de Youngsters Open Studio: Print-at-Home Activity Inspired by José Guadalupe Posada

By Manuel “Fases” Ruelas, artist

January 28, 2021

Learn to print at home with artist Manuel “Fases” Ruelas, whose work Resistiendo was included in The de Young Open. This project was inspired by José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913), a Mexican illustrator famous for his political “calaveras,” or illustrations of skulls that were printed and published widely.


  • Tetra Pak container
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Needle or pin
  • Paint (water-based)
  • Eraser
  • Paper
  • Spoon
  • Paper towels

Questions to Consider

  • What image will you want to print?
  • Take a look at the work of José Guadalupe Posada and Manuel “Fases” Ruelas. Select an image you’d like to use as inspiration.


1. Cut a flat panel out of the Tetra Pak container and wipe clean.

2. With your pen or pencil, draw your figure or image on the inner, foiled-lined panel.

3. With a pin, needle, or pen or pencil tip, draw over the image to create deep lines.

4. Cut out your figure or image. Leave a generous edge around your outline. This is your printing plate.

5. Ink your printing plate with the water-based paint. Put a layer of paint on the image with your finger or use an eraser. Use a paper towel to clean the edges.

6. Place your printing plate, paint side down, onto your paper. With one hand, hold the plate in place so it does not move, then use the back of a spoon to press the plate all over against the paper.

7. Lift your plate carefully off the paper.

8. To print again, re-ink your plate!


After creating your print, consider the following questions:

  • What steps did you enjoy during the process?
  • What challenges did you experience?
  • If you could do this project all over again, what would you do differently? The same? Why?


We would love to see what you create! Email pictures of your artwork to or tag us on any social media platform with #deyoungsters and #thedeyoungopen.

Artist Biography

Manuel “Fases” Ruelas is a Mexican artist, graduated in fine arts from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. His work is influenced by the aesthetic inherited from the TGP “Taller de Gráfica Popular,” and German Expressionism, and he mixes them with references to pre-Hispanic art and popular culture. Ruelas is founder and director of Barranca Gráfica, an art gallery, art residences, and an independent artist’s printmaking studio, specializing in fine arts and printmaking. Based in Oakland and Mexico City, Ruelas directs the Barranca Gráfica studio and gallery.

Artista mexicano, graduado en Bellas Artes por la Universidad de Guadalajara. Su trabajo está influenciado por la estética heredada del TGP “Taller de Gráfica Popular”, el expresionismo alemán, y la mezcla con referencias del arte prehispánico y la cultura popular cotidiana. Fundador y director de Barranca Gráfica, una galería de arte, residencias de arte y estudio de grabado de artista independiente, especializada en bellas artes y grabado. Actualmente radica en Oakland y Cd. de México, dirigiendo el taller-galería Barranca Gráfica.

Learn more about Manuel “Fases” Ruelas and his work.

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