Bas Relief Painting – Lesson Plan

Bas Relief Painting – Lesson Plan

(♪♪♪) JULIE:
Hello there, I’m Julie Davis
for Blick Art Materials. This workshop today is
entitled Bas Relief Paintings. Now bas relief sculpture
is a type of sculpture that is meant to
transition between a two dimensional surface and a three
dimensional surface. It’s intended to be
viewed from one side. If I were to show you
some examples of bas relief sculpture, I would probably take you
first of all to Ancient Egypt
to show you sandstone carvings. Perhaps we’d go to Mesopotamia
to see alabaster sculptures. Then we’d probably
travel to West Africa to see mahogany carvings, and the Native American
totems as well. There’s many examples, but today I’m going to show you how to do a
bas relief sculpture on a very
non-traditional surface. This looks a lot like wood, but it’s actually linoleum
block printing material. This is Blick
wondercut linoleum. It’s a true linoleum product, but it’s much easier to carve
than traditional materials, and as you can see it has a quarter of
an inch of thickness, which is going to give us
a lot of depth to carve down into. It gives you a
real expressive line quality without having any crumbles. As you can see
it has a nice, warm, sand coloured surface to it, so you can see
pencil lines very easily. It’s available in
16 different sizes, but you can also
purchase it on a roll and cut it down to
any size you want. This is a 9×12 piece
that I have right here. Now, I’m going to go ahead and just quickly show you
how to put a sketch with just a pencil on
the surface of this piece. If you wanted to, you could do
your sketch separately and put it on
with a piece of transfer paper. But the pencil lines
show up really well, and it just so happens that I have a sketch
that’s already completed here, and I’ve started carving
a few lines here. I’m using speedball
linoleum cutters. The cutter itself is this
little steel head right here. This is the handle. They’re interchangeable, so all you need to do
is twist the handle and remove the head, and you can change
your cutter out that easily, which is good
because we want to use a wide variety
of cutters for this project. Wide ones, narrow ones,
U grooves, V grooves. Before I begin,
I would like to run through a couple safety
features with you. First of all, I recommend
that you use a bench hook. That’s what this piece is here. You have a flat surface with a wooden block
attached to the back. The wooden block fits agains
the edge of your table and keeps it very secure. This piece up here is meant to
hold your linoleum in place. Using linoleum cutters can be
safe if it’s done properly. I recommend that you
place your forearm against the linoleum like this,
and hold it down from the top. Then, as you use your cutter, hold it like this
and cut away from yourself. That way if it would
happen to slip, it will go off
safely in this direction, or against the wood block here. Now you can see I’ve started to
carve a little bit away to my background here. My process is to determine
which areas are going to be the high relief in my
bas relief sculpture here, and which areas are
going to be the lower, carved out areas. And then I start
carving in the lower areas. I don’t try to
carve away all at once. As you can see,
this is really difficult to do, and I run the risk of
carving things away that I don’t want to take away. So instead I
carve down in layers. A little bit at a time. It takes more time
to do it that way, but the results
will be much better. This is a wider cutter
that I’m using here. Let me show you real quickly
one of the narrower cutters. This is a liner. The liner makes
small little lines like you see here in her hair. This is real good to use
in the high relief areas, because you don’t go very deep
with a tool like this. Once you have
the whole thing carved, then it’s time to paint it, and I do have a piece here
that’s already been carved. You can see the
variety of line work that’s taking place in here. Now I really like the matte, sand like texture
of this product, and I don’t want to destroy that by putting a real glossy acrylic coating
over the top of it, so I’d like to use
a matte paint today. This is Blick
matte acrylic paint. It comes in
72 different colours. It comes in two ounce bottles, and as you can see
it’s very very fluid. I’m going to use it in a more
fluid manner than it comes out of the jar, by adding a little bit
of water to it. I’m going to start
in the lower areas, and use a little bit
of brown paint, and we’re just going to add that until it’s almost a
watercolour in consistency. So you can see I’ve applied a little bit of the brown
in this area right here. This is the technique. We just allow it
to stain the linoleum, and sink down into those
crevices that I’ve carved away. Then, while the paint
is still wet, I’m going to take a paper towel, and I’m going to remove
some of that from the surface. You can see the paint is
staying down in the crevices, and staying dark. But on the surface, we’re going to come back in
with a highlight colour. I’m going to use this yellow
to give a bit of a hair quality, and we’re going to just
lightly touch the raised areas. This gives us a real,
lovely water media look. It’s a very very
absorbent surface, so what appears to be
a very strong colour right now is now soaking down
into the wondercut, and will actually
be much smoother, much lighter when it’s done. Okay, let’s take one last look
here at the final piece. You can see the techniques
that I’ve just shown you with the dark areas down here, in the carved out weeds
and up around here. And you can also see
where the paint has blended so well with itself
as it absorbs into the surface. Now since this is acrylic,
it is water resistant, and the wondercut itself
is water resistant as well, so it doesn’t require a sealer. If you wanted
a gloss coating to it, you could put a
spray fixative over the top, but it’s really not required,
and it’s ready to be framed, like you see with our piece
right here in display. Well that’s it for our
bas relief paintings. I hope you’ve enjoyed
this demonstration. If you’d like to see
a complete materials list and step by step instructions, check out the PDF
on our website. Teachers, you’ll also find
the national standards for visual arts education
associated with this project. Thanks so much for joining us. (♪♪♪) Captioned by GigEcast

3 thoughts on “Bas Relief Painting – Lesson Plan

  1. @iloverufuscutiezack The full lesson plan and all the materials (and thousands of other art products) can be found on the Blick Art Materials website; dickblick . com.

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