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Tutorials and artistic advices

Oil: Doing collages

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Lovers of abstract composition, the collage technique was made for you! scraps of paper and all kinds of materials can be glued with, or onto, oil paint. Just one word of advice: give your imagination free rein!

What you need to know

1912: Picasso worked a collage into an oil painting. He represented a chair in his Still Life with Chair-Caning (1912) by sticking in a piece of oil-cloth printed with a chair-caning pattern. A technique the Cubists then adopted!


1. Without glue: to give the impression of material

You can attach your selected items by covering them with a coat of oil paint: the hidden object will give the impression of the substance. Note! Over time, oil can alter and spoil the appearance of certain incorporated items, such as paper and organic materials.


  •  Use a solid enough support to keep it from distorting under the weight of glued-on items (canvas mounted on a frame, wood panel).
  •  Work with your support lying flat, horizontally.
  •  Set the item on the support, then apply paint (straight from the tube or mixed with an impasto medium) until it is covered.
  • Allow the painting to dry horizontally.


What items can be glued on? You can use almost anything… However, keep in mind that they need to be light enough to stay stuck to the support!


That little extra: stick some gold and silver leaf onto the wet paint to add brilliance.


2. With glue: the incrusted item remains visible


Why do collage with glue? Any material, particularly paper, can be added to the composition without being damaged! There's just one limit: how much your support can take.

How does it work?

  •  Before starting your collage, make sure the paint is completely dry.
  •  Use PVA or poly-acrylic adhesive (white glue, wood glue) with a neutral or very slightly alkaline pH.
  •  Apply the glue to the item and to the area where it is to go.

Suggested products

Canson® Figueras®

See also

Oil: Preparing a support
Préparer un support pour peindre à l'huile
Canvas, paper, or cardboard… Any support works with oil paint! On just one condition: you need to apply a preliminary coat for the paint to adhere over the long term.