How-to: Activity

How to: Collage with Ripped Paper

You will need:

  • Various colored papers (This example was made with paper that is painted with color only on one side, like paint sample papers.)
  • Long vertical pieces of colored paper
  • Pencil
  • Glue (If using thicker paper a liquid glue might be necessary)
  • Optional: Bird references/photos
image of illustration - How To Ripped Bird Art - final rendering

1. 1. It does help to look at various bird photos and choose different characteristics that stand out to you in different birds. Keep in mind when you are designing your bird you will be ripping the paper so there will be limited ability to create fine details. Stylizing and simplifying your design will be key to being successful. Creating simple shapes with various colors is the main objective here.

drawing of step 1 in How To Collage with Ripped Paper

2. Once you have established a design for the bird, start ripping out pieces of paper of various colors for each part of the bird. Ripping the pieces instead of cutting with scissors adds a nice texture to the edge of the pieces. It may help to glue down the bigger pieces as you work because smaller pieces can get lost very quickly. Adding on details to the bird such as polka dots and striped bands of different colors really make the bird extra special. If you are able to find paper that has paint only on one side of the paper, it makes an interesting white edge when ripped as well.

3. The background of your paper, that you are going to glue the bird onto, should be very long and vertical. (This sample is about 4” x 11”) That will help you to create a bird that is exaggerated in length.

This will create a more stylized bird design. Don’t forget to create that elaborate head piece as well! The sky is the limit on the direction of your design! Creating a nice base for your bird to stand on is fun, too.