Introduction: Collage Creatures

About: I am an artist living and teaching ART in NYC for over 30 years, and I am a CZT, Certified Zentangle Teacher. I love to explore all sorts of art making both in my teaching and in my own work...check out my sit…

Last Spring in ART class my 1st graders made these collage animals...It was loads of fun and a HUGE success!

Step 1: Supplies

Tempera paint, assorted colors, including black and white


cardboard for backing, depending on the size I used 11" X 14"

brushes, both soft and bristle

elmers glue

sharpie marker

Template for facial features


gloss medium ot tempra varnish


Step 2: Pass Around Paintings

To Begin the project and have enough paper to use for their collages, I set up the classroom that each student had a cup of different color paint, a brush, and a piece of paper.

The children began to paint using their color, I timed them for two minutes and announced Pass the Painting...they would pass it to the next person who would paint for two minutes in their color, and so on an so forth until the entire piece of paper was covered with paint.

Step 3: Tear and Glue

When the paintings were dry they were torn into strips approx. 1 1/2" wide. Elmers glue was brushed on the back side of the paper strips and glued in a radiating pattern. starting in the the center of the cardboard backing. Strips were fit into place and even torn to cover all the spaces on the cardboard.

Step 4: Templates for Facial Features

Each student used the eye template and then chose their animals other features, The eagle got a beak, the cat a small nose and the dog a larger nose.

Step 5: Creating the Eyes

First the template was traced twice on white paper. Next a large circle was drawn inside to create the eyeball. The corners were colored in with black sharpie.

Next a smaller circle was drawn inside to make a pupil. They each drew a small 8 shape to add the highlights in the eye. The pupil was then colored in solid using the black sharpie.

Three cray-pas of the same color field were chosen to color the iris. Dark, Medium and light.

The darkest tone was used around the outside edce of the iris, next the medium, then the lightest.

Step 6: Eagles Beak

I demonstrated with an eagles beak. First I traced the beak template and added nostrils using the black sharpie.

Two colors of cray-pas were chosen to color the beak. Same as the eyes, the darkest shade was used around the outside edges. Next the lighter shade was blended in.

Step 7: Other Eyes and Noses

Different selections of cray-pas were chosen to create blue, green or hazel eyes. Dog eyes have the same rounded shape pupil while cat eyes were created with an elongated sliver.

The Dog and Cat noses were colored as the beak, however, with appropriate colors.

Step 8: Shiny Eyes

Next , gloss medium (or tempera varnish) was painted over the eyes and beak to produce a "wet look" which makes the eyes look alive.

When dry the facial features were cut out and glued in place.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Using black, white and shades of grey tempera, feathers or fur were painted on the faces of the animals to create the finishing touches on their faces. We used old worn out brushes to create a feathery or whiskery effect.

Step 10: Finished Piece

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