Cut and Paste

Frame a View

Turn a view into an exciting collage

The idea

kid using a viewfinder to make her collage

© Tate

This is a fun way to use a view finder and create an effective collage. A viewfinder is a simple square or rectangle cut out of card that you can look through. Using a viewfinder helps you to focus on something and not get distracted by what's around it. It will help you pay close attention to the image that you are trying to create. A collage is a picture made from small pieces of paper.

Choose any view you like for your collage. You can choose a person, an animal, a building, an object or just a view.

A cardboard viewfinder

© Tate

  • A simple view finder. You can easily make this by cutting a square (5cm x 5cm) out of a piece of sturdy card like a cereal box.
  • A pencil and a sheet of paper (A4 would be good).
  • Scraps of gummed or coloured paper. You can also use torn pieces of paper from magazines, newspapers and wallpaper.
  • A glue stick.
Kid drawing on beach

© Tate

Kid using viewfinder

© Tate

collage

© Tate

  • Find somewhere, either indoors or outside, where you think you will find a view you want to turn into a collage.
  • Use your viewfinder to look around you at different views and choose the one you want to work with.
  • Make a light pencil sketch of your view but only use outlines, you don't need detail.
  • Now add colour to your sketch by using the torn scraps of paper to build up the picture you want to create within your pencil lines.
  • Hold your viewfinder at arm’s length, keeping your elbow straight.
  • Spend a little time looking at different views before you make your decision about the one you want to work with.
  • Think about the way different views look to you when you look at them this way. Are some views more effective than others? Why?
  • Tear your paper rather than cut it. This gives your work a much more natural finish.
  • Don’t forget that you can use a view finder to help you focus on something specific when you are drawing and painting too.

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