Art Club- Elmer Montage Challenge

This week we have a challenge to create a ‘montage.’ Montage is the process of creating a piece of art using a range of papers, as opposed to collage. Collage is where you might create a picture using a much wider range of materials; seeds, rice, beads, sequins, pasta, cork etc…

The subject of the montage is David McKee’s fabulous character; Elmer the elephant.

David McKee is our Author of the Term for infants and early years pupils, so your collage could also be used as an entry for our Author of the Term art competition. For our juniors we have a different author, Adam Blade. However, I think our junior aged children would also really enjoy creating a montage Elmer, so even though the competition is for our younger children, there’s nothing to stop you having a go and we’ll include all of the artwork in a fabulous ‘Elmer Gallery.’

Please send pictures of your artwork to, but even better if you can drop your artwork into the school when it is complete, as we’d like to create the most wonderful Elmer Gallery in the school hall. It would be good to send some pictures of your artwork to David McKee, I’m sure he’d love to see them!

Elmer Montage

First of all, draw an outline of Elmer. It may help to look at lots of pictures (from books or the Internet). My advice would be to draw Elmer from a ‘side on’ position.
Draw in the lines to create Elmer’s patchwork. Look at the pictures carefully before you start. How many rows or columns of patches does Elmer have? How many patches are there on each leg? Which patches are whole squares and which are different shapes when you look at Elmer from side on?
Cut out the patches from different types of paper. Coloured papers are a great starting point, but it will be really effective if you have a range of papers. Some of the ‘white’ squares can be created using graph paper or newspaper. Wallpapers and wrapping papers add a bit of pattern to your design. You can add different textures by using a wide variety of papers (eg sandpaper, wallpaper, tissue paper, sweet wrappers, foil.) Paste each shape into place using pritt stick or PVA.

Think about the position of your coloured patches. Light squares stand out better if they’re positioned next to darker colours. You wouldn’t want to put patches of the same colour next to each other. Plan out your colours to have contrasting colours (and different types of paper) next to each other.

I used tracing paper to help me recreate the EXACT shapes for some of the more irregular patch shapes.
And here’s my completed montage of Elmer!