Simple Collage Still Life Painting Tutorial

Are you ready to explore the world of collage still life painting? In this tutorial, we will guide you step by step through the process of creating a vibrant and captivating collage still life artwork. From selecting materials to arranging elements, we will cover everything you need to know to bring your artistic vision to life. So grab your scissors, glue, and a cup of inspiration, and let’s get started!

Collage still life painting is a fascinating art form that combines elements of painting, drawing, and mixed media. It allows artists to create visually striking compositions by assembling various materials, such as paper, fabric, and found objects, onto a canvas. The result is a unique and textured artwork that captures the essence of the subject matter.

Let’s Breakdown How to Paint An Beginner-Friendly Collage Still Life

The subject for today’s painting will be a bright and cheerful tea inspired still life using the collage techniques.

Gathering Materials

Before diving into the creative process, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of items you will need for this project:

  • Mod Podge matte glue
  • Used white drawing paper, 90 lb. will do
  • Heavy body acrylic paint, yellow ochre, dark green, titanium white and whatever other hues excite you.
  • Small canvas, or sturdy paper like 140 lb. cold press
  • Variety of brushes, and a few old ones for glueing

Ensure that you have all the materials readily available before starting the project. This will allow you to focus on the creative process without any interruptions.

Planning Your Composition

A well-planned composition is crucial for a successful collage still life painting. Before diving into the cutting and arranging process, take some time to plan your composition. Consider the placement of each element and the overall balance of the artwork.

Start by printing multiple copies of the patterned papers from the eBook. This will give you the flexibility to experiment with different color and pattern combinations. Once you have the printed papers, use the provided templates to cut out the desired shapes. Lay each cut shape onto a 12” x 12” sheet of paper as a placeholder. Continue cutting a variety of patterned shapes until you achieve the desired still life composition.

Preparing the Canvas

Now that you have planned your composition, it’s time to prepare the canvas. Using a FolkArt Basecoating Brush, apply a smooth, even coat of FolkArt Ballet Pink to the entire surface of the canvas, including the gallery-wrapped sides. Allow the paint to dry, and then apply a second coat for a more vibrant background.

Creating the Background

The background sets the tone for your collage still life painting. With the Mod Podge Ultra Matte Chalk, apply a thin, even layer to the base of the canvas. Position two patterned table pieces print side down onto the Mod Podge Silicone Mat. Also, brush a smooth, even coat of Ultra Matte Chalk to the backside of each “table” pattern piece. Flip the table pieces over and place them onto the base of the prepared canvas. Use a Mod Podge Brayer or Squeegee to smooth the paper in place, releasing air pockets and removing excess Mod Podge.

Cutting and Arranging Elements

Now comes the fun part – cutting and arranging the elements of your still life composition! Take the cut patterned shapes that you prepared earlier and start arranging them on the canvas. Play around with different placements, experimenting with colors and patterns. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try unconventional combinations.

As you arrange the elements, keep in mind the principles of design such as balance, rhythm, and focal point. You can create a dynamic composition by placing elements off-center or overlapping them to add depth and visual interest. Take your time to find the perfect arrangement that resonates with your artistic vision.

Adding Depth and Dimension

To create depth and dimension in your collage still life painting, consider layering the elements. Instead of placing everything flat on the canvas, use foam adhesive dots or strips to elevate some elements. This will give your artwork a three-dimensional effect, making it visually captivating.

Experiment with different layering techniques, such as placing smaller elements in front of larger ones or overlapping different elements to create depth. Play with shadows and highlights to enhance the illusion of depth and make your still life come alive.

Gluing and Securing

Once you are satisfied with the arrangement of your elements, it’s time to glue them down and secure them in place. Use the Mod Podge ¾” flat brush from the Tool Kit to apply Mod Podge Ultra Matte Chalk to the base of the canvas. Brush a smooth, even coat of Ultra Matte Chalk to the backside of each element. Carefully place each element onto the canvas, pressing down gently to ensure proper adhesion.

To prevent any lifting or peeling, use a Mod Podge Brayer or Squeegee to smooth the paper in place and release any air bubbles. Pay attention to the edges of each element to ensure they are securely attached to the canvas.

Enhancing with Paint

To add an extra touch of creativity and personalization to your collage still life painting, consider enhancing it with paint. FolkArt Acrylic colors offer a wide range of vibrant hues that can complement and elevate your artwork. Select a few colors that resonate with your composition and use a fine brush to add details, highlights, or shading to your elements.

Experiment with different painting techniques, such as dry brushing or stippling, to achieve the desired effects. Use the Ballet Pink color to add subtle accents or create a cohesive color scheme throughout your artwork. Be mindful not to overpower the collage elements with excessive paint; instead, use it to enhance their textures and features.

Fine-Tuning the Details

Now that the main elements of your collage still life painting are in place, it’s time to focus on the finer details. Take a step back and assess your artwork as a whole. Are there any areas that need additional elements or adjustments? Are there any gaps that need to be filled?

Consider adding smaller elements, such as butterflies or birds, to enhance the overall composition. Pay attention to the balance of colors and patterns, making sure they harmonize with each other. Use your artistic intuition to fine-tune the details and bring your artwork to life.

Adding Final Touches

As you approach the final stages of your collage still life painting, it’s time to add those finishing touches that will make your artwork truly unique. Consider using additional materials, such as ribbons, beads, or sequins, to add texture and sparkle to specific areas. These embellishments can bring an extra dimension to your artwork and make it visually captivating.

Take a moment to step back and assess your artwork from different angles and distances. Make any necessary adjustments or additions to ensure that every detail is precisely as you envisioned. Remember, this is your opportunity to infuse your personality and creativity into the artwork.


Congratulations! You have successfully completed your collage still life painting. Through this tutorial, you have learned the essential techniques and steps to create a vibrant and captivating artwork. Remember, every artwork is a reflection of your unique artistic vision, so don’t be afraid to experiment, take risks, and let your creativity soar.

We hope this tutorial has inspired you to embrace the world of collage still life painting and explore the endless possibilities it offers. Whether you continue to refine your skills or venture into new artistic territories, remember to enjoy the process and let your imagination guide you. Happy creating!