CNM Art Students Create Unique Pop-Culture Collages
Sumi Ink collage of the Joker from Christopher Nolan's Batman: The Dark Knight.

CNM Art Students Create Unique Pop-Culture Collages

CNM Art students in the Drawing 1 class, or ARTS 1106, created collages of personally relevant content using Sumi Ink.
February 28, 2019

When you walk up the stairs in the Louis E. Saavedra Administration Building (LSA) on Main Campus you will see some eye-catching pieces of artwork on display produced by CNM students in the Drawing 1 class, or ARTS 1106.

The “Ink Wash Collage Portrait” project was the final project for beginning art students during the 2018 Spring and Falls terms.

The students created their own collage paper and used Sumi Ink, often used in traditional Japanese calligraphy, to make a set of textured papers ranging on a spectrum from black to white.


After choosing a photo-based subject for their portrait, like the Joker from Batman, Audrey Hepburn or Walter White, each student gridded the black and white photo and enlarged the major shapes to a 24”x 30” simplified drawing.

Then each student cut the shapes from their collage papers to correspond with the darks, lights and various textures in the original photo. Each shape was glued individually to the base drawing. 

“What I like about this project is that it not only provides an opportunity to apply all of the techniques we learned throughout the term, but it allows the students to choose personally relevant content,” says full-time Art instructor Lea Anderson.


Lea says that each collage demonstrates a unique approach to the assignment, ranging from meticulous geometric patterns, to loose and expressive layered slivers. Some students even created three-dimensional collage components.

The collages may seem advanced, but anyone can learn this technique by taking Drawing 1. There are no prerequisites for the course.

“There is no need for previous art experience because we begin each term at the very beginning of the drawing process, and so much is possible just 15 weeks later,” says Lea.

For more information on CNM Art Programs, contact the CNM Fine Arts Department.