Saturday, October 26, 2013

Simple Easy Screenprinting with Kids

6 + for making the stencil
4+ for the printing process

Difficulty: assistance is required to hold down screen  

What you need:
  • To do screen printing you will need to use a genuine silk screen bought from an art supply store. These can start from $45
  • Squeegee starts from $20
  • Ink or Printmaking paint (I used Crayola Gel Paint however you can use any paint which is thin enough to push through the fine mesh and doesn't dry too fast)
  • Printmaking paper preferable (like baking/cooking paper -one side is shiny, one side matte) however normal photocopy paper/cartridge is fine. It will only last a few prints.
  • Scissors 
  • Newspaper 
  • Drying rack

This is one of the easiest introductions to screen printing for young children. 

Making the Stencil 
Step 1
  1. Start with a piece of paper. Guide your students to fold it in half, half again and so on. Not too many folds as it makes it hard to cut
  2. Get them to draw a few shapes from the edges of the folded paper
  3. Older students can cut out their shapes and then unfold their paper to show their 'stencil'. Younger students could get assistance or the teacher could have pre-prepared 'stencils' ready.

Step 2

  • prepare the screen by taping some packing tape to the screen the size of the stencil. This is to 'block out' the exposed mesh the 'stencil' does not cover. 
  • To make it easier for the students, my suggestion is to make the stencil the size of the screen and tape it to the edges so it does not move/flap about.
  • Use a paper pad or clamped paper to easel board to help it not move around
Easy to remember: INK - PULL -LIFT Process
Step 2
  1. Ink -Show the students how to dob a line of painting at the top of the screen
  2. Pull -With an adult holding the screen in place, place the squeegee at the top of the screen and drag to the bottom spreading the paint. Repeat 2-3 times.
  3. Lift -Together carefully lift the screen up and rest on a piece of newspaper.
  4. Take printed paper to the drying rack.
    Step 3

Step 4

To change colour 'flush' the screen by repeating step 2 on newspaper/butchers paper until almost clean. Repeat step 1 & 2 with new colour and then do it on the good paper.

*Rise screen immediately after use when the session is finish.

Print onto bags, pillows or other fabric items as gifts.

Link to Education
  • Introduce students to oriental art, specifically origami and making your own stencil inspired by the design and pattern
  • Older students -introduce Pop Art, specifically look at Andy Warhol and repetition 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Palette Knife Painting with Littlies

Age: 3.5 +

Difficulty: Easy

Replace the brush and try something different with young children -give them a palette knife instead (disposable palette knifes available at art and craft stores).

What is a palette knife? It is a tool which is blunt, usually with a flexible steel blade used for mixing paint. However Artists also use the knife as a tool for painting. A painting knife is similar to a palette knife and is used for painting on the canvas. Often the word palette/painting knife is used interchangeably.

For the purpose of this activity with little ones, use a range of everyday and domestic tools to create a similar experience of using a metal Artist's palette knife. Set up stations and get them to experiment with a spatula, trowel, plastic egg flips, old credit cards etc. Anything that is flat and bends.  

Paint for this activity will need to be thick or plentiful...if it's too runny it won't stay on the palette knife/painting knife tool. I used Crayola's Gel Finger Paints with Missy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Australian Visual Arts Curriculum DRAFT Update 2

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts has been signed off and will be implemented from 2014 to 2015/16

While we wait for the final document to be officially published on ACARA's website, I continue to stay in touch with any changes to the draft (July 2013) visual arts document. I have summarised below a 'snapshot' of themes or topics described to be covered in the band descriptors.

Visual Arts Curriculum (Draft) Snapshot:

~Personal observations



~Sensory exploration


~Past histories


~significant events

~community celebrations



~physical and conceptual properties


~Popular culture

~Historical and cultural histories art and design


~Personal aesthetic

If you are a primary or middle teacher, to assist with your planning, I have listed 'topics' or 'themes' of other subject curricula which can be viewed in this Australian Curriculum overview document I created. You can find links between some subjects and compare topics or themes which need to be addressed to assist in your planning. It lists the key points from the band descriptors from the current phase 1 subjects which were implemented in 2013; English, History, Maths, Science with phase 2 draft subject Visual Arts.

Please note the documents on the Australian Curriculum are my interpretation only. Please consult ACARA for clarification.

Other similar posts:
Australian Visual Arts Curriculum DRAFT Update 
The Australian Curriculum & The Arts: What it means to you.