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Essential Information for Educators

Grade Level 9-12

Experimenting with
Liquitex Professional Acrylic ink!
The goal of this lesson is to help students
overcome the fear that often accompanies
working with ink. Instead of worrying about
mistakes, students will learn to embrace spontaneity and chance while working with this
versatile medium. To reach this goal each
student will create a series of four drawings
using acrylic ink! as a medium. Students will
utilize line, wash, color and other elements of
art and principles of design to create gestural
drawings that depict mood and atmosphere.

Tao Chi, Bamboo and Plum Blossoms

Possible Topics of Discussion

1. What are the differences that are noticeable
in the use of ink by Eastern and Western contemporary artists Tao Chi and Rembrandt van
2. What similarities do you see in the work of
each artist?
3. What possibilities do you have as modern
artists that they did not possess?
4. How is value as an art element used differently by each artist?
5. Describe how value, color and brushwork
convey mood and movement.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Young Woman Sleeping

Briefly discuss the history of ink

Approximately 5000 years ago, an ink for blacking the raised surfaces of pictures and texts carved in
stone was developed in China. This early ink was a mixture of soot from pine smoke, lamp oil, and
gelatin from animal skins and musk. Other early cultures also developed many colors of ink from
available berries, plants and minerals.
The India ink used in ancient India since at least the 4th century BC was called masi which was made
of burnt bones, tar, pitch, and other substances. Indian documents written in Kharosthi with ink have
been unearthed in Chinese Turkestan. The practice of writing with ink and a sharp pointed needle
was common in early South India. Several Jain sutras in India were compiled in ink.

Discuss the biographies of

Rembrandt and Tao Chi
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669
Dutch baroque artist who ranks as one of the
greatest painters in the history of Western art. His
full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn,
and he possessed a profound understanding of human nature that was matched by a brilliant technique- not only in painting but in drawing and etching. His work made an enormous impact on his
contemporaries and influenced the style of many
later artists. Perhaps no painter has ever equaled
Rembrandt's chiaroscuro effects or his bold impasto.For more information on the life of Rembrandt visit:

Rembrand van Rijn, Study of a Lion

Tao Chi or Shih-T'ao, 1641c. 1670,

Chinese painter of the late Ming-early Ch'ing period. One of the major figures in 17th-century painting. A descendant of the imperial Ming family, he
escaped persecution from the invading Manchusby
( Manchu people) becoming a Buddhist monk with
the name Tao-chi. Settling in Yangchow, he severed his ties to the Buddhist church and became a
professional painter and a landscape architect. For
more information on the life of Tao Chi visit:

Tao Chi, Landscape


This project will consist of sketchbook studies followed by four

drawings introducing students to artists who were Eastern and Western contemporaries.

Step 1 Have students get used to brush & Liquitex Acrylic ink! by practicing mark-making. Without
making a particular object they should attempt thick and thin marks, light and dark marks, straight and
curving lines and washes from light to dark. See Figure 1 for example.

Step 2 Once comfortable, students will then prepare water-

Figure 1

color paper by laying down a light wash of Liquitex Acrylic ink!

in Transparent Raw Umber to allow for the use of white highlights on top of this ground.

Step 3 While that is drying students can look up and print a

larger version of the Tao Chi Image found in this plan or something similar by another Chinese master. Students should start
with a very lightly and quickly drawn pencil sketch to aid with composition. Using only Carbon Black or
Transparent Raw Umber they can begin their own copy of Taos image or another, not worrying about
being exact but rather paying attention to tone, amount of ink! used and pressure of the brush to produce thin or thick strokes. See Figure 2 for example.

Step 4 When completed students can begin their second drawing this time using colors of their
choice. The goal is to complete a Tao-inspired image that expresses mood and atmosphere through
opaque and transparent washes of varying color intensity. Students may choose to use photos as a reference but should limit the imagery to a simple landscape composition similar in form to the first drawing. The third and fourth drawings should be made this time using Rembrandt for inspiration.
Figure 2

Step 5 Rather than copy Rembrandts images

students should be required to make studies of
seated friends and animals such as pets to be used
as their subjects. The figure drawing should be
made using only Carbon Black or Transparent Raw
Umber with Titanium White for highlights while the
colors in the animal drawing will once again be the
students choice with emphasis again on mood and

Vocabulary List

Materials List

Masi Early name for ink
Color Intensity
Chiaroscuro effects
Principles of Design
Sutra distinct type of literary composition in Hinduism
Jain or Jainism One of the oldest religions that
originated in India.

Liquitex Professional
Acrylic ink!
Titanium White
Carbon Black
Cerulean Blue Hue
Naphthol Crimson
Phthalocyanine Blue (Green
Sap Green Permanent
Transparent Raw Umber
Yellow Medium Azo
Iridescent Bright Gold
Iridescent Bright Silver
Iridescent Rich Copper
Iridescent Rich Bronze

Re-think acrylic ink

Liquitex Professional Acrylic ink! is a range of 30 extremely fluid acrylics that use super fine pigments suspended in a state-of-the-art acrylic emulsion. They dry
quickly, are permanent, water resistant and nonclogging, which makes them ideal for a variety of techniques from watercolor to stamping.

140 lb. 11 x 14 Watercolor Paper
Variety of Synthetic Brushes
Containers for Water
Paper Towels
2H Pencils

National Content Standards

Content Standard #1
Understanding and applying media, techniques
and processes
Content Standard #2
Using knowledge of structures and functions
Contents Standard #3
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter,
symbols and ideas
Contents Standard #4
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history
and cultures