The Relationship Between Digital Collage and Painting

Walker Hewitt


My research project studied the relationship between digital collage and oil painting. My process involved creating digital collages in Photoshop which were used as source images for my paintings.

The elements in the collages I made were tied together by all being subjects I had seen, encountered or interacted with that I felt were important enough to document. I chose images relating in visual elements and emotional qualities which I used to create my compositions.

Throughout my research I created five paintings and ten collages, each of which taught me very different things. The most enlightening piece of the process however was the transformation of the digital collages into paintings and the interaction between the two media and art making methods. The composition as a whole remained the same however elements needed to be changed because of the limitations of painting. Colors had to be changed, visual accuracy was at times sacrificed, and different types of mark making were introduced. My biggest challenge was having to let go of pieces of paintings before I thought they were completed.

In my researched I learned about the give and take between the two processes and after working on the initial paintings, I changed the way made the collages as source images to be more conducive to painting. I became more familiar with the very intimate and specific relationship between the two media and how I liked to approach it.