Patterns in Nature Prints with Chine Collé
Using AP- and CL-Sealed Art Materials
Grade Level(s)
Activity time: Five 80-minute class periods
  • Pencils
  • Tracing paper
  • Soft linoleum
  • Lino cutting tools
  • Spray glue
  • Block printing ink
  • Brayer
  • Plexiglass mat
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Drawing or printing paper
Download Lesson Plan

What is Chine Collé?

A technique used with printmaking processes that allows the printer to adhere a tissue-thin paper onto the thicker support paper.

Both the tissue and the support sheet are placed on top of the inked plate and run together through the printing press or pressed together by hand, often with a thin layer of adhesive between to bond the sheets. The process creates a backdrop for the image or can introduce additional elements of color and shape to the overall design.

The name Chine comes from the French word for China which refers to the thin paper that French artists imported from China (and other Eastern countries) that was originally used in this process. Collé is the French word for “glued” referring to the adhesive in the technique.

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Anchor Standard 1:
Creating — Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

VA.1.CR1.HS1 HS Proficient
Use contextual research and direct observation to generate ideas and to produce a work of art that demonstrates an understanding of artistic techniques and organizational structures.

Anchor Standard 2:
Creating — Organize and develop artistic ideas and work

A.2.CR2.HS1 HS Proficient
Experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of art making or designing with attention to quality craftsmanship and organizational structures (i.e. elements and principles of design, composition).

Anchor Standard 3:
Creating — Refine and complete artistic work

VA.3.CR3.HS1 HS Proficient
Analyze and reflect on how the elements and principles of design and other experimental approaches are working to convey the artistic intention and make necessary adjustments for the most effective solution.
Transfer Goal(s):
  • That a variety of materials and methods can be used to pursue ideas.
  • Demonstrate willingness to experiment with a variety of approaches and artistic processes.
  • That a variety of criteria can be established to evaluate work.

Artists find inspiration in the natural world.

Artists experiment and take creative risks to develop techniques, personal style and refine their skills.

Traditional techniques can be incorporated into contemporary art mediums and processes.

Utilizing different color schemes and combinations can change the mood of an artwork.

Art can be evaluated by a variety of criteria.

Essential Question(s):

How do artists draw inspiration from the natural world?

How can I employ the elements of art/principles of design to create a visually compelling composition?

How can I use experimentation to develop and refine my technical skills?

How does one determine criteria to evaluate a work of art?

Student Objectives (outcomes):

Understand and implement the steps of the linocut process (sketching, transferring design and carving)

Employ the elements of art and principles of design to create a compelling design inspired by nature.

Use a variety of inking techniques and Chine collé to create color variations in their print editions.

Understand how traditional techniques can be adapted for use with contemporary materials and processes.

Evaluate their work and the work of their classmates using project specific criteria.

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Task(s):
Create a design inspired by a pattern seen in nature.

Sketch, transfer and carve the design into a linoleum printing block.

Create an edition of linoleum block prints that incorporate the technique of Chine collé using a variety of colors and inking techniques.

Reflect on the process of creating these prints, paying specific attention to the way the elements of art and principles of design are used in the composition and how skills and techniques were refined throughout the making process.

Other Evidence:
  • Visual analysis
  • Peer critique
  • Self-reflection and assessment
  • Class critique

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:
  • 1: Access prior knowledge of patterns in the natural world by showing magnified images of plants, flowers, animals, insects, rocks etc. Use Project Zero thinking strategy See-Think-Wonder to lead a discussion about what students observe in these images. (Link)

    2: Discuss forms of symmetry seen in nature (bilateral, branching, radial, spiral) and how these can be seen at both the macro and micro level. Show images or aerial photography and microscopic imagery. Use Project Zero thinking strategy Think-Pair-Share so students can share their experiences with what patterns they have observed in the natural world.

    3: Review Elements of Art and Principles of Design and discuss how students can use these when planning out their block print design.

    4: Trace the outline of the size so they plan their design to the size of the block. Brainstorm and sketch at least 2 designs before transferring the final design onto the printing block.

    5: Transfer the design with pencil and tracing paper and carve the block using the linoleum cutting tools.

    6: Develop printmaking skills by printing text prints on newsprint paper.Practice inking/printing techniques: rolling out ink, blend rolls and Chinecollé. To create tissue paper Chine collé, cut shapes to complement or highlight elements in the design. Spray the back of shapes with spray adhesive (follow all guidelines and directions for CL labeled materials). Place tissue paper shapes (glue side up) on the inked block and print.

    7: Print the block using a variety of ink, paper and Chine collé color combinations. Consider contrast when choosing ink color, paper color and color scheme. (Complementary, Analogous, Monochromatic, Triadic).

    8: Select 5-7 successful prints to include in the final print edition (varied edition) and sign/number each print.

    9: Discuss what criteria should be used to evaluate the work (technique, composition, concept) Facilitate small group critiques emphasizing how color variations and the use of Chine collé technique changes the mood/composition of the prints within the edition. Also ask students to identify which Elements of Art and Principles of Design are dominant in the prints.

    10: Provide time for students to trade prints and for self-reflection and assessment.
Headshot of teacher Clare Szydlowski

Clare Szydlowski

Clare Szydlowski, known by her students as “Ms.S” is an art teacher with 15 years of
experience teaching at the high school level. Originally from Western New York she
currently lives and teaches Northwestern Oregon. She earned her bachelor’s and
master’s degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Printmaking and also holds a single
subject teaching credential in Art. She has taught a broad range of courses including
Drawing and Painting, Digital Art, Animation, 2D & 3D Foundations and International
Baccalaureate Art. Ms.S is passionate about inspiring students who don’t see
themselves as artists to find confidence in the art making process and joy in self