Monday, March 7, 2016

In the Art Room: Printed Cityscape Collages with Third Grade

What you see here is my final installment of printmaking lessons for the firsties thru thirdz. We started our printmaking units many moons ago and we've been having a big time since. You might recall my lil printmaking pep talk here...
You can check out the first graders printmaking lesson here as well as second grade's here. Fourth gradeland is currently in the midst of a collaborative/legacy/sculptural project that meant they were left outta the printmaking loop. I'm hoping to remedy that before the school year ends. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted. Until then, let's talk about these beauts...
 I am so in love with how these printed and collaged cityscapes turned out, y'all! The kids had a blast printmaking...but where really thrilled to see their cities come together. 
Lemme tell you what each kid created:

* After creating their own printing plate (demo'ed in the video below), each child printed a minimum of four prints on colorful copy paper. They were to do two prints in white ink and two in black ink (or the reverse of that, depending on what was available at their table). 

* The following art class, the kids learned about wax resist, warm/cool colors and watercoloring a skyscape. Each student created a warm and cool colored sky (with a sprinkle of salt for added effect!).

* Finally, each kid got back their warm and cool skies along with their prints. They then assembled their printed, painted and collaged landscapes with a layer of cardboard in-between for added depth. This resulted in TWO finished pieces by each student, as you see above!
This was such a fun and successful project for all students. Here's a list of supplies we used:

* Scratch-Art Foam (tho styro plates would work in a pinch...they'd just create a rounded landscape which could be totally amazing!)
* Speedball Printing Ink (or markers and water! Watch that first clip!) 
* ink pens
* colorful copy paper
* watercolor 
* oil pastels for the wax resist
* cardboard
* glue
I hope these videos are useful as I'm too tired to type out the directions (lazy much?). I have found that all kids can be successful with printmaking IF you teach them correctly and IF you are a stickler for proper printmaking techniques. I found that having the kids work in pairs really helped them hold each other accountable, even the littles. 
For example, we learned that you don't need a barren to rub the back of the print, just use a good back massage. No pounding necessary. Unless you wanna take a time-out break (eyebrow-raise, head-tilt, teacher-face).
 Every print pulled was magic. However, not gonna lie, the first prints are usually stinkers. Not enough ink, not enough "massaging" the back of the paper, etc. I told the kids to NEVER throw a way a print. If they didn't like it, they were to figure out what was wrong with it and learn from it. Blurry? Then you moved it accidentally. Can't see your lines? You used too much ink. Faded looking? Not enough ink. That's why we did a million prints. So we'd at least have a handful of successful ones.
In other news, I cannot take any credit for this perspective drawing or that amazing use of letter reversal. This kid's just rockin' it!
 Once all the prints were made and backgrounds painted, the kids were given a 9" X 12" piece of paper. They attached their paintings to the top and were told to CUT OUT their skyscape. Oh, the whining, y'all! "I can't cut out all those small shapes!", "This is gonna take forever!", "My hand is cramping, can you help me?!"

Nope. You do it. 
 And then they did.
I threw the option of adding a rectangle of cardboard between the cities out there. Most kids opted to do it as they loved the depth it added. 
I think if I were to ask them what one of their fave things this year has been, they'd def say printmaking. The magic of it is addictive!
Next up: rolling their printing plates thru the slab roller with clay! I'll keep you posted on how their ceramic cities turn out. Til then, what are some of your fave printing projects, y'all?
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24 comments:

  1. I remember in the 4th or 5th grade (in the late 70's) we did printmaking with linoleum blocks and the teacher gave us incredibly sharp tools to carve them with! Is that crazy?? It seems crazy, and like something that would never happen now. I think at least one kid cut themselves. It was fun, but even at the time seemed ridiculously dangerous. I think I carved a squirrel with a big fluffy tail.

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    1. UM, that's crazy!! I cannot imagine my 4th graders with sharp tools...tho I did give them needle felting tools last year but I digress;) Yikes! Fun memories tho, right?

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    2. We did this, too; same time period. I made mine way too complicated and was never going to finish, so I took it home to work on and my mom helped me. She hurt her finger from too much carving and it hurt for years and years whenever it was damp weather. Oh, the guilt!

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  2. thank you so much for these amazing and fun printmaking tutorials.... I feel like I'm at a cool art teacher workshop everytime!

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    1. You are sweet, thank you for your kind comment :)

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  3. Anonymous3/08/2016

    Hi Cassie! I absolutely love your blog! It is amazing and always filled with inspiration. I was wondering how you organize/disperse papers in cases where there are possibly 5+ papers that need to be handed back to each child? Do you organize the dozens of prints into piles during your planning?

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    1. Ugh. Yep. You nailed it: i organize during my planning. It only takes about 7 minutes to sort by kid. This way, when I pass back, I just hand them a stack of their work...and not pass back papers to mass chaos for 10 minutes ;)

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  4. I'm a sucker for a great cityscape project. These are Terrific! Thanks for all your helpful video tutorials!

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  5. We did a project similar to this last year. I had each kid create a cardboard collagraph plate of a city building an the kids shared them with each other to make several rows of buildings. We ran out of time to print, so we ended up making crayon rubbings of the buildings.

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    1. LOVE that idea!! Collagraph prints are so fun to make :)

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  6. Here's my teacher example https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-f01lmF1NBiMExMS09iUWNHS28/view?usp=sharing

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  7. Zach thinks the first one is his? Is it?

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    1. Zach is correct! He's an art star! Ask him about his toucan embroidery, it's AWESOME!!

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    2. This made him smile so big!!

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  8. Love this project, Casie! Pinning!!

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  9. Oh my gosh I spelled your name wrong! So embarrassed.....

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  10. I already have in my Amazon Wish List all the supplies and am ready to try this out! I noticed that you have both black ink and white ink used for the cityscapes...Did you start with the white ink on the styrofoam, let it dry, and then another day use the black ink? Also, how what size styrofoam did you use? For sake of not spending too much money (you know we teachers just looove spending money for our student projects) how many brayers should I purchase? How long does one tube of ink last (for how many prints)? Lastly, I have been looking for the plastic trays and can't find them. How about if I bought some cookie sheets at the Dollar Store? Thanks, Cassie!

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    1. Hi!! The size of the foam was about 5" X 7" ish. On a table of four children, I put two trays of ink: black and white. They were to pull to prints from the color that was next to them...then switch seats with the folks across from them and pull two more prints. Some kids ended up with gray tones, some more black or more white. It was a good variety and each kid ended up with about 4 prints to pick from. I would get 10 brayers ideally...but maybe 5 to start. I think about 2 tubes of black and 2 of white should work. Cookie sheets sound like a great idea! Hope that helps!!

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  11. Curious-what 4th grade clay project are you planning? I just CANNOT decide what they are going to do this year!
    Thanks!
    Sarah

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  12. Does anyone know if you can print on construction paper instead of copy paper. Copy paper is probably cheaper though!!

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    1. The thinner the paper, the better...so construction would not be idea. Newsprint works great tho and is super cheap!

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  13. These are great!! Can't wait to try these!!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)