Printmaking Basics: Print with Markers | Charmaine Boggs | Skillshare

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Printmaking Basics: Print with Markers

teacher avatar Charmaine Boggs, artist, arts educator, jewelry designer

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

9 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Preparing Your Stencil

    • 4. Adding Color

    • 5. Printing

    • 6. Add an Ombre Effect

    • 7. Try a Variation

    • 8. Printing with Words

    • 9. Project Time!

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About This Class


Printmaking doesn't have to be messy, especially when you first introduce it to young children! In this class, you'll learn some simple techniques for turning a sheet of styrofoam board and a few water soluble markers into colorful prints. No need for carving tools, brayers, or printing inks, just simple materials and an hour of time for this one!

This class is perfect for beginners and more experienced crafters and creators and is a great family-friendly activity for children ages 4+. You'll learn basic techniques for the marker printing process as well as some fun ways to add an artistic flair to your prints. Create bookmarks, greeting cards, journal pages, or stand alone art prints. Printmaking is a versatile art form limited only by your imagination! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Charmaine Boggs

artist, arts educator, jewelry designer



I'm Charmaine, artist and arts educator... living an art-full life fueled by Starbucks and beach dreams!

After retiring from a forty year career in education in 2017,  I realized that I was not ready for a life of leisurely luncheons and golf outings. I'm sure the fact that I've never even played golf might have something to do with that! 

When I'm not busy working on my painting and printmaking, I enjoy spending time in my flower gardens, walking the lovely trails in our nearby parks, and taking the photographs that provide the inspiration for my artwork and the jewelry designs that I sell as CBoggsArt and Thoroughly Modern Mimi on Etsy. 

When I plan a Skillshare class, my goal is to make art accessible for all ages an... See full profile

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1. Introduction : printmaking is wonderful, but it has a reputation for being a very messy process, and especially if you're working with young Children in the hands of a young child. All those inks can really do a number on your kitchen table in a hurry. Hi, I'm sure May and I want to welcome you to my skill share channel. I'm a retired art teacher and the grandmother of two young boys, so I know full well the dangers of Messi art materials there often best used outdoors. Sometimes the weather isn't cooperating, and we need to have some of that good creative fun without a lot of good creative mess. And in this class, I'm going to teach you exactly that. I'll show you how to use simple materials like Styrofoam, some washable markers and a spray bottle of clean water to create prints that any for five or six year old will thoroughly enjoy. And even older Children can have some fun with. They could make bookmarks standalone artwork, greeting cards, all kinds of things are fun, with a simple marker Styrofoam print. So let's get started 2. Supplies : you'll need to gather a few art supplies for this class. Most of them are easy to obtain at your local craft. It's a hobby supply store or wherever school supplies are sold. You'll want to have a table cover because this does get wet. Um, I use plastic table clause from the party supply or grocery store. You'll need a little printer paper for your drawing. Ah, paper towel, spray bottle, ballpoint pen, pencil and a small paintbrush. You'll want to use water based markers. The brands that I have found work the best are Crayolas, Tom Bows and the artist's loft brand that you confined at Michael's Craft stores. You'll need to also get some Styrofoam. You can purchase this at a craft and hobby supply store or online, or you can reuse fruit and vegetable trays or Styrofoam plates by cutting off the edges and using the flat surface. You can buy special paper for printmaking, but it isn't really necessary. If you have some heavy duty watercolor or mixed media paper that will work just fine for this project. No need to go out and buy something special for this. In my demonstration, I do use a stencil from this sea life set. It's not essential, but a stencil can be fun when you're working with Children, and it could be a real time safer if you're looking for a simple shape, so gather up your supplies and make me in the first lesson and we'll get started. 3. Preparing Your Stencil: The first step is to prepare your illustration for your Styrofoam. So I have these really cute see life stencils, different sea creatures. And I have another set called zoo animals. I got these at a local school supply store and they're just great. When I'm with my grandkids. We have a lot of fun with ease. So if you're working with Children or even if you just want some quick and easy outlines to work in for yourself, these air Great. So the first thing I'm going to Dio is trace this fish onto a piece of computer paper and I just cut it in half because that makes it the same size as my Styrofoam sheets. And I'm just going to trace all the little details that are on here with my PAN A pencil works Justus Well, and now I'm gonna take little fish and put it on top of the Styrofoam. And the next step is to just simply trace the fish onto my Styrofoam and you want to put some steady pressure. You don't need to push so hard that you tear the paper. Just some nice, steady pressure to give the impression of your shapes on your Styrofoam and I'm going Teoh trace everything. It doesn't have to be exact. When you remove your paper, you're going to see a very light impression. It might even be really hard to see, but a very light impression. You'll need to go back over that and deep in it now I'm putting some steady, firm pressure on my Styrofoam because I want to cut into it. I don't want to go all the way through it. I just want to impress some nice deep lines. You can feel them with your fingers to create the shapes that I'm going to work with. So with Children, especially young Children using some type of template or stencil, can be really helpful if they're a little bit determined to draw something that they're not always familiar withdrawing. And it's also very charming just to give the Children the pan or the pencil the piece of styrofoam and let them draw directly on it. I've seen Children do some amazingly cute things that way as well, but there I have my simple fish stands up. Once the image is on Styrofoam, you can modify it. I'm going to go through and give the fish's body a little more definition like so. And I'm going to add some little bits of scales, the impression of some scales to my little fish, and I'm doing this with my pan and again I'm digging it in so that I'm getting a nice firm cut into there, and I'm going to give it just a little line. So I'm going to give myself just some fun shapes to color into when I apply my color and just sort of following the edges of the image. And I'm going to give my fish fish your fish. I He's a very excited fish. So now I have a little more detail to my little fish, and I'm even going to give him some bubbles. Have a little something to my image later 4. Adding Color: The next step is to add color, and for this I'm just going to use a set of classic colors by creo. They're easy to obtain just about anywhere that arts and crafts supplies air sold their inexpensive, and they do give really good results for this particular project. So I'm going to start with a little bit of bright yellow, and when you put the color on the first time, you're not going to see a lot of color. What you'll need to do is go back over it a second time, so I'm just going to get started here with Live in a Yellow and I mind add some orange. Yeah, a little bit of red. How did you do this? You'll want to also make sure that you have through add some color. You will need to go to get the best results after you've colored. You'll wanna wait about five minutes or so and go back over your colors, especially the lighter colors, because you will get better results if you have a little bit more color on there. This I'm just going to do entirely in that blue color. The main thing is you do want color over all the sections of your design. You can leave some white spots, and I may do that around the eye. But overall, you do wanna have a nice It's a nice color on there, but I make the lips blue. We don't want to look too much like a little girl fish with lipstick, And I think my fish basic color is going to be a very oh, God, I green or purple. I think we're gonna have a green fish and you can see that the color bubbles up a little bit. The first layer that you've put on, you can use other brands of markers. My grandsons and I have tested a variety of them. The one that we found gave us the least satisfactory color results were the ones that we got at target. They were their house brand. Um, definitely didn't provide as much color as the Creole is due. You can if you happen to have them on hand, you can use Tom bows. Um, they work fairly well. Some of the colors. Some of the Tom Bo colors, though, tend to be very light when they are printed, so that you can expect some more of a pastel effect. Even with the darker Tom bows, you can also get if you like the brush brush type markers, which are what Tom bows are. You can also go to Michaels and get their artist loft brand, which is a cheaper, which is less expensive, especially if you're working with Children. Or you're just trying this out for fun and you don't expect to be using them for brush lettering or anything else later. Almost got my fish on color again, and I'm going Teoh, Give him some little blue bubbles. Okay, now I'm going to go back over all my colors a second time. The first coat should be fairly dry when you do this, and that's going to give you just another layer of good color that will help to give your print a better impression on your paper, and our fish is ready for printing 5. Printing: for your printing, you are going to want to use a smooth but fairly heavyweight paper. I'm using a cancer in mixed media sketchbook. It has a nice heavyweight. Paper is smooth, and it will give you a smoother impression. You can use watercolor paper, but it will give you more of a rough textured look, which can be very beautiful. But if you want that smooth look, you're going to want to go with smoothest paper that you have weight. You'll need a paper towel, your spray bottle with water and you're prepared. Print. The first thing you want to do is straight. People voicing it can usually spring it pretty thoroughly without leaving puddles. And then you want to take your paper, tell and just lightly smooth that water out so that it doesn't have any visible puddles. It's just dampen to your paper. Humans papers Damp. They're going to very carefully return your print face down, and at this point you do want to be really careful not to move the Styrofoam. But you're going to want to take your paper towel and just gently but firmly press. I'm holding it with my fingers down here, press and just used steady, slow pressing motion over the back of your Styrofoam. You want to do this for you know, a minute or two. You want to give that wet marker some time to soak into your wet paper? Sometimes I'll also just leave it in place for a minute, just to kind of give it that little bit of extra time. And you never know what you're going to get with this type of printmaking. You can get a very clear, bright, intense print, or you might get a really soft pastel prints. So there we go. Ours is pretty intense. Unfortunately, his little eyeball didn't really translate well, but I can go back through with my marker and just give him his little eyeball. There he is. And that's a rather nice print. You'll notice it has some really pretty textures. You can redo the bubbles if they didn't print as well. Usually that's just a place where it needed a little bit more off the marker, or possibly just a little bit more pressure while you're repressing with your fingertips. But this is really a lot of fun. Well, the next thing to do this is a reusable stencil that you've created. I usually just spray it a little bit and take my paper towel and wipe it. You will notice staining, but that won't affect the next layer of marker that you put on it. Just clean it off and you let it drive and you're ready to reapply some fresh marker and create your print, either using the same colors for some different colors. 6. Add an Ombre Effect: for this demonstration, I'm going to create a bit of an ombre kind of effect on the fish's body. And to do this I want to add some colors that I don't happen to have in my Crayola box. So I'm going to add Artist's loft, which is the Michael's brand watercolor dual chip markers. So just like a Tom bow, it has the brush tip and on the other end it has the marker tip, and I'll be using the brush tips to do my coloring on this one. Just like with the Kree Ola's you're going Teoh wanted you do two layers of color, so I'm going to begin here. Give my fish some of these very pretty turquoise blue accents. So I'm doing this where I had done the deeper blue with my Crayolas the first time I printed my fish. And I do remember that my I didn't come out really well in that first print, so I'm going to give it a little more color, and I'm going to probably had some color around that I as well my help there, and I know my yellow Crayola was getting a little bit low on ink and I do still want to use some yellows. So I'm going to switch over to the artist's loft and see if that will give me better results on my yellows. And I'm going to add some around the eye and in the stripe and in this piece right here, so some yellow in the same spots that I was using yellow before. And I think for this one, I'm going to use read more than I did in the 1st 1 In the 1st 1 I had used read only here on the tail of my fish, and I had used orange in these spots. But right now I'm going to switch that up just a little bit and do the red on the fins as well as the jail, like so and to stick with what I was doing. I'm going to have my red, you're in these little shapes and then to create the fish body, I'm going to start top to bottom, and I'm going to start with my orange and I'm going to color some orange and I'm just going to leave raggy edges can a stopping at some random points with my orange Get below that yellow. I'm going to make the actual face part here, a little more orange before I switch over a little bit into some other colors. So I have my orange and then to add some other shades that relate to the orange. I have this artist's loft hand that's sort of a golden color, and what I'm going to do is merge it in with my orange to create this golden color and come down with that for a little bit. And I am kind of blending it in. When you do this, you'll pull a little bit of the previous color into the mix, which is much can add some really pretty effects to what you're doing. And from that I'm going to switch to this orangey red that I have on my artists lost. So I'm using artist's loft pens for more of this one. And now, like with all the other ones, I'm going to go back and go over all my areas with a second layer of Marker Inc And with these colors, this is going to be a very subtle hombre. In fact, you can use more contrast in colors to get a stronger effect. But I want to stay with these for this one orange, and I'm going to go back to my artist's loft Gold color. Not sure how this gold is going to translate as a print. It looks very life, even with my blending. But I'm gonna go ahead and give it a world civil. It does spend a little bit, and there and then my orangey red and I need to go back and give those bubbles their second coat and I am ready to print. I have my mixed media paper, and it does have a slight texture on one side, and it is a little smoothing on the other. So for this print, I'm going to do the smoother side. When I did the first demonstration print, I was using the rougher side, and I see a lot of texture, which is really nice, but I want to see if there's much difference on this side. Spray it with water, let that soak in for a few seconds. Consider paper begin to curl as your water is soaking in, and then I'm just going to gently smooth out the puddles. But I don't want to rub so hard that I dry the paper. I want my paper to remain wet, and I'm going to take my fish and take my paper towel. Here's the tale, right Here's I want to make sure I can. You will be able to see Ah, very faint image so you can tell. Here's my bubbles. I can see a faint bubble image there, and I'm going to firmly press with my paper towel. Paper travel just really helps it slide. You could press with your fingertips, but I have found that the paper towel helps it slide easier and allows you to have a more steady, even pressure on your print. And let's see what we have here. Ah, yes, we do have a little bit smoother print. You can see that it has fewer bits of paper showing through, but it still has a really nice texture, not quite much on the bubbles there or the mouth. Those areas were very thin, but I like that's a very satisfactory print. So here's my first print on the rougher paper beside my second print on the smooth side of the paper so you can see there's just a very slight difference in the way your print looks in the next video. I'll share with you a few things that you can dio if there are areas of your print that aren't showing up quite the way you would like. 7. Try a Variation: one thing that you can dio is take a paintbrush and some clear water. Have a paper towel handy because every time you change colors, you're going to want to clean your brush really well. But what I'm doing with a wet paintbrush is just reactivating the colors in my marker and smoothing out the areas that didn't quite print as clearly as I would have liked. So I'm just going through and basically touching up some of my colors, clean my brush and see if I can activate a little more yellow. I don't know that I can. That yellow was very pale, so I think that's just going to remain pretty pale. It gave me a little bit more color, but not a whole whole lot, and I could do that with the red. The more intense colors will activate a little bit better. You'll still see your texture, this one with the red. I'm still seeing some of my texture, but I've activated the color to make it show up a little bit more and do that little bit here with this blue so that you can see it is still leaving some of its texture. But I'm also pulling in a little more blue around here where I had lost some of the color, and I can do that with my bubbles. So it's basically adding a little bit of a watercolor effect when you do this because you're using a wet brush and water soluble markers. The thing to be careful of when you're doing this, you will have some mixing like you see here, and orange and blue are what we call complementary colors, so they will tend to go a little bit brown when they touch each other. I'm not using the right size could probably have gotten away with a smaller brush doing these tail details, but I'm gonna go ahead and continue with this one. But you can see I've brought those details out so that you can see them over more clearly. And I could at this point, believe the green the way it IHS or I could go through and smooth it out as well. And it's going to still leave a nice bit of texture. So it's giving it a nice watercolor effect, and you can see it blurred in there because it is behaving just like watercolor paints at this point, so there's going to be some runoff where colors touch, and that is something that's good to be aware of. If you're working with Children, especially younger Children, they tend to not want things to do that. So have some smaller brushes on hand, and that will help with that. You know, I've moved out my fish colors and I have a fish frank that's been touched up just a little bit. This one, I'm going to leave. I rather like those colors, some other things that you could do with the print that has not come out quite as covered or colored as you would like it to be. You could take the same markers that you were using and just go back over the print. This is a print that looked just like this, and I simply took the markers that I used. These were Tom bows, and I just simply colored back over the areas with same colors that I had printed, so you can still see if you look closely. You can still see the ombre effect with the golden yellow. The orange in the red shows up on both of them equally well. Another thing that you can do that could be fun is to take a black pen and keep it the way it looks and add some detail ing this I just did with my artist's loft brush pen. You can do it. If you like a finer line, you can use date the end, the finer end, and I just kind of went over where my lines were, where the white lines were brought them out with Black added a little bit of steam coming up from my coffee mug. So there are in a little bit of effect of the liquid in there, so you can have a lot of fun. With these, you can leave them as they are. You can brush them with water to blend the colors and give it a very pretty and see if my watercolor effect is starting to show. You can go back over it with marker, and you can go around it with line itself. Lots of fun things that you can do with a very simple Styrofoam print 8. Printing with Words: One thing to keep in mind when you're planning your prince is the addition of any words, lettering, numbers or any part of your picture that needs to go in a certain direction in order to look right. So what you'll need to do for that? If you can write in reverse, then you're golden. Go ahead and draw your picture out, written in reverse. I'm not one who conduce that and be happy with the results. So what I did for a lot of love. I designed my letters, and you do need to have letters that can be colored in since we're working with the colored in stencil. And then what you do is go over your image with a Sharpie and what this will dio make sure that you have a piece of scrap paper underneath because it does sometimes bleed through, which is the objective. We want the letters to bleed through in reverse in order to be able to transfer them to the Styrofoam in reverse. Because whenever you create a print, you are actually going to be flipping it, which is going to reverse the image when it's printed. So any time you're writing something or drawing something that has to go a certain way. You need to use a technique like this. Now I have a lot of love, but to put that my Styrofoam, I'm going to flip it. You can see that I had something else I was starting to do on the back and change my mind. That's not relevant at all. And I'm going to line this up here and then I can take my pen. And, just like with all the others, were going to just draw in and trace the image in reverse. You can trace with a pencil. I've always preferred the ball point pan because it rolls nicely across your paper and later across across your Styrofoam, and you're less likely to get tourney patches in your ladder or your drawing. It just gives you a smoother line with the rule of the vault. So now I have lot in reverse and I'm going to go back over it. And when I get this finished, I will have it ready for printing what I also may Dio because there's going to be a lot of extra Styrofoam on this that I don't necessarily need you can trim that if you want. It really isn't going to be too important. It depends on how you're laying out your print. If you have other things that are going to go on the image, then you're going to possibly want to trim around that a little bit so that you can plan your final print. Ah, little bit better. But for now, I'm just going to work with this. Has it ISS okay, Not a love is ready for color and print. Okay, color is on. I'm going to spring my paper. That's so damn a little. I'm just using the next media sketchbook, mice and my page and test print down until the heart is has lighter colors. I want to make sure those go in well, Alice way have not to love all going in the right direction. So the key is to have your Styrofoam print stencil prepared in reverse so that when you flip and print, it is going in the right direction. 9. Project Time!: all right, just to quickly recap before I talk about your project for this, if you simply start withdrawing, and we had used a tracer to give us the outline of the fish and the basic shapes. And then we pressed it onto our Styrofoam and added some detail ing to the fish to make it a more interesting picture. Colored it with mostly Crayola markers at this point and then a combination of Crayolas and artist's loft. At this point, this is a print left exactly as it came out. And then this is a print where a little bit of water has been added with a brush to blend the colors and give it a watercolor effect. And this is very satisfactory with Children. And it's very easy to dio. Another alternative is to do your own drawing. This is my drawing of one of my coffee mugs, and I didn't do a lot of them belt. I just left it as it Waas and I applied my markers, and I got a variety of effects here and what I found. I was using a regular watercolor paper that had just a very slight texture, so I had a lot of this bumpier look can be left as it is this one. I went back over my colors with the same color of marker so that I simply deepened all the colors. And now it looks a lot more like just a marker drawing rather than an actual print, although began as a print and then I had had shown how you can just add some line with your black marker. That might look really stunning on something like this, but I would probably use a thinner, the thinner tip of the marker to do that instead of the brush tip that I used here. You can also get pretty sophisticated with this by doing a more detailed drawing. This one I don't have a paper drawing for. I drew directly into the Styrofoam, just looking at another drawing that I had made. And with this one, these are the Crayola markers, and I did a little ombre effect on the leaves for this one. Um, with this one, I was using my Tom bows and what you'll see with the Tom bows. The colors are a little more subdued. The greens are a little bit more subdued but I like the effect and what had happened here to give it this slightly tan background. I had simply not cleaned all the oranges and browns off from this print as well as I thought, and it ended up giving me a really nice background effect. Happy accident. And this one is a real happy accident. Again, you can see the brown background, this one. I had gone back to the Corollas, and I was distracted midway through the printing, and I left the print face down on my paper to go do something else, and I think that caused a lot of a lot more run off of my color. I have not been able to quite duplicate this, but that's what you'll find with Styrofoam printing. You're going to get some very unique color variations as you're working, depending on how much water is in your paper. This was a traditional watercolor paper, so I may have saturated it more. It may be that I left the print face down longer, pressed harder, had more color on it. I don't really know, but all in all, I like this, and I'm going to leave it exactly as it is and not do anything more with it. So with this, you could get some very interesting variations just from, Ah, single piece of Styrofoam and a drawing. Now it's your turn. Create your own project using your hand crafted Styrofoam print and share the results with the rest of the class. Print a bookmark, a greeting card or use your print as part of a journal page or stand alone art print. And if you have Children, try printmaking with them. They'll have a good time being creative right along with you, and be very proud to show off their work to Grandma and Grandpa the next time they come for a visit. You like what you learned here and would like to learn more about printmaking. Check out my latest skill share class Printmaking Basics. I'm using a similar Styrofoam printmaking technique with watercolors, pretty gigs and some pen and ink embellishment to create beautiful, colorful original artwork. It's perfect for beginners or experienced artists, and the techniques will work well with upper elementary age students, high school age students, Ordell's. So if you're interested in learning more, want to do a little bit more printmaking on a little more sophisticated level. Come and check it out. Printmaking basics still share channel of Charmaine box. See you there.