collage. Alternatively, create a background on the canvas; decide on the main tones of your background and find magazine pages that contain those colors. Glue the elements of your collage on this background. The elements may have similar or contrasting colors. Use printing ink or paints and rubber stamps to add various motifs to your collage.

    Fabric Collage

    Create textures on the canvas using different fabrics. Combine colors and different material thicknesses. Paint dots, lines or other motifs on the fabrics to create a link between the surfaces. Use the embossing technique to add quality to certain fabrics you use. Apply embossing powder and pigment ink on a rubber stamp. Place the stamp on the fabric and heat up the fabric using a blow-dryer. The powder and ink will melt. Glue the fabric on the canvas.

    Mixed Media on Canvas

    Combine several techniques on a canvas when making a collage. Get a few photos and magazine cutouts, beads, cans, coins, fabrics, plastic dolls, metals and wood. You can use various objects, as long as they are consistent with the idea of your collage. Arrange the objects in a composition and glue them on your canvas to obtain three-dimensional compositions. Use tape when attaching heavy objects to the canvas and cover the tape with cutouts or other materials that match your composition. If using metal wire, create some holes in the canvas and introduce the wire through the holes. Paint parts of the collage using a paintbrush or spray on the paint. Apply stamps or emboss the fabrics you use. Cut out letters from newspapers and include them in your composition.

    About the Author

    Based in Toronto, Nora Zavalczki is a freelance writer who has been writing since 2007 on a variety of topics including languages, pet training and health, plastic surgery, fitness, travel and arts and crafts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been published both on and offline in such sources as the International Educator, Learn Faster and Triple1.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images