Simple printmaking:

You will need:

copy or computer paper

a piece of plexiglass*-8″x 10″ is ideal

a brayer or roller

a tube of water soluble printing ink

a pencil

a few ideas for simple/quick drawings

Step 1-squeeze about a half an inch of ink onto the surface of your plexiglass

Step 2-use your brayer to roll the ink evenly on the surface of the plexiglass

Step 3-place a piece of paper on top of the ink that covers your plexiglass

Step 4-take your pencil and make a simple drawing. (This is the time to be spontaneous and free with your drawing, because you want to work very quickly-less than a minute.  Keep in mind that when you are finished drawing and lift your paper, your line will appear white; a negative of your pencil line).

Step 5-pick up a corner of your paper and lift it off the plexiglass – set it aside to dry

Your print will be full of surprises. You will see interesting textures.

Step 6-place another piece of paper over the ink on the plexiglass and apply pressure in a circular motion with the heel of your hand, then lift the corner of your paper.

You will have another print that will be the opposite of the first print.

Plan to spend some time experimenting. Depending on the amount of ink and drying time, the quality of your prints will vary. Once you have finished your first set of prints, squeeze out some more ink and try another print!

*I suggest taping the edges of the plexiglass to dull any sharpness on the edge

The print above is by Rachel.




Concept Project: One way to come up with ideas–WHAT DO YOU SEE?

How creative can you be?  Grab a scrap of paper and try to write 20 ideas about just what is inside of this frame. Think as a human, a superhero, a creature; expand your ways of thinking.

AFTER you have recorded YOUR ideas, take a look at suggestions by other young artists.

————————————————————————————————————————–                                                                       3-Part Space Project!!!  

                                                             With excellent examples by Annie


Paper no smaller than 18”x24

large nib black sharpie

bendable art wire

safety glasses

wire snippers

 any or all of the following:


tempera paint

acrylic paint



colored pencils

collage materials



oil pastels

                                   –Annie’s reference

Part 1

First, find a photo, a corner of a room, or even a print or magazine photo of your favorite work of art.

Second, Get your materials together and plant the tip of the marker on your paper, when you have chosen a place to start from your reference. Without lifting your marker, draw the negative space around the elements (the objects or forms), in your reference. You can choose to include all of the elements or just some of them.

Third, lift  your marker from the paper and give yourself three extra lines to complete your drawing. Try to think in terms of design rather than logic as you choose where to place your three lines.

Put your reference away and choose any medium or combination of media you like to work into your negative space drawing. Be as creative as you can and have fun!

 Part 2   

Part 3 

With your bendable art wire, construct a wire sculpture that follows the original black line of your negative space drawing along with changes you have made to the work in part 2.   Be sure to find a way to incorporate a base into your sculpture using only the wire.

When you are done, make little bendable changes to the wire so your 
sculpture stands on it's own!


Just one example of a part sculptural collage that lifts several inches off the surface of a painting.

 In order to create her vision, Emma problem solved each step with creative solutions, making use of materials available to her.

Emma’s piece pictured here, was constructed with all of the materials listed below.

*Illustration board

*aluminum mesh

*old magazines

*acrylic paint

*watercolor paint

*thread and needle

*mod podge

*sculpture wire


*silk dye

*tissue paper


*hot glue gun

*shavings from linoleum

 Emma’s process:

1.She began with an idea of a woman/jellyfish floating in water.  Emma started by painting silk dye on a swatch of silk. She allowed the fabric to dry and basted (sewed quickly with big stitches) it accordion style onto sculpture wire so she was able to scrunch the fabric to fashion “tentacles”.

2.To make the skirt, Emma cut aluminum mesh to form a semicircle, then cut pleats in the top of the mesh semi circle.  She bent the pleats to round her structure. Then she joined the pleats by sewing them together.  She now had a shape something like half a bowl.

3. Emma cut images from magazines and mod podged the images facing out, inside of her mesh structure. Since the “podge dries clear, it did not interfere with the clarity of the images.

4.Emma prepared the illustration board by painting in watercolor and sprinkling salt into the wet paint to create a watery-like dotted texture.

5.After the illustration board painting dried, Emma cut two slits into the illustration board where she wanted to place the image laced mesh skirt. She placed the ends    of the mesh skirt through the slits like tabs, to secure the mesh to the illustration board. Then she bent the tabs to hold the skirt in place.

7. Emma filled the inside of the mesh skirt with the prepared silk “tentacles”. To fill the space more, Emma twisted tissue tentacles and fit those in among the silk      tentacles.

8.With the skirt secured to the illustration board, Emma was able to paint the torso of the woman above the shirt, with acrylic paint.

9.Emma glued a face from a magazine onto the painted neck of the woman. Then she added paint to the hair.

10 As a finishing touch, Emma added tissue to form the bodice and added more tissue to the top of the skirt.

11. Emma found some shavings from a friends linoleum print project and added a design to the bodice of the dress.

The result is a unique piece with dreamlike movement.  Beautiful Emma


Cordon Off

Anna, an elementary school student, created a  cordon off  (enclose) piece.  She made a paper frame and a found a 3-D object that was interesting to her.  She focused in on the object (a pack of gum), with the frame, only on the part of the gum pack that she found interesting.  On illustration board, she lightly drew her subject with pencil, then painted in gouache.  She used gel pens over the paint to reproduce the text.

Anna mixed complementary colors  * to work out the gum pack’s shadows. She used a light wash of black paint to represent the shadows around the subject.

Anna’s project is a great way to test your drawing and painting skills and to learn more about composition, applying paint and mixing colors.

*When you mix equal parts of two complementary colors together, you get a neutral or shadow effect




2 thoughts on “Projects

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