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Lines! Shapes! Words! Print!

For Grades K–12

© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Table of Contents

Featured Work
Background Information for Educators
Variation for Younger Students
Optional Additional Activity
New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

Featured Work

Georges Braque
(French, 1882–1963)
Job, 1911
Etching, edition of 100
5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches (14 x 19.7 cm)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Gift of A. Conger Goodyear, by exchange, 1949


  • Explore a work of art by Georges Braque
  • Create a print inspired by Georges Braque's Job, 1911
  • Use line, shape, and composition techniques to create a print
  • Learn how to correctly print text on an art print


  • Artists in Depth (AID) PowerPoint
  • 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock
  • Object(s) to use as subject matter
  • Brayers (or foam rollers/large brushes)
  • Paint/ink
  • Packaging string/yarn
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Mirror 

Background Information for Educators

Etching is a printmaking technique in which an acid-resistant coating is applied to a metal plate, an image is cut in the coating with a tool, and the plate is submerged into an acid bath. Wherever the coating is scratched away, the acid eats away the metal. Once the process is complete the acid-resistant coating is removed. The incised line is then inked and printed onto a sheet of damp paper using pressure. Etchings belong to a category of prints called intaglio, in which the printed area results from the incised line in the plate and not from the un-incised parts. A print that comes from the un-incised surface of the plate is called a relief print.


  • Display Slide #8 of the AID PowerPoint and introduce Georges Braque to your students.
  • Display Slide #9 and look at Georges Braque’s Job with your students. Explain that it is a type of print. Lead them through the following questions to arrive at the subject matter.
  • What kinds of lines do you see? Geometric shapes? Letters? Can you find the word, "JOB"?
  • What objects do you see? Refer to slide #10 if necessary to isolate each object to help them understand what they are seeing—man's head, man's hand, pencil, paper, table, etc.
  • What do you think the other shapes might be?
  • Which shape do you think is closest to you? Farthest away? How does the artist help you decide which shapes are on top of others? Behind others (overlapping, shading, placement)?
  • What do you think the man in the print is doing? Why do you think Georges Braque named this piece "Job"? There might be more than one answer!


  1. Set up selected object(s) for the students to draw. Explain that they are to cover the whole paper using only simple, fat, and/or thin lines. Let them choose one word to include in their drawing.
  2. For older students, demonstrate how to write a word backwards (use mirrors if available), and ask them to include their word backwards somewhere in their drawing. They can practice on a sheet of paper, if necessary.
  3. Have students glue string onto the lines they have drawn, including the word. Use one piece of string for the thin lines and two to three pieces of string for the thick lines.
  4. Once the glue has dried, demonstrate how to roll on the ink/paint with the brayer (or material available), OR, if you have the materials available, ask the students to (quickly) paint each line with a different ink or paint color.
  5. Once the cardstock is covered, press the paper over the ink to create a print. If you have time, create multiple prints by using various colors. Let the cardstock dry between inkings or the colors will get muddy. These are relief prints.

Variation for Younger Students

Choose three kinds of lines to draw on paper—for example, fat lines, thin lines, and short lines. Then, follow the instructions in the above activity, starting from #3.

Optional Additional Activity

After the prints are dry, go back and draw on them to add details, using one or more of the following materials: permanent markers, colored pencils, paint, etc.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts (Visual Arts, including the museum visit) 1, 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 2, 5
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 (New York only)
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 4, 11 (New York only)