Experimental collage with Annabel Tilley

Ref: S2D32058

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About this course

Use collage as a creative process. Experiment with technique, colour, composition and the drawn line, using paper-based materials to both make and inform new work.

Course Description

Explore collage as a medium in itself and discover how it can be used as a creative tool and inspiration for drawing, painting or mixed media work.

Through a series of experimental exercises, you will examine your understanding and preconceptions of collage and begin to develop themes that appeal to you and capture your imagination. These themes will be investigated and enhanced further as you create a succession of experimental collages. Using drawing and mark-making skills that focus on line, surface, texture and pattern, you will experiment with more abstract, non-representative drawing and collage techniques, working with pencils, inks and gouache.

The work will conclude by taking elements of these newly-created collages to be re-examined with viewfinders, as a basis for making a series of small drawings/paintings/collages. You will also discover how the medium of collage, in general, can be a useful tool for the inspiration of larger long-term works.

You will be working individually with one-to-one help and advice from the tutor, followed by an informal group discussion at the end of each day.

You will explore a variety of techniques, including cutting, sewing, sticking and mark-making, and you will work with a mix of materials, such as different types of paper, old books, photographs, magazines, newsprint, wallpaper, glue, ink, gouache/watercolour, coloured ink and pencils.

At the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of the nature of collage and how it can be used with corresponding materials. You will take home a sequence of finished collages and drawings.

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing paper, archival glue, needles, thread and some paper-based collage material.

What students need to bring

  • A variety of collage material, such as old books, which you are happy to cut up and/or collage in, photographs, maps, postcards, wallpaper, textured papers like baking paper, magazines, newsprint, cardboard, etc.
  • Scissors, ruler, pens, pencils, coloured pens and/or pencils
  • Quick-drying paints like watercolour, gouache, acrylic and/or coloured inks and a variety of brushes Gluestick (like Pritt Stick), if preferred (archival pva glue will be provided)
  • In preparation, the tutor invites you to consider the idea of collage in art history and look at the work of artists using collage:
  • Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse
  • Dadaists and Surrealists like Hannah Hoch, Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters and Man Ray
  • Pop artists like Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton and Robert Rauschenberg
  • Contemporary artists: Kara Walker, David Hockney, Terry Gilliam and Eric Carle

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • The College Craft Shop stocks a good variety of art materials, including scissors, rulers, pens, pencils, coloured pens, coloured pencils, gluesticks, a good variety of paints in watercolour, gouache and acrylic, coloured inks, a variety of brushes, a variety of papers i.e. textured papers, tracing paper, tissue papers.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

General Information


Annabel Tilley: Old masters ink on paper

Annabel Tilley

Annabel Tilley, graduate of the University of Brighton and shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, has a drawing-based and sketchbook practice and has exhibited widely and undertaken several residencies. She is a lecturer, co-author of What they didn't teach you in art school (Octopus Books, 2016) and co-Founder of Zeitgeist Arts Projects (2012-2015).


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.