Melinda Tidwell – Day One

Collaging the Book: Mastering Abstract Composition


This workshop focuses on using the collage process to refine your skills with abstract composition. I offer students some abstract art structures they may begin from and then load the tables with collage pieces I have made to start constructing their collages. The materials have a lot of inherent interest, as they are shapes cut from paperback book covers, and students find it easy to begin arranging them. We talk about design principles and what makes a design work better, throughout the day as I come by and work with students individually. At days end we have a critique and demonstrate how adding or subtracting parts of the collage will unify and focus their composition.


• Preparing the watercolor paper substrate
• Proper gluing of collage materials
• Using structures to guide your design
• Using the principles of design to create compelling, coherent compositions

Workshop Image Gallery (click on the thumbnail to see full images):

Melinda Tidwell

Duration of Class:

One Day (6 Hours)



Skill Level:


Student Supply List:

  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife
  • Utility knife with new, sharp blade
  • Cutting pad
  • Metal edge ruler
  • Large plastic triangle
  • Acrylic matte medium
  • Acrylic paints (colors you like)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Embroidery thread (colors you like)

Provided by instructor:

  • Kit/Materials Fee – $15 (payable to instructor at class time)
  • Kit fee provides for the following: 9×12 watercolor paper, book-based collage materials, repositionable glue sticks, pens, pencils, erasers, sewing needles, awls

Class Size:

Min # of students: 8
Max # of students: 20