Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Creating Collographs

This week students have been creating collographs in art class.  A collograph is a kind of relief print- a process in which prints are pulled from a plate or block that has been built up.  The plate is similar to a three dimensional collage.  Students looked at the work of Jean DuBuffet and learned about texture and then created their plates using a variety of materials including bubble wrap, straw, buttons, cardboard, pipe cleaners, and string.  When their plates were dry, they painted them with ink and then transferred the image with a roller to create their print.  Some classes are continuing to work on their collographs to create a large collaborative print that includes a background for their animals.

One of our young artists adds texture to his plate with straw.
A group of collograph plates on the drying rack.
This beautiful rhino really captures the texture of the cardboard.
This artist printed in three colors to create this amazing penguin print.

This artist worked carefully to add string to his plate to make the tiger's stripes.

Here, a student used buttons to create the impression of eyes for her sleeping cat.

This artist used crumpled paper to express the texture of the elephant's skin.

This artist's print is a "ghost print," a print created by transferring the plate a second time without adding more paint or ink.

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Congratulations to all of the amazing artists whose hard work was rewarded by being chosen for the cover of this year's VSA NYC Calendar!  Kaleidoscope of Creativity is the name of their colorful photo collage created last year in art class.  Students were unfortunately unable to attend the award ceremony because of a bussing issue, but later received calendars and awards at school (Thank You Ms. Mack!!!).  Please let me know if you are interested in receiving a calendar and I will let you know when we are provided with more copies.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Multicolor Etching

Students finished their unit on etching by learning how to register their printing plates and print in at least two colors.  Many students printed in three, even four colors to create beautiful multicolor prints.  We discovered that we have some amazing printmakers in our art studio!  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


This week students have been finishing up their two color etchings.  They have been working very hard to complete the may steps in this printmaking process.  First students transferred their self-portraits to their foam etching plate.  Next they used black ink to print at least two copies of their image.  Some students labeled these as artist's proofs, or test prints. Then students reworked their original plate adding value and texture through hatching and cross-hatching.  Finally they "registered" their plates by lining them up with the first color copy, and printed a second color on top.  They did such an amazing job that we may add a third and fourth color to some!

Some classes created fall leaf prints by using a stencil shape.  They traced the leaf onto the foam etching plate and then practiced using hatching and cross-hatching within that shape.  They then printed their etching in one color, choosing warm color paper as their background.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Drawing Using Hatching and Crosshatching

Last week students started a unit on printmaking in art class.  They looked at etchings created by the artist Lucien Freud and discussed how artists can create value using line through hatching and crosshatching.  Students practiced these new techniques in their sketchbooks before beginning their etching plates.  Check back in soon to see some of the beautiful etchings that they have been working on in class.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day of the Dead

This week our young artists had some fun creating colorful images inspired or influenced by the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  In fact, we talked a lot about the words "inspired" and "influenced, and looked at how artists often borrow ideas or imagery from other artists.  This week we learned how the printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada influenced Diego Rivera and many other Mexican artists.  We then looked at examples from contemporary folk art in Mexico, including candy sugar skulls, and students created vibrant artwork using stamps, markers, and glitter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fun & Free Art Class at the Whitney

For New York City teens in grades 9–12
Fridays, October 23–December 11 (excluding November 27)

4–6 pm
Grab your friends and get creative! Every Friday afternoon, you're invited to a free drop-in art making program. Bring your works-in-progress or create something entirely new. All supplies are provided and no previous art experience is required—everyone is welcome.
This event is free to attend; no RSVP is required. Upon entrance, pick up a ticket from a teen volunteer in the lobby. Program held on Floor Three.
Have questions? Email
Learn more about teen programs at or like us onFacebook for updates on programs and events.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sketching and Printing Fall Leaves

This week students explored the theme of autumn in art class.  Students looked at the artwork of Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent VanGogh, and Lucien Freud.  We discussed how artists use studies or sketches to help them plan larger works, like paintings.  We also talked about the warm colors: red, orange, and yellow.  Some classes created leaf prints using these warm colors, while others practiced their observational drawing skills and created detailed sketches of fall leaves.  One class even tried their hand at using charcoal and chalk to show contrast and value.  

A leaf print showing the use of symmetry.

This student demonstrates their knowledge of warm colors in this beautiful fall print.

Students used a paint brush to coat their leaves in warm colors, and then used a roller to print the image onto paper.

A colorful, creative study of a branch.

This student used careful observation skills to create this detailed sketch.

This page demonstrates a great understanding of composition.

This student had fun exploring many elements of fall in this bright sketch.

This student looked closely at the varied coloration of his leaf.

Students had fun using charcoal and chalk in art class.

Here, one of our artists carefully observes a tree branch.

The artists displayed their work and we had a mini-critique to talk about each other's drawings.  Great job everyone!