August Art Journal Prompts & Collage Ideas

Sometimes you’ll want to make a collage but have NO idea what to collage about. A good way to jump start the creation process is by using a prompt! Since we’re artists, I’ve focused on things that can be translated visually, by colors or images or both. Here you’ll find ideas for colors, subject images, and themes to use in your collages in August.

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Birthstone Color Palette

The birthstone for August is Peridot. It’s a yellowish green to greenish yellow gem, though the preferred color clarity is more like a grass green. This would be a really great color for backgrounds and accent elements.

I created this color palette using different shades of green– not all of them are what can be found in Peridot’s natural state, but they perfectly represent the idea of a clear green gem.

Click on this image to enlarge and/or save it:

Tip: Color selectors sometimes don’t get the exact shade from a palette image. That’s why I’ve included the actual hex code (that thing that starts with a # symbol) on every palette I make. Type the hex code into the color menu to get the correct color for your collage!

Word Association

Use these as starting points for brainstorming collage subjects or making a mind map.

  • End of summer: changing of the seasons; bright summer sun changing to golden autumn sun; grass dying and changing to brown; fall harvest starting, summer harvest ending; end of summer vacations.
  • Back to school: start of the new school year; memories of school years in the past; teachers (favorites and hated); school supplies (pencils, erasers, papers); school friends and enemies; being in the classroom.
  • Start of the end of the year: last hurrah before the new year; anticipation; last bit of quiet before the rush of winter holidays; finally giving up on New Years resolutions.

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you’d obviously have different associations as August is the end of your winter! Check out the December art prompts post for ideas more suited to a winter season.

Zodiac Signs & Associations

Zodiac symbols have a lot of potential for unique imagery and subject inspiration. Even if you don’t care about astrology normally, you can use their images and associations as an idea generator.

August has two zodiac signs in it: Leo, the Lion, and Virgo, the Maiden. Here are some associations for those two zodiac signs:


Element: Fire
Ruling Planet: Sun
Spirit Color: Gold
Lucky Gem: Carnelian
Flower: Sunflower & marigold


Element: Earth
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Spirit Color: Silver
Lucky Gem: Peridot (August birthstone!)
Flower: Sunflower & marigold

Remember, you don’t have to be born in August to use either birthstones or Zodiac signs for ideas! They’re just starting off points, to be used for brainstorming colors and image ideas.

For instance, you might end up using Leo as inspiration for a lion as your focus image… 😉

August Full Moon Names

Did you know that every full moon has a traditional, specific name? It’s pretty neat! Here’s what The Old Farmer’s Almanac says about full moon names:

The Moon names we use in The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from Native American, Colonial American, or other traditional North American sources passed down through generations.

Note that for Native American names, each Moon name was traditionally applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, the month starting either with the new Moon or full Moon. Additionally, a name for the lunar month might vary each year or between bands or other groups within the same nation.

August’s full moon is the Full Sturgeon Moon, aka Black Cherries Moon, Corn Moon, Flying Up Moon, Harvest Moon, Mountain Shadows Moon, Ricing Moon.

A sturgeon is a type of giant fish– another good visual to pull from if you prefer water symbolism.

Holidays and events

Calendar events can be another good way to pull inspiration into a collage. Especially if you’re the type to enjoys holidays and events beyond the Federally regulated ones! has a complete list of holidays and events throughout August. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Aug. 1: National Friendship Day
  • Aug. 3: National Watermelon Day
  • Aug. 7: National Lighthouse Day
  • Aug. 8: International Cat Day
  • Aug. 15: Chant at the Moon Day
  • Aug. 20: National Radio Day
  • Aug. 24: Pluto Demoted Day
  • Aug. 30: National Beach Day


Quotes are my favorite way to brainstorm a collage subject. I often include them in my collage or use partial quotes as titles. They’re a good way to focus on a theme beyond visual images; the feeling or overall vibe of my collage often comes from quotes like these.

Here’s some quotes about the month of August which I find particularly inspiring:

“August was nearly over – the month of apples and falling stars, the last care-free month for the school children. The days were not hot, but sunny and limpidly clear – the first sign of advancing autumn.” – Victor Nekrasov

“August is that last flicker of fun and heat before everything fades and dies. The final moments of fun before the freeze. In the winter, everything changes.” – Rasmenia Massoud

“August is ripening grain in the fields blowing hot and sunny, the scent of tree-ripened peaches, of hot buttered sweet corn on the cob. Vivid dahlias fling huge tousled blossoms through gardens and joe-pye-weed dusts the meadow purple.” – Jean Hersey

“Breathe the sweetness that hovers in August.” – Denise Levertov

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” – Sylvia Plath

You might also be interested in these posts:

Updated August 18, 2022.

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