Art II paints skateboards with acrylic paint


Melissa Lombardo works on her Venice travel poster skateboard.

She looks down as she balances her paintbrush on the tips of her fingers and squints in order to see the details in her small photo. Now she must take that photo and trace it. Not onto a piece of paper, not onto a sketchpad, not onto a canvas. For this project in Art II, Melissa Lombardo must trace a 1950s-inspired Venice travel poster onto the deck of a skateboard.

“Before they paint, they have to find an image which meets our theme, then they have to decompose that image because it’s usually a rectangle,” art teacher Mrs. Deborah Lane said.

Students in Art II were challenged to paint a skateboard with acrylic paints. Designs on the skateboard have to fit a certain theme: propaganda or travel posters. With this process, students are being graded on a number of things including blending, sizing and the overall neatness of the project.

“By the time they complete this they are able to really fluently paint with acrylic paint. I’m looking for blending, originality in composition and painting skills,” Lane said.

Students are provided with as many tools as needed, such as a projector, acrylic paint colors and brushes. They can also shrink, resize and change elements.

“For this project we use acrylic paint, which I actually really like because it’s one of those types of paints that dries really fast, so you can get a lot done,” Isabella Lasmarias said.

Lasmarias completed her India travel poster and is now waiting for when Lane will gloss over the boards. She also has the choice to place wheels on the skateboard, but they are not provided with the project.

Following the requirements, students must complete a large part of the project; decomposing in order to fit the usually rectangle inspiration onto a large skateboard. They must frequently size, trace, retrace, and resize in order for the small inspiration photo to fit the board perfectly. For some it was a struggle, but some enjoyed the multiple-week process.

“I loved tracing it and deciding where everything got to go, because it gave you the freedom to do whatever you want, along the line of the picture,” Lombardo said.

Although they must be fifty years prior to 2015 due to copywriting issues, students find ways to become creative with their last project of the year. Students paint things anywhere from wonder woman pop art to travel posters of India.

“I always have loved Italy, and I really want to go to Venice, so I decided to do a travel poster,” Lombardo said.

Cara Chen was so determined to paint the Star Wars Tours on her board that she decided to find a way to gain right to use the copyrighted poster.

Lane said, “She wrote to Lucas Films and asked for permission to use a straight poster and they wrote back and said yes. She has a letter from the company that says ‘Yes, you may use this to make a skateboard.”