Japanese Marbled Paper

Looking for a fun printing project? Want to try a Japanese technique? We made suminagashi marbled paper mono prints at my Japan-themed art camp this summer. The project was easy and very successful. No two prints were alike, and my campers loved the process.

Please see the Blick video tutorial at the end of the post – it shows the entire process.

You will need a special marbling kit for this project. It costs about $15. You can use it to marble paper or fabric.


Aitoh Boku-Undo Suminagashi Marbling Kit – $14.98

from: Blick Art Materials (note: this post contains affiliate links)

Materials

  • Basins for water
  • Suminagashi Marble Print kit (available at Amazonand Blick)
  • paper** to fit basins
  • small brushes
  • palette with wells
  • thread
  • newspaper to project tables and skim surface of water after printing
  • horizontal drying space
  • smocks or aprons

(**Note: The best paper has little sizing. I didn’t want to buy expensive paper for art camp. We experimented printing with different types of paper. We tried copy paper, recycled drawing paper, and thin Japanese calligraphy paper (ugh – too thin. It ripped).

We tried two types of printing: alternating concentric colors (I call them ‘tree rings’) prints, and float paper prints (intense colors).

Concentric ‘tree rings’ prints

I was inspired by this EXCELLENT post from Julie Voight’s  Art for Small Hands blog. Julie has ALL the instructions and lovely student examples for creating the beautiful concentric prints. You will need the palette and tiny, thin paintbrushes for this. Dip the brush in dye, and barely touch the water with the brush tips. Alternate colors. (NOTE: SEE THE BLICK VIDEO AT THE END OF THE POST). This is a very neat process, and you only use a little bit of color (your $15 kit will last a very long time).

We created single and double prints.

‘Float paper’ prints.

Bold! You need the reusable coated paper circles that come with the kit. You float the circles on the water, then aim drops of color at them straight out of the bottle.

To swirl and marble the ink, we experimented with blowing the floating ink, and dragging a single thread through it. We also tried second ‘ghost prints’ after our initial prints.

We also printed onto some yellow paper stars I had left over from another project. The colored background looks great!

This used more dye than the concentric ring project. It can be a messier option. The kids had to squeeze the dye straight from the bottle, then recap the colors and put them down. Soon there was bright color on the outside of the tubes. Next time I will arrange some sort of stand so the tubes can stay upright (and uncapped) for the printing process.

Video tutorial

Here is a great 10 minute tutorial from Blick.

Give suminagashi a try. It truly is a no-fail project.

Enjoy!

This project was part of my ‘Let’s Go To Japan’ art + cooking camp. Here are our other art and cooking projects:

Plus tons of kids books about Japan!

Thanks to Dahra and Ilana, our fabulous teenage helpers for all their assistance at camp.

Masterpieces from San Diego Youth Art Month Show

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the annual San Diego Youth Art Month (YAM) show. I saw some gorgeous artworks – here are a few that caught my eye.

Elementary school:

Collage:

Playing card collage

Playing card collage, elementary level.

Playing card collage, elementary level.

Corrugated Cardboard portrait collage

Elementary corrugated cardboard portrait.

Elementary corrugated cardboard portrait.

Printmaking:

Clipper ship watercolor and print

Clipper ship watercolor and print from Ocean Air elementary school.

Collagraph printed in rainbow ink

Collagraph print in rainbow ink, from Ocean Air elementary school.

Collagraph print in rainbow ink, from Ocean Air elementary school.

Sculpture

These plaster masks are from our school! Congrats to Camille (1st place elementary 3D), Olive (2nd place), Morgan (3rd place), Caroline and Santiago.

Solana Santa Fe elementary school masks at YAM.

Solana Santa Fe elementary school masks at YAM.

High School

Zentangle elephant

Zentangle Elephant by Alexis Griffith, Guajome Park Academy High School.

Zentangle Elephant by Alexis Griffith, Guajome Park Academy High School.

This is exquisite.  In the art room, this could be adapted as an early finisher activity if you hand out an elephant line drawing as a coloring page.

Dia de Los Muertos cut paper art

Dia de Los Muertos Cut Paper design by Lizeth Garcia, Torrey Pines High School.

Dia de Los Muertos Cut Paper design by Lizeth Garcia, Torrey Pines High School.

This piece is by a former student, now in high school! So glad she is still enjoying art.

Lots more awesomeness on display, including Don Masse’s mud cloth collage and Marz Jr. line drawings.

Thanks to the San Diego Art Institute and the San Diego County Art Education Association for a fabulous YAM show.

Enjoy!

Monoprinting with Shrinkable Plastic

mono printing with shrinkable plastic pin

Isn’t it wonderful when you have time to make your own art? I experimented with mono printing this week as part of my homework for the Artsy Book Club. I used Shrinky Dink shrinkable plastic for my printing plate. It worked beautifully as a plate, plus I got to shrink it in the oven after I was done!

Materials:

You'll need wax pastels, frosted Shrinky Dinks, watercolor paper, and an oven.

You’ll need wax pastels, frosted Shrinky Dinks, watercolor paper, and an oven.

Directions:

  • Make a sketch on copy paper
  • Place the shrinkable plastic (AKA the printing plate) on top of the sketch
  • Trace sketch with wax pastel, then color background/negative space
  • Brush plastic with wet paintbrush to blend colors
  • Dampen paper in dish pan of water, blot in towel
  • Place dampened watercolor paper on plastic
  • Rub
  • Pull the print
  • Add more wax pastel (in select areas) to the wet print.

You can re-use the full size shrinkable plastic plate over and over; just re-color for every new mono print.

1. Monoprint onto watercolor paper. 2. Rework wet print with wax pastels 3. Rework plastic plate and shrink in oven.

1. Monoprint onto watercolor paper. 2. Rework wet print with wax pastels 3. Rework plastic plate and shrink in oven.

Shrink the printing plate

Ready for even more fun? When you are done printing, re-color the Shrinky Dink printing plate and shrunk it in the oven.

Yes, that’s right: I shrunk my printing plate in the oven. It’s beautiful! The colors are concentrated and rich. Just follow the directions on the Shrinky Dink package.

This mono print was made with watercolor pencils onto a scrap of dampened mat board.

This mono print was made with watercolor pencils onto a scrap of dampened mat board. Time to shrink the printing plate!

Monoprinting with watercolor pencils

I used Reeves Watercolor Pencils to trace an impressionist painting onto my frosted Shrinky Dink plate. Then I printed onto a scrap of dampened mat board.

The printing plate started as a 1/4 sheet (4"x5") of Shrinky Dink plastic. After printing, the plate shrunk to 1.5"x2"

The printing plate started as a 1/4 sheet (4″x5″) of Shrinky Dink plastic. After printing, the plate shrunk to 1.5″x2″  Student work.

Try a mini monoprint with the kids

I used a full 8″x10″ sheet of Shrinky Dink plastic for my architectural mono prints, and I had to shrink each plate individually. This is not practical at school. Instead, try a 1/4 sheet of shrinkable plastic for the printing plate. I can shrink about 7 at a time on a full size cookie sheet. This is also a great way to use up scraps of watercolor paper.

Relax and enjoy the process…

These mono prints are somewhat experimental. You never know exactly what you’ll get. Try not to get caught up in perfectionism. If a print is less than perfect, rework it.

Thanks to Col Art for the samples of Reeves Watercolor Pencils and Reeves Wax Pastels. Thanks to awesome art teacher/blogger Cassie Stevens for creating our Artsy Book Club!

Enjoy!

What is the weirdest printing project you’ve ever tried?

note: this post contains affiliate links.



60-Minute Holiday Collagraph Crayon Rubbings

Textured curling ribbon tied in a bow looks great on this wrapped gift. The gingerbread man is trimmed in rick rack.

Textured curling ribbon tied in a bow looks great on this wrapped gift. The gingerbread man is trimmed in rick rack.

Need a fun and flexible holiday project? Try making you own collagraph crayon rubbings, using cardboard and scraps. The project takes about one hour and is adaptable to all sorts of holidays like Valentine’s Day and birthdays.

Materials:

  • light cardboard, 8.5×11″, two per student
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • glue stick
  • textured fabric trim such as ribbons, rick rack and lace
  • optional: hole punch
  • optional: ‘wavy’ craft scissors (like these scallop Fiskars Paper Edgers)
  • copy paper 8.5×11″ or other thin paper
  • peeled crayons

Create the collagraph rubbing plate

Students drew one holiday shape on cardboard, then cut it out.

Students drew one holiday shape on cardboard, then cut it out.

Select one holiday shape for the main part of the collagraph. Draw the shape on the first piece of cardboard and cut it out (note: for those students creating their own designs, emphasize that the design needs to be simple and stretched to the top and bottom of the page).

Glue the cut-out shapes to the second piece of cardboard using glue stick. You have now created a collagraph rubbing plate.

Now for the fun!

Cut decorations for your collagraph plate from your cardboard scraps and from fabric trim. Experiment with the craft scissors and the hole punch. Glue these decorations on top of and around your main shape. LAYERING IS GOOD! TEXTURE IS GOOD!

Now flip over the collagraph plate and place it face down on your chair. SIT ON THE CARDBOARD AND COUNT TO 30.  (It is so fun to do this step!) Now all the pieces are glued down are we are ready to rub.

Santa hat and star, decorated with cardboard cut with Fiskar paper edgers.

Santa hat and star, decorated with cardboard cut with Fiskar paper edgers.

Creating the crayon rubbing

Place your collagraph face up on the table. Cover with the copy paper. Rub with a peeled crayon (note: it is helpful to have a partner hold the plate while the student rubs). Repeat with another crayon color.

Now trade collagraph rubbing plates with your neighbor. Or rotate tables so everyone comes away with a set of holiday cards.

This students glued lace to her tree for texture. She did two rubbings with green and magenta crayons.

This students glued lace to her tree for texture. She did two rubbings with green and magenta crayons.

This technique would make awesome cards for birthdays – imagine a collagraph layer cake with rick rack candles. Imagine a textured doily rubbing plate for Valentine’s Day cards.

If you want to take this project a step further, you can roll printer’s ink on the collagraph and pull some prints. You can also color or paint the collagraph plate so it become an artwork.

Want more ideas? Check out my previous post on 30-minute collagraph printmaking.

Enjoy!

 

Do you have a fun way of making holiday cards?

Eiffel Tower Art Project for Bastille Day!


printed eiffel tower 3

 

I just finished my Paris-themed art and cooking camp. The kids loved to make these printed Eiffel Towers. The project is inspired by this fabulous post at the Cassie Stephens blog (please check out the post – it has excellent directions!).

We used white craft paint and 1″x2″ pieces of mat board to print our Eiffel Towers. When dry, we added detail with chalk pastels and hand-made stencils.  Finally we added pastel fireworks outlined with glue and glitter.  Some kids stuck on gummed stars to make the Parisian night sparkle.

Just in time for Bastille Day on July 14!

printed eiffel towers 1

printed eiffel towers 2

 

The kids loved this brief video of fireworks at the Eiffel Tower.

In my one week Paris-themed art + cooking camp, we made crepes, meringues and madeleines! Click here, here and here to see our other art and food projects (with recipes).

Au revoir!

Enjoy!

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