Exploring Printmaking

Term: 2 Year: 2007
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Printmaking is alive and well as St Bernard’s College, as students created a range of artworks based on many
ideas and themes. From lino prints, etchings and stencil art, art rooms have been transformed into industrious hives
of activity. Prints of all different styles and processes have been explored to culminate in a strong body of work
for the college.

Lino Process:

Students’ lino prints investigated the use of the elements and principles of art. Year 7 & 8 students used
a range of media including newspaper print and appropriated imagery to create their pieces. Each came up with several
different refined design solutions that explored colour, tone, texture, line or shape. Many students looked at contemporary
culture as an influence when creating their own work.

The steps involved with lino printing saw students master a number of techniques. Students took their designs and
transferred them on to their lino tile. Using lino tools and bench-hooks, students were able to explore the use of
line and texture within their art. Printing on to paper saw the use of rollers and ink. Depending on the results,
students then refined their lino image by using the tools to carve out or clarify lines. Students also experimented
further by printing on to newsprint, coloured or textured paper.

Adam, Year 8, was inspired to study and incorporate more traditional aesthetic approaches with the merging of renaissance
emulating hands over images of Roman classical architecture. His response came from a study of tonal drawing.
Stencil Art:

Students in Years 7 and 8 were given the opportunity to create two and three coloured stencils. The inspiration behind
many of the works was the appropriation of imagery and ideas concerning contemporary Melbourne stencil artists. Ideas
were gleaned through the students’ use of the web and the viewing of video sources. The dominating themes were
the current political climate in Australia, tribalism, the war in Iraq, as well as popular culture.

The process for stencil art saw a number of steps. First, students took inspiration from the Internet and modified
their images through the use of the design process. Images had to be monochromatic to make it easier for creating
the stencils, with either black or white areas clearly defined. Designs were then laminated. Students then used Stanley
knives to cut out areas they wanted coloured.

Spraying, using aerosol cans, proved to be a fairly precise process which the boys handled brilliantly. Students
covered up sections of the stencil depending on what colour the image was to be and placed this over a clean piece
of paper. A smooth, quick easy action across the stencil proved to get the best result, with just the right amount
of spray paint. Students had to be careful not to spray the aerosol paint too closely to the paper and stencil, otherwise
the paper would be loaded with too much paint. Because the stencil could be used over and over again, students were
able to experiment with different colour combinations. Although the process required concentration and focus, most
students found the end result worth the time and effort.

Year 7 and 8 students created a number of stencils that reflected a wide variety of ideas.
Frank, Year 7, on
the other hand covered his whole page with spray paint and found his Ben Harper stencil worked best with red and
silver. (cover)

William, Year 8, took inspiration from Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe with his take on the iconic actress. Instead
of meticulously replicating and placing the famous head on a conveyor belt of symmetry, William has layered the repeated
image in a spontaneous, uneven fashion. The end result is a delicate and beautiful work.



On the other end of the artistic spectrum, senior students in Studio Art, Art, and Visual Communication also embraced
printmaking within their work. In particular, the etching process was one that dominated the pieces produced.
the etching tools and some acetate sheet, Anthony, Year 12, spent many painstaking hours creating his work. Entitled
‘Saxophone’, the piece is a detailed exploration in tone and line.
Jane Fleming
St Bernard’s College Essendon

Exploring Printmaking Term 2 2007