Creating a Landscape With Digital Collage

Using collage allowed me to digitally bring together textures and pieces of individual images in Photoshop to build a completely new scene in. My collage process created a new landscape with a certain mood, weather condition, time of day, while also adding new depth and dimension to my base imagery. My collage process started with a base image of the Mississippi River edge and built layers from there using the masking tool with various brush sizes and opacity. My goal with this image was to create landscape along the Mississippi River without a levee system.


This is the base image on which I began my collaged composition.

Base imagery of Mississippi River edge with collaged grassy bank (levee has been removed).

I’ve added plant material on the bank, and manipulated the water’s edge at bottom right. A tree line has begun in the background.

Here I have filled out the water bank with grasses that create a sense of depth in the image. I’ve also masked in a river edge that softens the transition from the water to land (middle ground).

Step 4

Finally, I collage in the textured ground, and finish the background treeline to complete my composition.

Collage has roots as far back as cave people, however Pablo Picasso and George Braque are credited with the development with modern collage with their Cubist movement 100 years ago.

Picasso's "Still Life With Chair Caning"

Picasso glued the caning pattern onto his canvas to create Still Life With Chair Caning, one of the first modern collaged pieces of art.

Carlo Carra’s Still Life With Syphon Soda Water (1914).

hausmann hoch

Raoul Hausmann (left) and Hannah Hoch (right) were collage and photomontage artists of the Dadaist movement (war-weary artists’ response to World War II).


Robert Rauschenberg’s mixed media work bridged the gap between Surrealism and the Pop Art movements (Monogram).


Collage continues today in contemporary art, as seen in Rodrigo de Filippis’s El Esplendor Dice La Palabra Viene.

Collage is a method used by artists to build images, create new landscapes, evoke emotions, make statements, etc. Collage has transcended cultural movements, and is used today in analogue, digital, and film/video form.



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