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building a mat board collagraph plate
Building the plate with a mat board base and kid-grade construction paper, and adhering the cut-out pieces with Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish

What Inspires Your Art?

I’ve always felt riveted by and drawn to the art, architecture and cultural styles of Morocco.

Moroccan colors, details and design is loaded with repeated pattern, angular shapes and links between textured passages.

I have books on Orientalist paintings (this one is a favorite) that make me swoon with their painterly renderings of embellished walls, tiled floors, colored glass lanterns, and hand-printed fabrics.

a matboard collagraph plate up close
Just after sealing the plate with a few coats of Gloss Medium & Varnish, I used an exactly knife to score added line details into the wet paper to suggest floor tiles. These tiny furrows will hold ink.

On My Art Library Book Shelves

There are several painters whose work in these regions projected my affinity to new heights, like this one by John Singer Sargent.

I also love this one by Frederick Arthur Bridgman (I have his book Winters in Algeria), or this one by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.  Sigh.

See what I mean? It’s all very theatrical, adorned-by-an-artisan’s-hands and punctuated with narrative suggestion. You can spend hours going down the rabbit hole of orientalist art pinned to boards on Pinterest. 

Ink being applied to the plate, and then wiped off with rolled up newspaper
Since I planned to print this collagraph intaglio style, I’m Inking & wiping the plate, while still leaving ink nestled against curbs and cutouts in the paper.

How Do You Make a Collagraph?

This pictorial demonstration of a collagraph print in process was inspired by my love for orientalist style, and the Brand Library in Glendale, California.

I snapped reference photos of the library on site, and used one of them as inspiration for this collagraph print.

If you’d like more details on building a collagraph plate for printmaking, I’ve posted two 5-minute videos on the process here and here. (I also inserted them in this post below.)

This collagraph is a slight variation on the video tutorials, using glued down shapes drawn and cut from kid-grade construction paper. If you’d like more details on how to make a collagraph print with mat board and construction paper, read this post.

Either method of plate-building, the process is incredibly fun.

a hand lifting the printed paper off the inked plate after the two were pressed together
After running a sheet of printmaking paper through the press to apply pressure against the inked plate, I’m pulling the print. You can see how ink nestled in the recessed areas on the plate transfers nicely to the paper.
a black and white print next to a mat board and construction paper plate
The collagraph print on the left, and the plate just after printing. After the print dries, I can add other media, like watercolor, colored pencil, gouache, etc.
A print with a paint brush and a pair of glasses nearby, fully hand colored with watercolor
Another print from the edition, getting a watercolor treatment in slightly different colors than the print at the top of this post. So many options!
a collagraph print of a moroccan collonade with scalloped keystone arches and a figure standing at the far end
Morocco 6.5 x 4.5 Collagraph print, painted with Watercolor

Collagraph Prints, Moroccan and Orientalist Art.

If you’re inspired by orientalist art and you make a collagraph print with some of those design features included, be sure to leave a link in the comments so I can see what you made.

Thanks for stopping by today, and have so much fun making prints!

I’ll see you in the next post,


P.S. With all the curves and angles in Moroccan architecture, I find that using the Grid Method gives me more accurate perspective and linear elements in my prints. If you’ve never used it before, have a look at this simplified version of the grid drawing method that I use.

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6 thoughts on “Collagraph: Morocco (making a collagraph with mat board and construction paper)”

  1. Patti Koscheski

    Art is my cheap psychologist [even if you total all my art supplies] for many years. I pick up a drawing instrument of any kind some pigments of any media, and a brush. My blood pressure decreases, I am at peace just starting a work of art. Art elevates me above mundane areas of my life.

    1. Beautifully articulated, Patti! I couldn’t have said it better. And I’ll bet many others reading this will be nodding their heads in agreement. Art-making is a secret fountain of wellness and restoration. Bravo to you for reaching for it all these years. I’m near your seat, working alongside, and enjoying every minute.Happy making to you!

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