Illustrative Collage

Word and Image
June 10, 2015

By guest blogger Áine Cassidy

The Illustrative Collage workshop took place at the V&A on 6th June 2015. The course was led by illustrator and graphic designer Áine Cassidy. Over the course of the day a group of eight students took inspiration from the V&A’s collection to create their own collage artwork.

Below are some of the images made during this one day course.

Beatrix Calow- Angel of the City1

© Beatrix Calow

beryl 2

© Beryl Wall


© Diana Thompson

jan 1

© Jan Graham


© Jennifer Henley


© Lorraine Johnson

valeria_moonlight 1

© Valerie Beeby


© Vivien Sadeghi

After initial introductions, we made our way to the Museum’s Medieval & Renaissance Galleries. The motifs and ornamentation of the Mannerist style were a key reference for the day. In a similar way to collage, the Mannerist style fuses many different elements together in surprising and novel ways. These works are extremely rich in detail, intertwining images of nature with figurative and decorative flourishes. Students made sketches of details within the lavish decoration and identified the forms which they could use within their own collage artwork.

In the afternoon these drawings were combined with an array of other materials – including old magazines, coloured paper, inks and fabric – to create the collage artwork. The students were encouraged to mixed media and experiment with different material. We discussed the use of texture as an emotive tool within collage. It was interesting to see the different styles within the group, with some students favouring a loose torn paper effect whilst others used cleaner cut out organic shapes within their compositions.

The artwork was then scanned in order to finish it digitally. I gave a Photoshop demonstration and outlined some useful features including layers, masks and filters. The students then worked on their individual pieces implementing some of these techniques to create their impressive final compositions seen above.


Áine Cassidy is UK based illustrator and graphic designer



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