Monday, October 29, 2012


This project was a blast! My students started by sketching only the most basic shapes found within Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream". Then, while looking at small photocopies of the painting, they colored the picture as closely as possible to the original.  They used oil pastels and colored each section with a thick coat. After they finished coloring their work, they applied a coat of black tempera paint over the entire picture.
 When the paint was dry, we passed each picture through a tub of tap water in order to loosen up the black paint which was then wiped off with a damp cloth. Some of the black paint is left behind which adds an interesting appearance to the overall piece. Each student then used a pair of closed scissors to gently scratch into their piece revealing the brilliant pastels beneath. (Large nails work too!)
 Finally, they cut their own Scream portrait out of a 4x6 print and trimmed it to fit into their picture and glued it to the place where the original spooky image was found.

Each final piece is a little different, and this project is a show stopper on the bulletin board in the hallways of our school. Excellent Work Kids!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


 Copper Tooling is a fun and sophisticated project that requires relatively few materials. Here is a list of what you will need.
-Copper Foil (or substitute)
-Metal Tooling Kit (or ball point pens, popsicle sticks, wooden stylus, be creative!)
-White Paper
-Liver of Sulfur or India Ink
-Small cup
-Steel Wool

Wrap a pre-cut piece of foil with plain white drawing paper to determine the size of your image. Unwrap the foil and set it aside. Carefully draw your image into the box on the paper with a pencil.
We chose Mimbres animal images that can be found on the internet. I work with Hopi students, so some of my kids chose Hopi images.

Now wrap the foil again so that your image is directly over the foil. Place the paper and foil on a magazine or some newspaper and trace all of your pencil lines with a ball point pen. Press hard and go slow so that you emboss all of the lines in your design.

 After you have traced all your lines, unwrap the foil and begin further tooling. Keep working on top of a few magazines as this provides a soft surface which allows the foil to be deeply embossed.
Decide which areas you would like to have relief (stand up), and working from the back, push those areas out using the appropriate sized tool. Popsicle sticks work well for this.

 After you have finished all of your tooling and embossing, you can apply a coat of Liver of Sulfur or India Ink. Try painting it over the entire surface and then using steel wool to polish out some desired areas, or carefully paint the LOS or India Ink only where you would like it.

 When you have completely finished all of the steps then you can choose how to display it. We have glued then nailed some of our copper pictures to blocks of wood which we then painted with decorative borders. We have also wrapped them around mat board, or matted them like you would a drawing or a painting.
 Good luck, and please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Thanks!