Most people did a bit of collaging in school, putting together different images to create either an entirely new image or a chaos of different images. Collaging is easy to get into since it doesn’t require special tools or training.
When we hear the word “collage,” what comes to mind is cutting out different pieces of paper and gluing them together. But a collage is also possible with rocks, fabric, wood, and other types of materials.
A Brief History of Collaging
The origins of collaging can be traced back around 1911 in France where it was trail-blazed by modernist artists, like Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Earlier examples of collaging can also be found during the Victorian era in England, but Braque and Picasso brought mainstream appeal to the art form.
Braque and Picasso embraced collaging as part of their Cubist sensibilities. Cubism is an art movement pioneered by Braque and Picasso, along with other artists, that rejects the idea that art should copy nature or that artists should create art using traditional techniques such as perspective and modeling.
Instead, cubist artists focused on the two-dimensionality of the canvas and made use of geometric elements to break through this limitation – which is exactly what collaging did. Gluing different materials together made a surface appear more three-dimensional, almost as if you were creating a sculpture rather than a painting.
Collaging with Digital Elements
A huge part of the beauty and charm of collage is the art form’s flexibility. As mentioned earlier, any type of media can be used to create a collage – digital elements are no exception. Through photo editing programs like Photoshop, it is possible to create a digital collage made from other digital images. Many artists even preserve and recreate the traditional paper element of collaging by using scanned pictures or book pages.
Today, we’re going to show you how to create a simple digital collage like the image below.
1. First, we picked a model that’s not too plain. The flowers that we used were orchids, so we wanted the finished product to focus mainly on that particular flower.
If you notice, our images are transparent PNGs that are already pre-cut. Images like these eliminate the need to “cut out” images and isolate them from a background. Digital collaging is made easier this way. All you need to do is put the images together in a way that’s appealing.
We then created a background layer and chose a background colour that’s close to the model’s skin tone. We used the eyedropper tool and picked a warm shade.
Below are the cut-outs of the orchids and the butterflies that we used in the layout.
2. Next, we arranged the flowers on the right side of the girl using different cut out images. We also added some vines with different sizes to add height and variety to the image. We made sure that these elements are not too thick and big so as not to overcrowd the image and overpower the model in the middle.
In placing and arranging the flowers, we followed the same concept of using miniature ornaments instead of big ones. We used the resize tool to make the flowers appear like water droplets and emulate flowing and natural movements.
3. We copied the elements on the right side to create the left side of the image. We grouped together the elements and created a duplicate. You can also merge all the elements together, but grouping them together is safer especially if you need to make changes to specific details.
After making a copy, we inverted the images and moved them to the left side of the image. We didn’t want to make the image look too symmetrical and inorganic so we made changes to a few elements using the move tool. We added and deleted some flowers and vines to give the image more variety and a bit of natural inconsistency.
4. We added some flowers underneath and above the model to fill in some gaps, but we also made sure to leave enough space so the image wouldn’t feel crowded. We added one huge orchid floating above the girl to emphasise both the flower and the model as the centrepiece of the image.
5. Next, we changed the colour of the vines and some of the flowers because the green vines and the flowers were too distracting and we wanted to put more focus on the girl. We created a selection of the vines and gave them more pinkish hues. We also gave the flowers the same colour for consistency by changing the hue and saturation. To do this, we created a new adjustment layer and played around with the hue and saturation settings until we achieved our desired results.
6. Finally, we added some butterflies to some spaces. For colour consistency, we also adjusted the hue and saturation of the butterflies so they wouldn’t look out of place.
This is what we used in the layout:
And here is the finished product.
Image Clipping Services for Your Business
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Learn more about our image clipping and collaging services. Get in touch with us today.