Project Objectives

Introduce the Components of Art: Subject Matter, Content, Form.

Introduce Form/Design: Elements and Principles.

Promote visual understanding of the different Degrees of Representation.

Promote visual understanding of the Principle of Organization: Unity.

Explore photography and collage as art medium.


Project Description

In this project you will learn how to abstract from Subject Matter and focus on Form by finding like images in the world around you. You will use a digital camera to capture these images, taking notice of their similar shapes, utilitarian qualities, and environments, while accentuating their slight variations. Utilizing a grid system as a formatting tool to help attain Unity, you will develop a collage that uses repetition to create a harmonious composition.


Required Materials

Digital Camera 14”x17” Bristol Board Printed Photographs HB Mechanical Pencil Vinyl Eraser Metal Ruler Xacto Knife Cutting Mat Glue Stick


Step-by-step Directions

Step 1: Grab your camera and go to your favorite places to photograph like images. Your will be looking for the same subject matter, so find objects in the world that are similar not only in what they are, their use, but also in their shape. Experiment with scale in the photograph, as well as your composition. Frame your subject matter closely taking tight shots. You should take AT LEAST 50 photographs.

Create a Mock-Up

Step 2: Look at your photographs on your computer, delete any that you do not want to use. In a local color printer, print the photos on regular paper. You may need to resize your images and reprint more copies.

Step 3: Look at your photographs, which are interesting to you? Which photographs are interesting when put in a group? Using your Xacto knife and ruler, carefully cut out the objects in your photographs. Remember that you are creating a grid, your cut-outs should be either in a square or rectangular shape. Think about how much of the background you need, how big should your objects be. Will your photographs overlap, will they butt up right against each other, or will they be separated by white space? Play around with your options to see which creates an interesting image. What format is most appropriate for your subject? Your final collage must contain at least 12 images.

Step 4: Start placing your photographs on the Bristol Board (do not glue them down yet). How big of a border do you want? This is up to you, but there should be at least a 1.5 inch white border around collage. Scale the photos in Photoshop, print and cut them as needed.

Step 5: Once you decide on your composition, lightly use your pencil and ruler to make guidelines of where your grid should be (where each photograph will be). Use your ruler to make sure that your collage will be centered and that all of your lines are straight.

Finalize Artwork

Step 6: Get your chosen photographs printed at a local store, like Walmart, Costco, or a drugstore. Get two copies of each photo printed so that you have extras. You should do this as soon as possible to ensure that you have enough time to complete your project. You may also choose to print these photos yourself on photo paper. Once you have your "good prints" cut the photos and reproduce the grid your created in your mock-up.

Step 7: Using your glue stick, glue your photographs to the Bristol Board to complete your collage. There should not be any glue on top of the photographs or visible to the viewer. Once dry, erase any pencil marks that may be visible.


Project Delivery

Took at least 50 photographs. (0.5)
Took tight shots.
Final Project with 12 images on Bristol Board
Final project documented (photographed/scanned).
Final Project uploaded to your E-portfolio
Project 1 Self-Critique posted to your E-portfolio


Grading Criteria

This project is worth 5 points.
Project's Grade Rubric

Craftsmanship: The final design has been executed in a professional manner. The designated materials are intentionally utilized with care, effort, and attention to detail - cut, pasted, and properly mounted to Bristol Board.
Materials: The design incorporates a minimum of 12 images & utilizes the entire picture plane.
Composition: Alignment in grid system is apparent and intentionally used as an organizational tool.
Elements of Design: There is a clear connection between the elements in the objects photographed (in object size, color, shape, color, utilitarian use, etc.).
Principles of Organization: The design establishes an understanding of unity & visual flow.


Project 1 | E-portfolio

Self-Critique Questions
Artwork Documentation
Writing Assignment
E-Portfolio Notes


Project 1 | Resources

Project 1 Printable Hand-out [PDF]

Components of Art: Subject Matter, Content, Form.

Form/Design Elements and Principles.

Degrees of Representation.

Principle of Organization: Unity.


Project 1 | Related Readings

Design Basics: Unity


Project 1 | Sample Work


Project and some Student Samples appropriated from Prof. Mahr, Westchester Community College, NY