Sketchbook Collage

For centuries, artists have used collage to express themselves. A composition made of many materials such as paper, cloth, and photographs glued to a surface, a collage creates a complete picture out of different parts. Artist Ekua Holmes makes collages from cut and torn papers, and focuses on themes such as family histories, childhood, hope, and faith. Take a look at the artwork above by Holmes, Golden. Notice the bright colors and overlapping papers, and see how Holmes uses simple paper shapes to create a new and complete picture. Use this as inspiration to create your own collage!


finished mixed media collage depicting colorful house with sun shining on it


You will need:

  • a sketchbook or blank sheets of paper
  • colorful scrap papers
  • scissors
  • crayons
  • a glue stick

Step 1

scissors, glue stick, crayons, and multicolored sheets of paper, all arranged on tabletop
Gather all your materials and make sure you have a flat surface to work on.

Step 2

Vibrantly colored collage by Ekua Holmes depicting young girl jumping rope on a yellow road
Look closely at Ekua Holmes’s artwork Golden. Holmes is inspired by themes such as her community, self-determination, and love. What theme will inspire your collage?

Step 3

Bits of paper cut into various shapes
Think about the different elements, such as shapes, colors, and textures, you would like to incorporate into your collage artwork, then cut them out.

Step 4

Various bits of cut paper laid out on blank page in sketchbook
Start laying some of your cut pieces out on top of your paper. Don’t glue them down just yet—make sure you like how it looks first.

Step 5

Hand holding glue stick used to glue bits of paper onto blank page
After moving the different pieces around and you’re happy with how the artwork looks, use the glue stick to glue your pieces down, one by one. Play around with different shapes and colors. You can always add more!

Step 6

using crayons to color in areas around the glued on bits of paper to compose scene
If there is any white space left that is not covered by paper use your crayons to add some color. When you are done, stand back and enjoy your beautiful artwork! Feel free to create more collages inspired by other themes that are important to you.


In partnership with Citizens

Supported by the Cogan Family Foundation.