Printmaking is a form of artmaking that can be attempted and accomplished by children of all ages and abilities.
The technical stuff...
Printmaking involves the creation of a master plate from which a single, or multiple images are made. Simply put, the artist chooses a surface to be the plate. This could be linoleum, styrofoam, metal, cardboard, stone or any one of a number of materials. Then the artist prepares the printing plate by cutting, etching or drawing an image onto the plate. Ink is applied (in a variety of ways) and paper is pressed onto the plate either by hand or by way of a hand-run printing press. The finished print is pulled from the plate.
For our printmaking lesson, we used a piece of foam from a vegetable tray (with the edges cut off), a pencil, tempera paint and a sheet of paper.
First, we prepared our paints. We started with primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and from there, mixed our secondary colors (orange, violet and green).
|Mixing our colors.|
Then, using a pencil, we "carved" lines into the foam. (Older kids can do detailed images while younger ones can just experiment with lines and shapes.)
|Carving the lines.|
When the lines had been "carved", we began adding paint to the printing plate.
|Adding the paint.|
Here's the foam tray with all the paint applied.
|Ready for printing!|
Next, a sheet of paper was laid on top of the painted foam. After that, we rubbed our hands over the paper -- carefully.
|Rubbing the paper.|
Lifting the paper revealed the finished print!
|The really fun part :)|
And voila -- here's the printing plate and the completed print. Remember, when you make a print, everything will be in reverse. This is a good point to make to students before they try printing their names on their printing plates :)
For more on printmaking with your students and children, visit: Printmaking 101 and Printmaking 102 on KinderArt.com. Also, you can find a nice version of this lesson plan at: www.kinderart.com/printmaking/styro.shtml
Until next time - keep creating!