Lesson Plan by Denise Pannell: Tagboard Collagraph Prints

Tagboard Collagraph Prints

Submitted by: Denise Pannell, Fairview Elementary in Sherwood, OH
UNIT: Printmaking -Relief Print - Non-objective Art
Lesson: Tag board collagraph - relief print - non-objective shapes
Grade Level: Elementary (3rd grade shown - adaptable to Middle school and up)


Alternate Lesson: Architecture Relief prints (suggest Russian and/or Islamic architecture)
Middle School Collagraph Printmaking - lesson by Woody Duncan

Note: This lesson was inspired by a lesson on Artsonia by Cheryl Sullivan (May 26, 2004)
Adams Jr. High School - OH.


Teacher Preparation:

Cut poster board or chip board to size for prints ahead of time. Decide how big you want the prints (6" x 9" to 9" x 12" (23 x 30.5 cm) - Denise uses 6" x 9" (15 x 23 cm). Students can alter the contour before printing. Provide construction paper for printing that is at least one inch larger all around.



  • Student create a collagraph relief plate and print

  • Develop a center of interest with shape

  • Create a non-objective design with shapes - utilizing principles of design.

  • Show craftsmanship in printing - pull a quality print free of finger prints or stray ink marks.




Chipboard. or Posterboard. for plates
9" x 12" (23 x 30.5 cm) Tag board.
Scissors., Fiskars edger scissors. (Comes in a variety of patterns)
Hole Paper Punch., White Glue.
Brayers. and Block Printing Inks. (assorted colors and white)
Inking Plates. (Plexiglas works well)
assorted Construction Paper. (dark colors)
Newspapers, paper towels
Wooden spoons.



Show examples of non-objective and abstract art. Show a variety of relief prints. Henri Matisse cut paper compositions would be good to show students. Any alternate theme/subject could be used.



  1. Alter the contour of the plate - change the border but don't make it too much smaller.

  2. Cut out designs from 9" x 12" (23 x 30.5 cm) tag board. Repeat some shapes in different sizes (variety and unity). Cut some interesting shapes to develop a center of interest (spiral or other shapes). Use Hole Paper Punch. to alter shapes if desired.

  3. Arrange shapes onto chip board or poster board plate. Once satisfied with composition - glue shapes down. Apply glue to back of shapes a spread to cover the back so shapes will not pop off when inking. Overlap shapes - and layer more on top. Shapes may extend off the edge of the plate.

  4. Check to make sure all shapes are glued securely (gently curl plate to see if the shapes pop up - glue any lose shapes and allow to dry).

  5. Squeeze out a line of ink at the top of the inking plate (sheet of Plexiglas). Suggest using related colors. Make line with dashes of three different colors (like yellow - orange - magenta). Add some white ink to insure colors will show up on dark paper. (Line of ink should be about the same length as brayer).

  6. Touch brayer into the line of ink an roll out onto the Plexiglas. Roll ink out evenly (should make a tacky/zippy sound -with a texture like orange peel). Roll ink only in one direction so colors only slightly mix (to create the rainbow effect)

  7. Place printing plate onto newspaper and roll ink onto plate. Apply two uniform coats (roll in one direction)

  8. Move plate over to a clean spot (clean sheet of newspaper or sheet of Newsprint.). Wipe any ink off of fingers with paper towels

  9. Select dark color of construction paper an gently center on plate (lower paper carefully). Teacher could make a registration grid for students to use (mark sheet of newsprint with a rectangle the size of plates - register printing paper with edge of newsprint and lower onto plate)

  10. Place one hand down to hold paper in place) Rub the back side of paper with the flat side of wooden spoon to transfer ink to paper (using a circular motion works well).

  11. Lift paper off plate - sign, title and number print (name on right hand side, title on left - number edition in center).

  12. Make additional prints. (stay with related colors for best results)


Rubric based on plate design and craftsmanship of print.

Note: Denise displays the printing plates with the prints.


Architecture Collagraph Prints

Submitted by: Brenda Robson, First Baptist Academy, Dallas, Texas
UNIT: Architecture - Cultural studies - Printmaking
Lesson: Architecture Collagraph Prints
Grade Level: Upper elementary - through middle school



These prints were fourth place winners in the Texas State Fair 2004



Same as above (suggested size 9" x 12" [23 x 30.5 cm]). X-acto Knives. also needed.



Research background information on culture and buildings. Make handouts of various buildings from selected culture/cultures - one idea packet for each table.



  1. Show PowerPoint of architecture from desired culture. Make comparisons to local architecture. Discuss purposes of buildings. (Look at sacred places/churches/cathedrals - government buildings - etc). See Lesson plan comparing Russian architecture and Eurasian

  2. Demonstrate ways to get details to show up - separating tagboard - adding layers - cutting out windows etc. (A chart showing different techniques would be helpful).


Do details of building show up? Did student pull a quality print?



Russian Architecture Links:

Face of Russia:
http://www.pbs.org/weta/faceofrussia/ | See Russian Architecture Lesson Plan
http://www.pbs.org/weta/faceofrussia/timeline-index.html (timeline of
Russian art)

Art and Architecture (some information):

Some details of Russian Architecture:
http://www.artmargins.com/content/feature/paperny1.html (Archive)
Sights of Russia (Archive)- photographs by Victor Potoskouev

William C. Brumfield Russian Architecture Collection:

William Craft Brumfield - photographs of Russian North:
http://cultinfo.ru/brumfield/images/index_e.htm (photo gallery)

Russian Architecture:
http://archi.ru/photo/english/aref/index_e.htm (Churches Moscow Region)

Baroque Architecture of St. Petersburg:
http://russia-in-us.com/St.Peterburg/ (Archive)

Great Buildings: Russia



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