This article is compliments of The Art of Education.
When you walk into the copy room or supply closet at your school, it can be scary. To the blind eye, it is a place to get some work done and grab some basic supplies. But then you start digging. You run across supplies that make you think, “What is this?” or, “They still make these?” The art teacher in all of us finds a way to use these materials in our classrooms. Among these materials, you’ll find transparencies collecting dust.
Today I am going to share 7 ways you can use transparencies in your art room.
If you are doing a project using stencils, consider using transparencies. They are easy to cut using X-ACTO knives or scissors and can be reused. Digital or hand drawn designs can be incorporated into the stencil as well. These transparency stencils work perfectly when monoprinting with Gelli plates.
2. Transparency Art
Those of you that teach a Digital Arts or Technology in Art course know that one of the downfalls is not being able to print out student work. Many of us just don’t have the budget to print out hundreds of color copies. Using a transparency can be a way to add some color to a digital work without breaking your budget!
Simply have your students create a black and white design, print it out on a transparency, and attach it to a student-made background with spray adhesive. Watercolor, paint, monoprints, or pastels are all perfect materials to create colorful backgrounds.
I won’t get into the tracing vs not tracing debate. However, some students need to simplify an image before they can draw it. Transparencies care a great tool to do this.
For example, when creating self-portraits, some students become overwhelmed with all the values and facial features. If students are using a reference photo, allow them to put the transparency over their portrait and trace to get a contour line. From there they can use the transparency as a reference when areas like the nose or mouth seem difficult.
Students of all ages adore monoprinting. Instead of using sheets of metal, plexiglass, or Gelli plates, why not use transparencies? Be sure to encourage students to work quickly to ensure the paint doesn’t dry too quickly. Using a thicker paint may also aid in combating this problem.