Creating Digital Collages for Composition

Digital collages will help you use your reference photos more effectively in your paintings.

75 min. video

You’ll be able to create more ambitious compositions, and test of a ton of options quickly, and thereby get more diverse layouts.

Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • Digital collages are very fast and efficient, allowing you to try tons of options without a huge time investment.
  • The process often goes back and forth between sketching thumbnails, gathering more reference photos, and tweaking digital collages.
  • Creating a digital collage isn’t a linear experience, you will be jumping around a lot!
  • The first step is collecting a giant pile of reference photos to work from.
  • The more reference photos, the better!
  • Often people will do a Google image search, find an image and work from that, which often leads to a lot of images looking really similar.
  • A Google image search is really limited, after a while you will see that it’s the same photos that keep popping up.
  • Combining photos for a composition is challenging, but it’s also going to give you a ton of variety.
  • Screenshots are a really terrific option for getting reference photos.
  • Many images on Google of films, musicals, etc. look very posed, or the resolution is very low.
  • A screenshot will show your character in motion, giving you insight into their personality beyond just what they physically look like.
  • Watching a video of the character is just as important as a reference photo if not more.
  • Seeing the character move, gives you a much better sense of their personality than a still photo.
  • The process can be time consuming!
  • Creating so many options can make it tough to make a decisions on what you want to do, but you’ll also know that you didn’t leave any stone unturned.
  • Compare 1 composition against another, it’s usually more clear which one to choose instead of looking at 10 all at once.
Digital Collage references, composition
Patreon group gif

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