Surreal Photo Collage

Hey Visitor so you think you are a Photoshop guru after finishing Photoshop Basic Training?

Cap has his doubts. He wants to see if you can put your new Photoshop skills to work to design a Self Portrait Collage. Are you game?

In this mission you are going to create a Self Portrait Collage highlighting what makes you unique. Collage gets its name from the French word for glue and describes a broad range of art-making techniques that rely on re-appropriating previously made images and found materials into new compositions. Collage as a fine art technique came to prominence with Pablo Picasso and other Cubists in the early 20th Century. After the first World War the Cubists were followed by more avant garde artists from the Dada and Surrealist movements.


  • Develop conceptual thinking skills.
  • Communicate ideas visually and verbally.
  • Demonstrate Color Harmony.
  • Demonstrate Balance.
  • Demonstrates your ability to use:
    • Selections tools
    • Blending modes
    • Layer make
    • Layer styles
    • etc.

Before you get started in Photoshop, you need to think about what makes you . . . YOU. Create a NEW Google Doc titled Self Portrait Collage and answer the following questions:

  1. What 3 words would you say best describe you?
  2. What are your favorite activities, hobbies, and interests?
  3. What kind of music do you listen to?
  4. What are some of your fears?
  5. Can you describe a dream that is still vivid in your memory?
  6. What do you stand for politically, socially, culturally, etc.?
  7. If your house was on fire and you could only take ONE thing with you, what would it be?
  8. What is something that you have had difficulty overcoming?
  9. What is something you are most proud of accomplishing?
  10. If you could only explain yourself using 3 images—what would they be?

Also, make sure to create a new sub folder inside of your project folder titled Assets. You will save all of the original images that you use in your collage here. Don't forget to save the URL for any image that you use form the Internet. You will link back to the source of the image when posting your project to Behance.

INSPIRATION: Student Examples

Now that you have reflected on what makes you ... YOU-- lets get started creating your Self Portrait Collage.


  • Create a NEW Photoshop Document. Landscape: 17 in x 11 in and 300 DPI.
  • Create an overall mood—through color, hue and saturation.
  • Use Adjustment Layers and other techniques to create Color Harmony--complimentary, spit complementary, triadic, monochromatic, etc.
  • Demonstrate Balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial.
  • There really are no limitations to how involved you want to make your imagery—experiment and enjoy the process.
  • A minimum of TEN images.
    • Must be your own and/or Creative Commons ONLY!
    • High resolution photos only!
    • At least one must be of you.
  • Other Requirements
    • A sample of your own writing, drawings or sketches.
      • Examples: poetry, essay excerpt, journal entry, sketches, doodles, lyrics, etc.
    • At least one texture.
      • Examples: cloth, newsprint, sheet music, brick, gravel, concrete, etc.


  1. Create a NEW project on Behance titled Self Portrait Collage.
  2. Upload the WEB version of your Self Portrait Collage.
  3. Document Mastery
    • Purpose: Briefly describe the purpose of the project.
    • Inspiration: Copy and paste the responses from your Google Doc about what makes you--YOU.
    • Process (Programs, Tools, Skills, etc.): What program(s) did you use? What were the main tools? How did you use the tools? Why? What skills? Be specific!!!
    • Color Theory: Color Scheme used (monochromatic, analogous, etc.) and colors used.
    • Resources: Link to outside tutorials, brushes, fonts, etc. that you used.
  4. Submit Project URL to Canvas.

Great job, Visitor. You had to use a lot of new Photoshop tools to create your Self Portrait Collage. The ability to make clean selections and create harmony within your artwork are vital skills to being a successful as a designer.

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