Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Elementary School Art - More drypoint mix media


I just completed a project with another grade five class at St. Martin elementary school that explored drypoint and watercolour (mix media). The theme explored was ancient civilizations.
Students used clear acrylic styrene plates to scratch in their sketches. These had Caligo safe wash etching ink wiped into the lines and using my small table top etching press were printed into 270 gm Maidstone rag paper. After about a drying period of 1 week watercolour was painted into the black and white prints to add in a colour element. Below are photos highlighting the paint application and a few of the black and white prints on boards before colour application.












applying colour

print on paper in black and white etching ink

beginning process of colour application



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Elementary School Art - Canadian Symbols - Watercolour paintings Grade 5

totem study in landscape

The results of several visits I made during the months of April and May to a grade 5 class at St. Martin Jr. Catholic Elementary school in Thunder Bay. The theme being explored in the paintings is Canadian Symbols.
Students first researched to acquire images which they then translated into pencil sketches. These were transferred onto the 140 lb cold press cotton rag paper that was taped down onto core-plast boards.
They were shown examples of paint application and a few watercolour techniques that included wet into wet, dry brush, bleeding, softening edges, removing paint using sponges and application of highlights and finer details into dried painted areas. The project used Reeves student grade tube watercolours and 2 sizes of synthetic sable brushes.


Maple tree

ice hockey


Mounted Police


Parliament buildings Ottawa

 CN tower Toronto


Black bear

Orca pod


Beaver lodge

Grizzly Bear and salmon

inukshuk and northern lights

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Elementary School Art - Styrofoam jigsaw prints - Grade Four

jigsaw relief prints hanging to dry in the classroom

I just completed a styrofoam relief plate printmaking project with 23 grade four students. The theme explored was Medieval times.
Students were challenged throughout the project and had to move through several stages.
These included: 

  • research of subject matter and sketches
  • transfer of sketch to a soft polystyrene plate using tracing paper using ball point pen
  • incorporation of textural elements
  • disassembly of the plate into separate sections
  • application of inks
  • reassembly of individual pieces
  • transferring ink to the paper using hand burnishing techniques
  • printing more than one copy from the same plate surface

clever use of ink application by small tip brush for small intricate areas 

after the plate is cut apart the students to had to reassemble it. Individual pieces were removed one a time and water based block printing ink was rolled onto each piece using a soft rubber brayer.

printing set up. Table for ink application with cookie sheets, ink, non-slip pieces of material to set pieces onto to apply the ink and metal handle soft rubber brayers

 assembling plate with inked pieces 

This project used the following materials:

  • scratch foam plates
  • ball point pens
  • xacto craft knives and scissors
  • black kozo paper
  • Graphic Chemical water based relief printing inks
  • soft synthetic rubber brayers
  • rubbing sticks, spoons
  • tracing paper, layout paper                         

assembly of inked pieces

plate inked and reassembled for printing

placing black paper over the plate and using a brayer to facilitate ink transfer


 mythical unicorn


harlequin suited court jester



 flag with crest

another dragon

prints pinned onto a strip of cork just above the chalkboard