Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1st Year - Portraits

The first years were introduced to two printmaking methods with this project; relief printing and intaglio printing. Here is a link to the MoMA website which has an excellent interactive way of explaining the various types of printmaking.  What a is Print? The students began with some observational drawing by sketching portraits of each other using line. They worked over their drawings entering in small amounts of tone where parts of the head, face and neck might be in shadow. We looked at how Vincent Van Gogh used tone in his self-portraits.

The first type of print the first years produced was an engraving. They transferred their drawings onto photographic paper which acts as an etching plate. Once the outline of the drawing was transferred they had to scratch or engrave the lines into the surface of the plate using a needle.
Here are two examples of the etching plates after the drawings have been scratched in.

The plates are inked up by rubbing a mixture of oil paint and linseed oil into the scratches. The plate then needs to be polished using newspaper so that the ink remains only in the scratches and is cleaned away elsewhere. Once the plate has been polished, a sheet of good quality paper that has been soaked in water for ten minutes, and allowed to dry for ten minutes, is placed on top of the plate. A printing press is ideal to press the paper into the plate in order to force the paper into the scratches to soak up the ink. We used a spoon on the back of the paper to make the prints.
Engraving by Ester Ceuvas
Engraving by Jade Heeney

The next process was to create a design for the lino print. Here are some examples of German Expressionist woodcuts that we discussed. 

The students firstly created their design by drawing over their original pencil drawings and dividing the face in to shapes of black and white, depending on what areas were in shadow or light. They then cut their designs into black sugar paper and stuck them down on white paper. Here are the results.
By Ester Ceuvas
By Eleanor Selby
by Sarah Branigan

2nd Year - Cardboard Prints

The 2nd Years had an introduction to relief printmaking using corrugated cardboard. They started by making some interior and exterior architectural drawings of their environment: of the art room, the school buildings and rooms at home. After choosing their favourite drawing the students broke it down into various shapes, attributing white, mid-tone or black to each of the shapes. They then transferred their design onto the corrugated card and cut away the white shapes, peeled back the mid-tone shapes to the lines of the corrugation and left the surface of the cardboard for the black.
Below are examples of the finished result.
by Shauna Arnold

by Chloe Byrne

3rd Year - Portraits

Before the distribution of the Junior Cert Art, Craft and Design Paper the 3rd Years worked on their life drawing skills. They produced these wonderful portraits using pencils, charcoal and chalk.
Display of portraits
Pencil on paper by Aisling Molloy
Charcoal on paper by Leah Mc Hugh
Pencil on paper by Sarah Smith
Charcoal on paper by Tamika Cassidy
Pencil on Paper by Andrea Kelly

1st Year - Postcard Design

The 1st Years introductory project in the art room involved designing and creating postcards. The postcards were based on objects found in the art room. The students layered the various design elements of collage, line, shape, pattern, negative/positive images and text in order to create these very eye-catching postcards.

Monday, March 28, 2011

5th Yr - Sculpture Project

The 5th Year art students started out the year with a sculpture project. We wanted to make large scale sculptures that made an impact on open night. The brief for the sculptures was that they were to reference organic forms, lines and patterns, and that they were to remain abstract in appearance. In preparation for the large sculptures the students each made an individual mock-up from wire and masking tape, exploring the idea of forms within forms.

The pupils worked in groups of three to create their large finished pieces. They used willow for the framework of the sculptures.

This natural material proved to be ideal for the job as it is pliable, yet resilient; and with the lengths of willow reaching 8 foot the students were able to build large, very quickly.

The students added wire to the willow framework to add more detail to the form of the sculpture.

The sculptures were finished off with vibrant coloured tissue, blocking off certain areas and leaving others transparent.
Sculptures in situ