Fresh Produce: Still Life Collage

Fresh Produce: Still Life Collage

Each student will choose a fruit or vegetable to explore. They will draw it and then make a collage based on their observations, drawings and understanding. As an artist and chef, my inspiration for this project comes from a love for fruits and vegetables. I am excited to share the process of making collages inspired by local seasonal produce grown in Nova Scotia. Collage is a fun way to express the beauty of things. It is like a puzzle using different pieces to create a whole. It also teaches layering and planning.

Each student will choose a fruit or vegetable to explore. They will start by drawing its shape and exploring its colour and texture with pastel. Using a diverse selection of paper they will create a beautiful collage based on their drawings and observations. Through take home assignments each student will have the opportunity to learn about the nutritional value of their chosen food and have hands-on learning experiences with their food.

Over four two-hour long sessions students will be led in the process of creating a collage of a fruit or vegetable. The process will differ slightly given the age group and their fine motor skills.

Session 1: We will develop our observational skills of seeing with warm up exercises in contour drawing, and exploring colour, tone and texture with pastels. After this first session each student will choose a fruit or vegetable as their chosen subject.

Session 2: We will use the skills we gained doing contour drawing to create a cutout shape of our chosen food in card stock. This cutout will be the base for our image, giving the students a detailed shape for their final collage. We will also start to collect and cut paper from magazines and other paper sources such as maps etc. creating a pantry of chosen paper.

Session 3: We will plan the layers needed and start to glue down each layer on to the cutout. We will use our pastel drawings as a reference for texture and colour.

Session 4: We will add any finishing layers to our cutouts and create the final composition for our collage. At the end of this session, each student will present their final collage to the class sharing additional experiences from the cross curricular take home assignments*.
Every session will begin with an artist talk and a live demonstration from my home studio. This will give students a chance to see a working artist space. Throughout the two hour session, I will work alongside the students staying available for questions and mentorship.

Materials needed for this project are: HB #2 pencils, oil pastels, sketch paper, collection of paper (magazines, maps, napkins, wrapping paper), glue, small paint brush, scrap paper, heavy paper such as water colour or Bristol board and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Note: This project presents a natural opportunity for cross curricular learning. If teachers are interested, I will work with them to provide take home worksheets that ask students to do a variety of tasks, such as exploring what their food tastes like, helping them to describe this experience with questions like ‘was it sweet, salty, tart or spicy?’ The take home tasks would be a collaborative between myself and the teacher.

Grade Level(s) 
4 – 6
Teaching Method 
Video conference
Max Number of Students 
4, 2-hour sessions Eight hours total.