Make An Abstract Collage

Gerard Dillon was born in Belfast in 1916. He left school at the age of fourteen and moved to London to work as a painter and decorator. Gerard loved art and went to as many art exhibitions, concerts, plays and cinema as he could in the city. In 1936 he moved back home and fell in love with the West of Ireland, where he went to learn how to paint the landscape. The colours and shapes that he saw there became important parts of his work for the rest of his life.

Soon Dillon stopped painting the landscape as he actually saw it, and started to make ‘Abstract’ artworks. Abstract Art is a style of Art that does not represent an accurate depiction of what you see, instead it uses lots of colours, shapes and lines to describe what an artist sees and feels when they look at something. Dillon used many materials to make art, including sand, things that he found and photographs. Below you can see Gerard Dillon’s Collage on Moving Space.

What kind of materials and objects do you think he used in this artwork?

You are going to make your very own abstract collage using as many creative objects that you can find.

What you will need

  • Paper/card
  • PVA or other paste glue
  • Scissors
  • A collection of found objects around your house, flat enough to stick to your paper. Experiment and try different things but here are a few examples that might help you get started - scraps of paper, magazines, fabric, ribbon, pipe-cleaners, lollipop sticks, buttons and even natural objects like leaves, twigs, feathers, flower petals and sand.



Look around your house and collect lots of interesting objects that you can use in your collage, try and get creative with the found objects that you use.

Set out your paper on a table and choose your favourite objects. Before using any glue try and move the objects around on the paper and experiment arranging them in different ways until you find a composition that looks best.

Remember: This is an abstract collage so it doesn’t have to look like what you see with your eyes. Choose a theme for your collage that you think reflects what you think or feel.

When you have chosen where you would like to place all of your found objects start gluing them down onto your paper.

Printmakers often use graphite powder to add texture to their prints. Gerard Dillon used sand in his paintings to add texture. You can do this too by painting areas of your collage with glue and then sprinkling the sand onto the glue while it is still wet. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Download Activity


Ask a parent or guardian to take a picture of your work and share it with us. Don’t forget to sign it with your name and age. We will post your artwork on our website and Instagram account

We will post your artwork on our website and Instagram account @modelsligo / #themodelinsideout

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