Cereal Boxes and Printmaking Landscape Collagraphs

printmaking collagraphs, beginner printing paper and glue, oil based printing inks, debiriley.com

I created a random design,  using a discarded cereal box to cut shapes from.

Then … I thought I’d try to be clever.  Tricky.  Try something new.

Instead of doing the normal thing, I chose to try a new path.  I used small foam sticky pads to adhere those shapes to my base plate.

You never know. Until you try.



Collagraph Print

It didn’t work properly.

It would’ve been better had I used my regular glue  ie (acrylic matte medium) to glue the cut cardboard shapes onto the base plate.


The Problem:

The sticky foam pads,  allowed the cut out shapes to fall and sink unevenly.  Which meant that the ink being rolled on the plate from the brayer, wouldn’t be level and smooth. The ink would be a hit and miss affair…….oh dear.


Oh well.

Too late. I needed to try, to make it work.

I was in class, it was a demo for Atwell Gallery class.


What. do you do?

You get on with it.


printmaking collagraphs, beginner printing paper and glue, oil based printing inks, debiriley.com
collagraph from cereal box cut outs


Printing Processes

I gave up trying to continue on with the normal hand printing process with barren and wooden spoon to get the ink onto the paper.

The shapes were too uneven and the ink wasn’t ‘catching.’   Wasn’t getting onto the paper.


I used Masa paper a very versatile paper great for lots of media.  And my hand,  mainly my thumb to press the ink onto the paper from the shapes.



This last print,  I think is rather nice. Not as solid dark as the others, it has more feeling in it.

There is some lovely texture, tonal variations.

It seems to have a mood to it.


The other collograph I constructed not using the foam tabs, was a much better plate.

It provided a far superior printing experience that I let a student borrow for class.


Still,  I do enjoy this one featured.

It was a challenge.

Its kind of cool.




I used a wonderful ink, not available now.

A professional grade, gorgeous velvety black Daniel Smith oil based printing ink.

I had some saved from about 15 years ago.

It Still,  is still great to use.

It rolls out perfectly. Even after all these years.


In class I demonstrated soaking a variety of good printmaking papers, including Rives.

This process worked out nicely. whew.


I love doing this,  with the oil ink and using better quality print papers which provides such a beautiful professional finish for even beginners.

Spendy… but hey, once in awhile  its a fabulous pleasure.  And, bear in mind, it can last decades.




Learning Points

experiments,  may not  go the way you expect

stay cool

back up plans,  creative thinking go a long way to making even those work out ok

buying good quality materials, though more money,  usually proves to be more cost effective in the long run




Published by debiriley

The act of creation, in any media is a fascinating and magical process. I simply love to create. Expressing in color, line, tone, texture - as if, they were words upon a page. Creating a uniquely me, interpretation. Enjoy More of my "one-of-a-kind" expressive art at society6.com/debiriley and, redbubble.com/people/debijriley/shop

19 thoughts on “Cereal Boxes and Printmaking Landscape Collagraphs

  1. It must be challenging when you’re teaching in class and it’s not going well! I like your print, it has some great shapes and textures…


    1. thanks! sometimes its funny. sometimes its not. LOL I do, Learn from it though. one thing I have learned to do much better, is to ‘wing it.’ Which isn’t me, I prefer plans, agendas, routines and to stick to the plan. and yet, I prefer Watercolor. figure that one out. LOL

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      1. I would imagine that when teaching others art as you do you NEED to have a plan, an agenda… but if things aren’t going to plan, being able to “wing it” is a very good thing. And I guess even watercolour needs a little planning… ie. you can plan what you’re going to paint, have an idea how you’re going to paint it and you can plan what colours you’re going to use but you can’t plan the final outcome…. but that’s what I love about watercolour, it’s beautiful, wild, free. unpredictable nature…. LOL


      2. Yes, I go in with a plan. But indeed many times…. stuff happens. LOL and I have had to come up with magic on the go. rabbits. Thank God I’ve been given enough creative imagination to usually, come up with lessons that flow. Sometimes, I wonder how on earth I managed to pull it off though. LOL thanks Evelyn. cheers, and enjoy your summery day!!! debi

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    1. thanks! yes, leaf prints are fun and enjoyable; you get some very lovely results. this style, the collagraph requires more prep and planning. but, I’ve seen stunning, prints that blow your mind. I may do more, mmm ‘later.’

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  2. This is so cool and I think it came out awesome! There is a togetherness mood even though that top piece doesn’t fit like the others . Yet id does.


    1. Thanks Mireya. (love your name) and yes, its slightly ‘wonky’ and weird. But still leading the eye, inwards. the Masa paper helps with some texture too. Thanks!! Debi

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  3. As always your learning points are just the best Debi. Couldn’t agree more that experiments may not work, but the key message is to experiment; it’s the only way to learn. Best wishes for a creative June…Andrew


    1. thank you Andrew, I’m in the midst of ending the term here before I fly out – and want to help the beginners find more ways to “loosen up.” At least, they’re reading the blog! Failures, in art anyway, aren’t the end of the world!! We’re not pilots nor surgeons, so… why not give some new thing a go and just Try it?! if not here.. then, where ? 🙂

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