Visual Arts: India Ink

Grade level: 3‐12
Duration: Three 45‐minute class periods
Media Type: Black India Ink
Subject Integration: Media Arts
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see below)
Objectives: Students will create their own ink drawing after studying the work of artist Stefan Buchar and local Duluth graphic artists, such as: Brian Barber and Chris Monroe.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of ink drawing techniques inspired by artist Stefan Buchar, and local Duluth graphic artists, by creating an ink drawing of a monster or creature, adding details, and being able to use imagination while
creating a work of art.
(website for help with writing rubrics)


4 - Standards are exceeded
3 - Standards are met
2 - Standards may be met at a very low quality or with some exceptions
1 - Standards are not met or work is not attempted or very poorly done


  • graphic artist
  • detail
  • imagination
  • creativity
  • animation
  • art exhibit
  • illustrator
  • sketch
  • mural
  • biennial
  • critique

Materials and Procedure:

  • white drawing paper 5” x 7” pencils
  • black India ink plastic droppers
  • straws or compressed air in a can to move ink around on paper
  • newspapers to cover table / desk tops
  • Crayola markers, various colors

Day 1:
1. Introduce the idea behind being a graphic artist. Discuss what graphic artists do. Ask, “Do you know any graphic artists?” “Would you like to be a graphic artist? Why or why not?”

Show the following Playlist video clips:

2012 Biennial Exhibit at the Duluth Art Institute (1:42)
Making Murals - Macrostie Art Center (3:30)
Illustrator Brian Barber (3:41)
Season 1 Episode 2 (full episode including Chris Monroe)

2. Give brief introduction of Stefan Bucher and his work. Show Stefan Bucher’s website, The Daily Monster,


Discussion: What do you know about ink drawing? Do you know any graphic artists? Have you ever seen artwork by Stefan Buchar? What do you notice about his work? What do you think about his process? Discuss work being created instantaneously, versus being planned and sketched. What do you think of the animation added afterward? Does the animation add to his work, or take away from?

Day 2:
Review Day 1. Discuss tools and importance of using tools correctly. Cover tables / desks with newspapers to keep ink from staining table tops. Wear paint shirts if necessary. Demonstrate how to create ink drawing. Show how ink is applied to paper with dropper and spread into an interesting shape with can of air or breath through a straw. Demonstrate adding details with markers to make ink shape appear to be a monster or creature of some kind. Allow students to use tools to start creating their own creatures. Depending on length of introduction, additional time may be needed for students to create.

Day 3:
Review Day 2. Additional creative / process time if needed.

Discussion Questions:
What did you learn about ink drawing that you did not know before? What did you learn about Chris Monroe, Brian Barber and Stefan Buchar? Which technique was your favorite? Why? What did you find easy to accomplish within your artwork? What did you find difficult? What would you do different next time?


Brian Barber prints / website -

Book: 100 Days of Monsters by Stefan Bucher‐Days‐Of‐Monsters‐

Books by artist / author Chris Monroe: Monkey With a Tool Belt & Sneaky Sheep

Follow‐up activities:

Teacher may guide a classroom “art exhibit ” or “monster show” where students choose two of their favorite monsters and submit them to the “show”. Classmates may vote for their top three favorites, or create categories: “Scariest” “Silliest” “Most Creative” etc.

National Standards for Visual Arts:

Content Standard #1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Achievement Standard:
Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes. Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses. Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories. Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

Content Standard #2: Using knowledge of structures and functions
Achievement Standard:
Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas. Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses. Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.

Content Standard #3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Achievement Standard:
Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art. Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Content Standard #4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Achievement Standard:
Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures. Students identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places. Students demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other in making and studying works of art.

Content Standard #5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Achievement Standard:
Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.
Students describe how people's experiences influence the development of specific artworks. Students understand there are different responses to specific artworks.

Content Standard #6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Achievement Standard:
Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines. Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment