Saturday, January 27, 2018

Graphite Collagraph

The Art Ed Now is a week away and I'm excited once again be part of this amazing event. This year I'm presenting on how to create and teach a Graphite Collagraph.  Art Ed Now is always one of my favorite ways to get Professional Development. It's quick, easy, and high quality. There is no travel needed. The best part of this conference is that you have access to the sessions after the day... in something they call an 'after pass'. This allows you to revisit the sessions as many times as you need or more importantly WHEN you need the information. Let me tell you, it's a ton of information so having access after is important. Hope to 'see' many of my Art Education friends at the conference. 

Many things came together for me at the same time to inspire the Graphite Collagraph. First, my music teacher coworker asked if I could work with her on the 4th-grade upcoming performance. I was excited to say yes when she showed me what book she was using for her inspiration. You Belong Here, by M. H. Clark, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault was the book selected. The book is lovely, such beautiful poetry. The thing that got me so excited however was Isabelle Arsenault illustrations. WOW!! Her work speaks to me. I wanted to create something in her style and I felt that graphite is the perfect medium. 

If you were one of the first 1500 people signed up for the AOE conference you received a graphite kits from Derwent. This kit was perfect because it has both the graphite sticks as well as pencils. I used both in this collagraph. 

For the collagraph, I used a heavyweight drawing paper. I drew my design and cut with both scissors and an Exacto knife. I did some negative and some positive shapes in my composition as shown below.

I taped the collagraph to the table and then taped a lightweight paper over the collagraph. I used the side of the graphite sticks by rubbing across the paper adjusting the pressure to the area I was working on. This gave me an outline of the images created.

After the outline of the collagraph rubbing is complete, I remove the lightweight paper. I placed the paper with the outlined rubbing on top of a variety of rubbing plates.  I tried a bunch, all pictured below. I used some heavy duty clay texture plates from Fiskars, some lightweight plastic stencils from WalMart, and a cardboard stencil pack from Target.  I have linked all of these options but I don't know how long the links will be good. Any texture plates could be used I would imagine. This might be a fun place to experiment. 

The final result was so interesting.  I think I could use this same collagraph again and again and have a somewhat different result every time.  This whole lesson and more explanation will be explained at the Art Ed Now conference on the 3rd. I also show some different ways to approach this lesson using watercolor colored pencils and exploring some different materials when creating the collagraph. 


  1. I really enjoyed your presentation and feel this lesson could really start an artist in a new direction. I love sculpture and drawing!

  2. This project is perfect for my 4th graders! Thank you for your presentation on AOE.