How to Make a Surreal Art Collage

By Diane Steinbach
The Persistence of Memory:  Dali

Collage making can be a fun and easy way to create beautiful artwork for your home. Using unusual materials and themes is key to making your endeavor a piece of art rather than just a craft project. Using collage materials helps you set your creative juices free as you aren't hampered by traditional artistic talent needed to make aesthetically pleasing and interesting projects. Surreal art enthusiasts may be inspired by the work of Salvatore Dali, but don't feel their artistic skills are up to the task of surreal work themselves. Collaging with a little brush work is the key. Here is how to make a terrific surreal art collage to impress your friends and family.

Start by collecting color glossy magazine images of interest to you. Be sure to have a wide variety of images to choose from, as a surreal art piece may incorporate a lot of different, unrelated images.

Begin by painting a surrealistic backdrop for your work. This step is easier than you'd think. Simply wet your watercolor paper with a spray bottle or sponge and apply a wash (a very wet application) of paint to your paper. Swirl colors together to create a cloudy-sky looking backdrop with lots of interest. Practice on some scrap watercolor paper till you get the hang of it. Let dry completely.

Look at your magazine images. Trim off excess paper around the image so only an isolated image remains. Gather many together and place on your backdrop. Arrange until you are satisfied and glue down with your dry glue stick.

You can use as many or as few items as you want. Once you feel you are done, apply a coat of collage shellac over the entire surface to seal and protect.

Frame to display.

Tip

If you are unsure how to create a wash background, simply plan to cover your entire surface with collage images. You may need a pre-stretched canvas to give you more structure for your layered images.

Warning

Don't take it too seriously. Have fun with your art.