How to Create Blackout Poetry | Liz Erhartic | Skillshare

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How to Create Blackout Poetry

teacher avatar Liz Erhartic, Poet / Traveler

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. What is Blackout Poetry?

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. How to Pick a Printed Page

    • 4. Blackout Poetry Tutorial

    • 5. Design Alternatives

    • 6. Class Project

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to marry the arts of poetry and painting to create blackout poetry. Also referred to as "found poetry," this visual art takes a page from a book, newspaper, or anything with print, and creates from it new meaning with careful word selection and black paint. Leave what you want to say and paint everything else - you can even add color and/or designs to make it more visually pleasing.

Blackout creates poems that are relaxing and don't need to hold significant personal meaning to the author/artist. Learn how to pick a good printed page and scan for "hot" words and string together a beautiful phrase or two.


Materials needed for this class:

- a "found" printed page (from a book, newspaper, instruction manual, etc.)

- a pencil

- a smudge-free eraser

- brushes of varying size

- paint (traditionally black, but any color(s) desired)

- a surface for wet paint


No previous experience with poetry or painting is necessary.

Meet Your Teacher

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Liz Erhartic

Poet / Traveler


Hi, I'm Liz. I'm a new teacher on Skillshare. I have a couple classes up on Skillshare now, an am excited to grow my skills and trade some with you.

 My newest class, How to Pack for a Trip in Only a Carry On Bag, is available now!


Check out my first class, How to Create Blackout Poetry, as well.


Stay tuned for classes on traveling, writing, proofreading, aviation, food trucks, and civil rights programs.

See full profile

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1. What is Blackout Poetry?: Hi, everyone. I'm lives and this class is called How to create Blackout Poje. If you've never heard of backup poetry before, let me give you a better overview. Blackout falls under the umbrella term of found poetry, and it's an alternative form of poetry that is a hybrid between writing and painting. The concept is through. Make a page of print to give it a whole new meeting by painting over certain words and piecing together a poem from the words you leave exposed. This art method is easy to do and quick to complete once you get the hang of it and creates beautiful visual art. And you don't have to be a painter, artist or writer to create black up polls. I myself, I'm not an artist. Yet. This is my favorite way to create poetry In this kosher class. I will show you how to create basic blackout poetry as well a share with you some alternative methods to incorporate additional creativity into your pieces if desired. I do a lot of stress that black up poetry does not need to have a personal meaning to us. A career. Just look to create something beautiful used it as a way to relax, to express yourself, to challenge yourself, to have fun or any combination of these motives. At the end of this class, you have all the information tips you'll need to create your own blackout hopes. And if you feel intrigued and inspired, please give it a try and share a piece or few as a class project so that other people can admire them and get inspiration from us about to begin. We'll start by going over the materials will need. 2. Materials: Okay, So to create your poems, here's what you'll need a pencil to outline words as well as a smudge for your racer to embraces outlines. Before you start painting, we'll use black paint. I was acrylic, and you can also use other colors to incorporate additional creativity in, and I'll touch of it on that later. The only paintbrushes of small but varying sizes. I use the smallest tattling paint directly around, the words being careful not to paint over any anthem and the small but flattened bigger ones to fill in the blackout around those words as well. You want a paint palette as well as maybe a cup of water to put the paint brushes end. And lastly, you leave pages to create your poems on and the next video I'll go over with you how to find a good page of print to use as a basis for your black up homes. 3. How to Pick a Printed Page: You can use pretty much any printed material find, such as the Book of Newspaper Instructions or Friend of Pages. But here's what I recommend. Look for pages that are not too thin. Newspapers could be exciting material to use, but they might break through. This is important to pay attention to if you were painting on two sides of the same paper, like an abound book with the one that I am Ideally, you want to look for printed material with standard two large sides pages, so nothing too small. These are all pretty good size you want. Teoh. Look for material that has standard toe large print, so you want to be able to know that you could paint around certain words and then it wouldn't be too difficult. This one. The spacing is also something to look for, and this has not the greatest facing between, but it's still doable. Basically, you want to look for the spacing and the size of the print, as in helping you be able to paint around words. So this one has pretty good spacing and has pretty good size. I took these books and you can see that I took a razor blade and I cut Thies to have pages out. More importantly, select material that has exciting words that will spark creativity and inspire poems from them. I call these hot words and in the next video I will show you first how to identify hot words and create your poem. 4. Blackout Poetry Tutorial: to start your poll, you'll need to identify some hot words. Do this by skimming the page. It's very important not to read, because I found that when I read a page looking for hot worried, I'm buckled down by the sentence is the author has written, and I can't focus on just picking out isolated words Once you found a hot word to scan the rest of the page and see if there any other words you could use to create a meaning or phrase. Once you found a hot word, scan the rest of the page for any other words that could connect to that word to create a phrase or meaning. When you found the words you want, circle them lightly in pencil. We're going to erase these marks later, so make sure that it's not too dark. Also, remember that you can extract letters from other words to create your own word. If you can't find a word that you need, what you have there birds proof read to make sure that the words you've chosen created meaning together and that the logical order flows, you can play around a bit with the order in terms of where the readers I goes by adding arrows or things like that. But if you do so, just make sure that it will work. And if you're not going to make sure that the readers, I will follow the words where you intend to go sometimes I asked a friend to read it over and tell me how they read a certain poem and what ordered the words are for them so that I can tell how my reader will read it or if I need to Adam Aero or something, too. Change the word order to be what I wanted to be. So we're going to go through now how to make a blackout poem by doing one. So I found a page in this novel. I'm going to use a smaller page. I think the words worth remembering is something that would be great in a problem. I'm gonna circle that. And then I scanned the page again to look for any things that I could connect that with to make a phrase. So I see we can say were. But then I don't see a subject before that that I'd like. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take letters from words to create my own. So basically, I'm going to use these two they could and create you out of it. So I'm gonna ice like you. It's like the why in the O. U T u So I will paint this, but leave out the why I paint over the sea in the l. D. And leave the y ou so it read you were worth remembering. And that's just an example of a very simple one. But that's how you do it. So once you have the words circled, you want to take a small paintbrush basically for outlining, and I have to do it, you know, a few words at a time that I erase to paint over, and I want to paint over the what the why you over here before I paint over this because my wrist is gonna be over here, So I wanted carefully paint over this. It's very important to pay extra attention when you're extracting letters from words to make sure that you don't paint over anything because if you paint over something, you can't get it back, and then you just have to be more creative to try to make it work without that, trying to do nice, simple lines and work my weight and there were good to see I got the oh, you out to make sure that I can get the why Some letters, just with how they print are a little closer to other letters, and that's really annoying sometimes. And I'm going to call that because opinion and closer is going to make me a little nervous . And then we can erase the were remembering work is I chose one that didn't have very many words do so that it wouldn't be to challenging on camera. Make sure you get all those erasers out of there and paint over the word. Just make sure to do smaller brush when you're working closer to the word, and then I take a bigger brush and go out and fill everything. Elson. I just want to make sure that you really don't paint over the word you're trying to keep, and then we go over here. Teoh Fourth, remembering Sometimes you can just leave the punctuation in doesn't always make sense, but doesn't really matter sometimes works out where your ending one you get a voice A period there, Carsten. So I've done a decent little outline around the words and keeping. What I would do next is take a larger paintbrush and then paint around those. I also highly recommend doing two coats of paint, at least with the acrylic. Um, you can see on some of my other examples that are just free pages. I did those earlier on, and you can still kind of see the words through them. And I have found when I do two coats, it's much easier covers up the words much nice air, and what I do is I paint a coat. I let it dry a bit, see what is still not very solid. He never that. And you see that I just painted over this dreary a bit, which I get for talking and not being careful. Try to remove paint sometimes doesn't usually work, but in this case you can still tell what it is. We're not really worried about perfection here or I'm not, because I know it can achieve it. So just always be cautious when you're painting, take time and I'm rushing a little bit. But this is the general just of it and that simple formula you can use with bigger text pages and you can use to create longer things and what I did. The basic formula. Remember, you can take four words like we're even, you know, a couple of words together worth remembering. And if you can't find something you want, make it. There's no problem with painting over things, painting over other letters to get the letters that you want and you just paint until your texted all covered up another line up here because I want to get off this chapter title here. You know you can even now the whole thing do perfect squares of perfect rectangles. You can make different shapes with that. You could make it look like it's painted, you know, with the strokes more obvious. I do it differently, depending on what I'm feeling and how much variety I want to have. You can do the whole page. This you could cut this and just have this part. It's all up to you. So another thing is that when you're done with the poem and paint finishes drying and everything, you can have this poem on this page, but this page our we've in the book, however, whatever have you. But if you want, preserve it like I do with this book that I'm gonna feel completely and try to get published, you want to scan the pages or take a picture of it. You can have it digitally, forever. Eso I'll have this book, but it also have copies of them in my computer. And taking scans of poems is actually how I submit them for publication literary journals. And that's how you create a basic black up. Now, in the next video, I'll give you some ideas for extra things you could do if you want to take your blackout poetry up a notch. 5. Design Alternatives: so we learned the basics of how to create blackout policy. But there are ways to make them more exciting when I'm creating a collection of like poetry like I'm doing in this book. Slowly but surely, there are ways I up my poems to make them all look the same to give them but a variety and make them work pleasing to the eye. So I'm gonna go over some of those methods. These are just examples, and you can create whatever you want our subjective poetry's subjective had. So we've learned from doing this the very basics of blackout poetry. But there are also ways to make them way more exciting. Um, I show you some examples in my book that I'm making over, um, because they're all going to be together, and that's how I'm gonna want them published. It was really important for me to make sure that all of the poems were not just the normal formula like this, that there was some briny even in the shape outlines that I dio too little embellishments there. There's another, you know, rougher edged right here, even in here to refer edge. You know, I added some arrows here When I was talking about, make sure where your eye goes. I had this dot to kind of make you want to start here and then go up here. Here, follow this arrow down. And there it could be trying to do sometimes some more arrows just trying to creatively. I didn't even pick out all of this because I needed some way to put arrows. And so you can do it like I had before we out when the arrow as a negative. Or you can paint it and leave some of this and you would just want to make sure you leave enough. You paint over enough of this section that people aren't gonna want to actually read this part? No. They're gonna read this in this, um, White out is the same concepts where you who paint white over everything else. So this is just a plain white out right there with some details out of detail. Um, that's a corporate color. Here's another white out right there. Um, another basic. One with a rough edge. Some illustration. Here, um, you can see if I've created is from other words, add little illustrations, different ones This one's about a burglar, so there's a little trash bag for a burglar. This is this book has a part one part two part three before. So what I did was I just painted over the P and the number and made it into parts. And then, you know, depending on what your poems says, you can add little things like this one's about mortgaging memories. So I added a house on that chapter number right there. Um, you can look for things in context to see what illustration you want to draw kick ears on a story about a devil. So I put little devil horns in red, and then just all this variety works to break up so that it's not a book of just this style , which would be fine. But this is a little more interesting to the readers. I know. Here's a study landscape. I try to put a farm landscape on this side. I was talking about places. Um, you know, I have talked about night, so I put you know this is done in silver That's a moon and some stars painted over this vanilla life with a white to kind of illustrate the vanilla. There's a lot of a variety conduce to make it your own. This is an example of what you could do with both color and arrows so the words don't line up quite right. So I drew an arrow, is here to start with everyone and then go down and then here to start with or and go up to finish it. So it reads. Everyone admits good fortune or fines victimization. 6. Class Project: thank you for watching this class. I hope you're intrigued by blackout poetry, and we'll try it yourself and fall in love. Just some advice. Be open, challenge yourself and if the pages and speaking to you, move on and come back later. Sometimes I'm not in the right headspace to find a home in page, and that's okay. What I'll do is I'll sit down and I'll paint poems I've already circled and identified. It's aren't do it your way. There's no rush. If you have enjoyed learning the skull, please create your own back up homes and share them in the class projects. I can't wait to see what you create.