Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fish Collages

I had the privilege of having Dr. Deb, a Psychologist and Art Therapist join her grand daughter for some creative fun and mixed media play. She used the tissue paper and Mod Podge technique from my Mother's day teacups as the base for her ocean background. Love the textured effect!

Scott, 5th grade

 Mira - 3rd grade

 Thalia - 3rd grade

 Kiran - 1st grade

This session my classes have an emphasis on collage. I love how artist, Mary Fedden described collage as putting together cut elements like a "jigsaw puzzle." To create these layered artworks, we began by creating a unique underwater background with Gelli printing. My students had the option of using some clipped weeds to mimic the look of kelp or seaweed. They created another Gelli printed paper in their choice of colors to create more collaged sea plants. For our fish, I was inspired by my daughter's pet beta fish, Sushi. I thought the beta's lacy fins and beautiful colors would be striking in their collage work. I led a basic line drawing lesson and encouraged the kids to make there fish big. I did a quick photo copy of their fish so they had 2 or 3 to use in their compositions. They used chalk pastels to add color to each of their fish. Finishing touches were added with permanent marker, pastel pencils and white gelly roll pens. I had the children play around with different compositions before gluing their cut elements to their background board. I love the uniqueness that collage art provides.

my experiment


  1. Mary, I love these collages. I can feel the water moving around the plants and fish! What size Gelli plate did you work with? I have the small ones, 6"x6".

    1. Thanks Chris! I have the 8X10, but it could definitely be done with the smaller ones. The kids had to make several prints on their paper to fill the long horizontal format. Some of the prints overlapped, which I think gave a neat effect.


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