Egyptian Papyrus with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes: .................................................... ....................................................
Color: Realize that the contrast of value (tone) causes eye movement over a picture
  Understand that colors can be transparent and opaque
  Understand that color schemes can be analogous, monochromatic, and complementary
Texture: Appreciate that texture is used to enhance aesthetics
Design: Appreciate the difference between unity and monotony in art
Line: Appreciate that line is used to represent the world around us
Space: Positive and Negative space are used to enhance aesthetic
Materials: 25 ..8 inch by 10 inch cardboard backgrounds
  paper mache solution
  Many many strips of bond paper for the papyrus effect
bond paper
  pencils (regular and soft leaded)
  acrylic paint, water colors, colored pencils
  25 fine tip brushes for detail
  25 medium brushes for larger areas
Vocabulary: Contrast, Transparent, Opaque, Analogous, Monochromatic and Complementary Colors, Texture, Unity, Monotony, Line, Positive and Negative Space

As usual, I raid the room where the photocopy machine is located. Do this well in advance in order to get enough boxes as needed for the activity. Use the lid as well as three sides of the boxes to get the background needed for the activity.

Helpful hint: Be sure to mix up the paper mache solution a day in advance so it gets thick. If it is too thick, just add water and shake it up in a tupperware dish (with the lid sealed.)

Another Helpful hint: In the first step, it is possible for students to give the background a bath in paper mache. You don't want that. The paper can be applied to the background and you should still be able to put the project above your head with nothing dripping on it. That shouldn't happen. It frequently does.

Be sure the students first put their names on the back of their projects prior to paper mache work. Next, apply paper with paper mache to the sides of the background. Go all the way around the project covering all four sides. Finally, take long strips of pre-cut bond paper and apply them in horizontal rows across the background. When dried, it should have a papyrus pattern.

Next helpful hint: After the backgrounds dry, they are going to warp. Mist them with a little water and then press them flat with old encyclopedias. In these days of the Internet, what else can you use them for? Place one board on an encyclopedia and put another book on top of the board. Continue to sandwich the boards about ten books high.

Paint the flattened background with acrylic paint in the colors of real papyrus. Set aside to dry. Then, on bond paper, students need to work on the sketch they want to reproduce on their papyrus. They need to have some authentic Egyptian research for this project. They can use a grid to reproduce their object on the bond paper. If you are not familiar with using a grid, this activity might be wise to use now or prior to the activitiy.

Transfer the sketch to the background when ready. Use the "Homemade Carbon Paper Method." Never heard of it? Well, it is a great little trick. Using soft leaded pencils, color the back of the Egyptian sketch. Next, place the sketch on top of the "papyrus". Tape it in place on the left and right with little pieces of masking tape. It's not difficult to transfer the design to the drawing paper. When you trace on top of the sketch, the pencil lead on the back of the page will transfer the art to the "papyrus". You don't need to push hard.

After the sketch is on the "papyrus", students can begin coloring their work. I personally think that acrylic paint will work best on this surface. However, if students want to add detail or experiment with watercolors, colored pencils, and water color pencils, they may also try that.

Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.