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“Collage and the digital mix” with Michelle

This activity involves collage (and possibly some painting, if you like.)

You will need to use your phone, digital camera or scanner (if you have one) to make a digital copy of your work when complete. 

Please send your work in via email to: janine@insideoutcommunity.com ready to be added to the digital mix.

To give you an idea what a digital mix might look like have a look at the Inside Out Fruit Mix here 

Please note

  • Any work you share will be ‘re-mixed’ and may not then look exactly the same as your original!
  • If you send in your work you are consenting for it to be included in the mix. If you don’t wish your work to be included that is absolutely fine! We would still love you to have a go at the activity.
  • The Inside Out Community will be credited as ‘contributing artists’.

You will need:

  • A piece of thick sketchbook paper or card (A3 is probably best if you have it.)
  • A pencil to draw your outline shape & to help you sketch out your work if needed.
  • Scissors
  • Glue – Pritt stick is great or PVA if you prefer.
  • Coloured paper, old magazines, a newspaper or old wrapping paper or even recycled product wrappers?!
  • Paints – optional
  • A washing up bowl and a selection of plates, cups, cutlery, saucepans etc (all will be revealed!)


A haiku poem by Chigetsu:


the songbird’s song

it stops what I am doing 

at the sink

The finished piece will include a soundtrack of birds singing. If anyone would like to record the birds they hear singing in their garden or whilst out on a walk please make the best quality recording you can, using your phone, and send the file into Janine.


I am imagining this as a washing up collage still life!

You can interpret the idea as you wish but please follow the first instruction below:

1. Take your piece of paper (preferably A3 to give you plenty of space for your creation) and draw the outline shape of a washing up bowl in landscape orientation like this: 

2. Use your cups, plates, bowls, pots and pans, cutlery etc to give you ideas for your collage shapes. You can sketch out first if you like and then go ahead and cut them out. Your work can be abstract, decorative or realistic – up to you!

Images by Michelle Brace

In the examples above I used an old National Geographic magazine and old pieces of wrapping paper for my shapes. I think I would prefer to have a coloured bowl (my actual washing up bowl is green.) Perhaps start with coloured paper or add a wash of paint? 

You could try building up individual collages of your objects in the style below (artist Megan Coyle), depending on how much time you have for this activity and how much you enjoy collaging:

3. Think about the scale of your objects so they make sense in relation to your bowl. My examples were just about life size!

4. Arrange your crocks and cutlery shapes in your bowl. You might want to first put in a background layer – a single piece of coloured paper the shape of your bowl or a texture that looks like water? Or you might prefer to paint in the background before you start laying out? 

5. You could think about adding hands into your image if you wish..? 

6. How about adding soap bubbles as a final layer in either collage or paint?? 

7. Think about colour… it will be great to have a really good mix of colours and interpretations from the group!

8. When you’re happy with your arrangement you can stick everything down : ) OR…… 

9. Instead of taking just one picture of your finished image, take several pictures as your work progresses or as you move your objects around. If you’re careful about framing your shots in the same way each time you will have created a short animation of your work. You can send all the images in and I will do my best to add them all into the mix!


  • Check your camera angle: hold your phone / camera so the lens is pointing directly at your piece of work. This is to make sure your work is not captured with any distorted angles.
  • Try to capture as much detail as possible & fill the shot with your washing up bowl creation! 
  • Think about the lighting conditions when you’re taking your picture. Is there enough light? Is the light too strong or harsh? Have you checked for shadows or bursts of light?
  • Just before you snap, check that your image is in focus.. If using a phone – tap the phone screen to properly focus, then SNAP!


If you’d like to explore fine tuning your image you can try retouching i.e. using Snapseed (a free photo editing app for IOS or Android) OR use the editing tools on your phone to add a filter that you like, to alter the exposure, contrast, saturation, brilliance, highlights, shadows, tints etc. Have a play and see what you come up with as your favourite version of your image. If you can’t decide on one you can even send multiples if you like!

Content by Michelle Brace

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