Cut Paper Collage

Self-Study Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community & More!

9 Lessons – $62.48 $105

In this nine-lesson class Dar Hosta James takes you on a playful exploration of color, pattern and texture using a variety of techniques to create beautiful, decorative papers. You’ll then use this stash of paper to create a variety of playful collage compositions including buildings and architecture, floral, botanical, insect and animal.

Now available as a self-study class.

TEACHER: Dar Hosta James

Class Description

This class is organized into two parts. In Hand-Painted Paper you’ll create a rainbow of your very own hand-painted papers! We will experiment with layers of paint using found objects, spattering, dripping and more as we work in color families. You will paint on Yasutomo Kozo paper and finish with a collection of at least 20 sheets of gorgeous—and very personal— pieces of hand-painted paper, as well as a toolbox full of paper-painting techniques to mix and match. In Cut-Paper Collage you’ll work with the paper you created in Hand-Painted Paper to create a variety of playful collage compositions including buildings and architecture, floral, botanical, insect and animal.

Hand-Painted Paper Itinerary

Lesson 1
The warm color family — colors of the sun and fire! In this lesson we will play with busy and calm to create red, orange and yellow papers created with found objects, stencils, and your fingertips.

Lesson 2
Cool is the color of the sky, water, grass and things that sooth us. Lesson 2 focuses on blue, green and purple using the decorative paint techniques of the spatter screen and sgraffito.

Lesson 3
Neutrals like white, gray, brown and black bring harmony to composition. In Lesson 3 we explore neutrals with two more painting techniques, dry brush and gesso ghost drips.

Cut-Paper Collage Itinerary

Lesson 1
Did you know that almost everything in the world is made up of five, basic shapes? In lesson 1 we will begin our collage adventure by breaking it down to the basics in a fun exercise with magazine clippings.

Lesson 2
Because you can never have enough hand-painted paper, we will make some more! Lesson 2 brings metallic paints into the fray as well as a fun, handmade stamp exercise that will make your patterned papers truly your own. Plus, we will put the adhesive onto all of our papers so that they are ready to cut in lesson four!

Lesson 3
Backgrounds are the foundation of our painterly collages. In Lesson 3 we will create a variety of subtle backgrounds to use in our upcoming compositions.

Lesson 4
Let’s build houses and buildings and neighborhoods! We will start “thinking in stacks” with 2D houses and then jump to rendering them in 3D to bring depth and dimension to architectural compositions.

Lesson 5
Florals and botanicals truly lend themselves to collage because they are so easily broken down into shapes. We will learn an easy way to begin to go beyond the basics into more complex shapes and then we will grow a big, abundant garden, as well as experiment with insects and animals.

Lesson 6
Acrylic ink is the grand finale; dots and lines bring detail to our work and will literally light it up!









Class Supplies

Hand-Painted Paper Supplies

  • Acrylic Paint: Warms (red, yellow, orange), Cools (blue, green, purple), Neutrals (white, gray, brown, black)
  • White gesso
  • Found objects to make marks and patterns with (household stuff or things you might find at a dollar store)
  • Paint palette or paper plates
  • Paintbrushes (flat 1″, a hardware-type 2″, and a “junk” brush— big, junky or old brush for dripping)
  • Spatter Screen (
  • Brayer
  • Variety of stencils
  • Sponges—natural sea sponge, kitchen sponge and foam sponge
  • Sgraffito tool— clay tool, skewer or even a sharp pencil
  • Kozo paper (6MMK, 11″x 60’ roll by Yasutomo), cut about 20 12″ pieces for painting

Cut-Paper Collage Supplies

  • Magazines with bright colors to cut from (travel, wildlife, garden, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Copy paper or colored construction paper for warm up collages
  • Acrylic Paint: Warms (red, yellow, orange), Cools (blue, green, purple), Neutrals (white, gray, brown, black) and Metallic (gold, silver or both)
  • Paint palette or paper plates
  • One piece of 22″x30″ watercolor paper, 140 lb. hot press, cut into fourths
  • hardware brush, 2″
  • Small, round detail brush (#2)
  • Brayer
  • Sponges—natural sea sponge, kitchen sponge and foam sponge
  • water container
  • Scrap cardboard or matboard
  • Sticky back craft foam
  • Hand-carved stamp “pink stuff” and carving tools OPTIONAL!
  • Kozo paper (6MMK, 11″x 60’ roll by Yasutomo), cut into a minimum of six 12” pieces for painting OR your own collection of handpainted/collage papers
  • Positionable Mounting Adhesive by 3M (“PMA”) One 11”x50’ roll.
  • Ruler, pencil and scissors/blade
  • Pictures of flowers—either books, magazines or printed out from internet
  • Black Sharpie
  • Tracing paper
  • Oil pastels
  • Empty container for discarded backing
  • Acrylic Inks in white, black, gold/silver (off white/cream is optional, as well as other colors)
  • Speedball type “calligraphy” dip pen handle with “Bowl Pointed Nib” (#512 and #513 are what I use)
  • Spray fixative OPTIONAL

Dar Hosta James

Dar Hosta James is a collage artist, a painter of trees, a writer/illustrator of children’s books, a teacher of both children and adults, a public speaker, and a life coach.

She is the daughter of an artist with a BA in creative writing from the University of Missouri and a secondary education certification in Language Arts. After a brief stint as a high school teacher, she became a stay-at-home mom in rural Ohio where she discovered a love of collage while spending days at home with her two young sons. She continued working in education through writing and art as a visiting author, an artist-in-residence and a national speaker on creativity in education. In 2003, after a move to central New Jersey, Dar started an independent publishing company. Of her life as an artist, she says, “Art has become a metaphor for my life… my life has become a metaphor for my art… in both areas, I try to look for what is working and how to make it all more fun. The two feed each other.”

She is the mother of two grown sons and lives in New Hope, PA. When she is not busy creating art, Dar is an avid runner, a regular yoga practitioner and an amateur student of tarot. She recently became a Certified GOLDEN Artist Educator. See her work, calendar and shop at

Nuts & Bolts

  • This class is now available as a self-study class.
  • Immediately upon class signup, you will receive access to the class videos and corresponding materials.
  • A private Facebook group will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.
  • You will have indefinite access to this class.
“I think this is my favorite class EVER!” — Josie B.
“HUGE thank you to Dar... seriously, you have been one of the most kind, generously helpful, responsive & interactive teachers I've come across in the online art world. Truly. ” — Catherine A.
“Thank you Dar for this wonderful class!” — Laura L.