Polaroid, collage and painting: steps to create your own work of art

Enter the fascinating world of art, where the possibilities are endless and creativity has no limits. Since the beginning of the 20th century with avant-garde movements such as futurism, cubism, expressionism, dadaism and surrealism, artists have defied convention, exploring and fusing different tools to achieve surprising and innovative results, capturing all of this in their works of art. There are many references in this regard, I recommend you investigate the trajectories of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, for example.

Follow these steps to create your own artwork with polaroids, collage and paint. Discover your own personal, powerful and unique artwork.
Roberto Valentín Carrera

Roberto Valentín Carrera

Reading time: 3 min

In this simple and fun exercise, you will unleash your creativity by combining three different techniques. First, you’ll dive into the world of collage; then, you’ll explore the magic of Polaroid photography; and finally, you’ll unleash your artistic expression by integrating the photo into the collage with brushstrokes of paint. This seemingly simple process can lead to personal and powerful results that will surprise you.

I have done this exercise on numerous occasions, and it has always produced fresh, vibrant and dynamic results. However, I advise you to keep an open mind. From the creation of the collage, allow yourself to experiment with papers, cut-outs and, above all, let yourself go a little “wild”. This will not only surprise you, but, believe me, it is the key to discovering new and exciting artistic paths, so get ready to unleash your creativity!

The materials we will need will be:

  • A small board or cardboard about 30 x 30 cm (I don’t recommend larger than this because you will lose the polaroid in the background).
  • Coloured paper, magazine clippings, etc. ….
  • Carpenter’s glue or glue stick.
  • A polaroid (or Fuji ixtax) camera with loaded paper.
  • Acrylic paint and/or acrylic markers (the most famous are Uni Posca, they are very good, although relatively expensive).
  • Aerosol lacquer varnish (not compulsory).

Steps to create our work of art

  • Get to work with collages: Immerse yourself in the world of artistic expression. Look for captivating cut-outs in magazines, newspapers and contrasting pieces of cardboard – don’t be afraid to tear up the paper by hand and let spontaneity take over! Composition is important, but colour harmony also plays a crucial role. Use a paintbrush and carpenter’s glue to fix your pieces on the support – make several quick collages so that you have a wide selection when it’s time to compose with the polaroid!
  • Capture the essence in photos: Be sure to immortalise your models with a couple of photos, exploring different angles and lighting. Want a special touch? Consider using a frame to hold your subject. Proper lighting is key, even better if there’s a bit of contrast! Let the photos dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Selection and personalisation:  Choose one of your previously created collages based on the resulting photograph. Let the person portrayed choose their own collage to add a personal and rewarding touch to both of you.
  • Integrate the polaroid into the collage: Find the perfect place in your composition and fix the polaroid with carpenter’s glue or superglue (preferably). The integration of elements will bring your work to life!
  • Have fun with paint!  Now it’s time to brighten up your work with paint. Play with colours, experiment with poses and merge the photo with the collage. Be free, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as it is often these “mistakes” that add the most strength to the work.
  • Explore other techniques: Expand your repertoire by using techniques such as Stencil with spray paint, adding additional elements that inspire you, or experimenting with Indian ink. Let your creativity run wild!
  • The final touch: When your work has reached the desired point, let it dry. In less than an hour, the acrylic paint will be completely dry. Apply a satin spray varnish to give it that final, protective touch.

And so, voila! You have created your own personal, powerful and unique work of art. Now all you have to do is sign it and frame it.


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