Tips for Teachers: Water-Based Painting Projects for Students

by Wendy Croxford

in Permaset Blog

5 Mar 2017  | 0 Comments

With school returning there are teachers all over the country looking for fun and straightforward art projects to complete with their students. Once you’ve stocked up on the right water based ink and paper or fabric, there’s no limit to what you and your class can design. Here are some simple ideas. 

Try it on a tote

Canvas tote bags are the perfect beginner material for screen printing. They’re flat, smooth and the perfect base to try out different colours and effects, plus students can use them for library bags or lunches once they’re finished. Just be sure to choose ink that’s water based and free of solvents for a kid-safe printing environment, and let their imaginations run free.

Incorporate other lessons

What better way to bring a history or social studies class alive than to have students create their own tribal patterns or ancient art? Provide a stack of reference books and ask students to design a panel based on what they learn. You might print these panels onto a single wall hanging for the classroom, or as separate artefacts to proudly take home.
Lovely_folk_getting_involved_and_printing

Start small

It can become expensive to set up screen printing stations for a big class, so consider creative ways to get your whole class printing at once. We’ve seen people effectively use embroidery hoops and photo frames with normal screen printing mesh for small prints on tea towels, bags or shirts. The result may not be as perfect as a professional setup, but it could give your students a greater chance to make more prints, more often.

Get spontaneous with your designs

Whether you’re printing on fabric or paper, one of the best ways to get creative is to use found objects for your designs. Once you have the right consistency of water based printing ink, you can print using all sorts of objects from leaves, to cut-out letters, to confetti and feathers. The more creative and unusual, the better the results are bound to be.

Go bold with block printing

If you don’t have the right equipment to get students screen printing or you have a big class, then block printing provides the perfect introduction to printing techniques. Block printing uses the same kid-friendly water based fabric or paper inks, but makes use of objects to form the design directly instead of with a screen. You might roll ink onto stencils, cut-out shapes on a potato or rubber block, or even feathers or leaves to create colourful cards or cushions. Just be sure to cure any fabric prints with a medium iron once completed to ensure the items can be washed.

Use art for good

If you have a decent screen printing press and a good cause, why not encourage your class to produce some T-shirt designs for fundraising efforts? Selling them could earn much-needed money for a sports trip, a local charity or someone in the community who needs help. Water based screen printing is a safe, efficient and cost-effective way to produce quality products. Plus, students will gain the added benefit of learning to print, market and keep track of inventory as they go.

If you’re looking to stock up on your screen printing ink supplies, you should know that water based ink has the perfect characteristics for students. It’s safe and free of solvents, PVC or phthalates. It’s simple to use, easy to clean up with water and will provide rich, vibrant colour for all of your projects. It’s time to get creative!

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