Tuesday, January 12, 2016

In the Art Room: Troubleshooting Printmaking with the Littles

Hey, y'all! It's Printmaking Season in my art room currently and it's been a big fat hairy success. Mostly because, let's face it, printmaking is super mysterious, magical and mega-awesome. The kids are always surprised and thrilled by their result and pulled prints always elicit the biggest oooohhh's and ahhhhh's. 
BUT. There is the Dark Side of printing as well. Y'all know what I'm talking about. Poorly inked plates. Smeary prints. An inked and printed on body part (um, that was today, in fact. See below). However, I think I've got some tipz -n- trickz for y'all that might make life in Printmaking Town a lil easier. So click the sideways triangle below and I'll walk y'all thru some steps!
By the way, since my room tour video, I've seen a nice jump in my youtube channel subscribers. Thanks, y'all! My goal is to share more videos like the one above and the instructional videos I create for the kids. If you are interested, please feel free to subscribe, I'd love to have ya! 
 So, those marker prints...where have they been all my life?! They are super fun, easy to do and a great way to introduce kids to the magic of printmaking. I got the idea from one of my fave art ed bloggers, Don Masse (thanks, bruh!). You can find his awesomeness here
During the next two thirty minute art classes, the first graders printed with ink. Each student made a minimum of 5 prints which will be used in an upcoming project. By the end of the printing process, they were experts at covering their plates completely and pulling clean-ish prints. I mean, their fingerprints all over the background are prints as well, right?! Just say yes, there's no point in arguing with me. 

Give that paper a back rub, kid. 
Pulling only part of the way up and checking the print was encouraged. This way the kids could lay the paper back down and rub some more if need be. 
I have found that printing on copy paper works the best. I also have the kids use Speedball washable ink. Names are written on the back of the paper before printing is started. 
The kids were allowed to go to another table to use more ink. However, this will result in blended colors...which is cool if you use analogous colors. We had red and yellow out which created these lovely blended prints. 
 Love how it pops on this blue paper!
The kids really enjoyed these prints!
 Printing limbs was not encouraged...but super funny when it happens. This sweet girl leaned onto her plate accidentally and did a lil body printing. It's a new trend. She's totes cutting edge. 
Y'all saw these last week. These were created by my third grade after watching my lil demo video...

This week they'll watch this video. I hope it is as successful at explaining the process as the first one!
I'd love to hear your printing tips and tricks, y'all! Please feel free to share 'em in the comments. Until next time...

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  1. How about using Styrofoam plates or the top of a "take out" box? Used this once and it seemed to work ok but might have a "right/wrong" side that affects the ink.
    Looovvvvveeee the marker printing!!!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my marker box!

  2. So excited about these marker prints! Also, I want that swatch in the worst way.

  3. Thank you for this post! Just posted an article about marker prints as well:(http://createartwithme.blogspot.com/2016/01/you-gotta-try-it-super-easy-monoprint.html)
    I couldn't believe how great the marker prints came out (and clean-up is easy!!). My five-year-old loved demo-ing the marker prints and then taught everyone in our family how to make them (a future art teacher in the making?!). And the colors are beautiful. Thanks for sharing! Mrs. P

  4. The demo video is so timely!! I have a rather huge group of 4th graders and now they will all be able to see/understand the process so much better!! I was truly searching the inter webs last night!!! Thank you this is perfect and your explanations are thorough and kid-friendly!!

  5. good post! thanks sharing!

  6. Anonymous1/14/2016

    Thank you so very much for all of your sharing! You are so generous! ---Sharon Johannesen

  7. Thanks to these great videos I was totally ready to teach marker prints to my little cynics club... aka the 4th grade. They love love loved the project! It was so fun to see them engage and enjoy art making. Thanks!

  8. Anonymous1/16/2016

    Awesome job! Thanks so much for your shared talent!

  9. Do you just use pencil to etch the design into the scratch foam?

  10. Thanks again! I just re-watched this videos and am rea-day to started some printin'! I too, wondered about using styrofoam trays for inking the brayers, since I'll need to order some plastic trays. Also, could you use cheapo Dollar store styrofoam plates to cut into squares or rectangles to print with. I didn't know if the quality of cheaper plates would hold up to many prints & pulls.
    You're the greatest thanks!!

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  12. You're amazing and this marker printing technique is too! My 3rd and 4th grade artists will LOVE this- thank you for all your postings, it's all so helpful as I'm beginning my art ed career : )

  13. You are so wonderful to listen to and watch. I would love to be a kid in your class. I am going to try this with my 6-7 years olds here DownUnder next week. Your explanation and demonstration cleared up a whole lot of questions for me. Thank you so much.

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  21. Breyer help!!!! This idea is fabulous for some spring ideas I have. Amazon has packs of Speedball ink, foam scratch board and foam breyers....will those work? Or, save up and buy the thicker, sturdier ones?


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