Showing posts with label printmaking with kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label printmaking with kids. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In the Art Room: Printed and Collaged Winter Self Portraits by Second Grade

So I kinda sorta told the kids that if they painted and printed their winter selfies really well, we just might get the magic of snow. Snow seems to elude us in these parts...but not this year. Turns out these cute things really DID bring on the snow which was totes fab...except for the fact that it meant we've been working on these bad boys for a coupla days weeks. But that's all right. I mean, just take a lil look-see at how stinkin' awesome these printed and collaged winter self-portraits are!
I knew I wanted to introduce my second graders to printmaking but how? I remembered that my buddy Laura over at this fab-o blog taught her students how to create adorable winter selfies last year. I thought it'd be fun to add the printmaking element to this lesson and viola! Here you have it!
This lesson was chuck full o' art teacherin' moments: we learned how to use the elements of art to create pattern, we learned how to make both marker and ink prints, we learned how to create a tint of blue and print snowflakes in the background, how to draw selfies and design a pleasing composition. In short, we was busy. 

Lemme break it down for you:

Day #1: Intro to carving a print. We used Scratch-Art Foam Board but styrofoam plates would work in a pinch. I had created hat and mitten templates so that we could move on to the pattern designing and printmaking faster. I have 30 minutes art classes so I have to take the guess work outta some things. After the first class, most of us had this:

Day #2: On the second day, we continued our pattern design with ink pen. I encouraged the kids to go over their lines more than once just to make sure they'd have a successful print. Early finishers colored with marker and we started to pull marker prints. You can see that in the video...if you've never done it, it's magical!
Day #3: We are ready to use brayers and ink to pull prints! I like to use water soluble Speedball ink because it's the jam. I usually lay out a couple of colors and the kids rotated creating two different color prints on colorful copy paper. (This video was created for my third graders but it's the same idea so I thought I'd share!)

Day #4: We learned how to create a tint of blue and painted a piece of construction paper. We also used cut pieces of mat board to dip into white paint and print snowflakes. It was fun to introduce the kids to a coupla printing processes.
 Day #5: Selfie time! The kids had mirrors, this idea sheet and sketch paper. They had to create three thumbnail selfie sketches before moving on to drawing on their final paper. Pink chalk was used to show just how cold it was outside!
 Day #6: Time to start assembling our collage. We had a long chat about composition and balance before going on this adventure. The kids could use their favorite prints, whether that was their marker or ink prints (we'll use the extra prints for another project, stay tuned!). I happened to have a ton of scrap paper from another project so many of the kids used oil pastels to create scarves!
Some of the girls used chalk for their long hair. 
So in love with this self-portrait! I love how vibrant the marker prints are, it made my happy when the kids chose them. 
Several students decided to arrange their composition on a horizontal format. 
 Last thing added was the pompom! For that, have the kids wrap an 18" long piece of yarn many times around a 2" piece of cardboard. Carefully slide it off and double knot tie another string around the middle. Trim the loops of yarn and you have a pompom!

Now...maybe sharing these snowy selfies here will get me one more snow day, eep!

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

In the Art Room: Leafy Spring Prints

Negative leaf print by one of my second grade students earlier this year.
 Hey, guys! This post has been very popular on my blog...if you are interested in other leaf-y projects, look at my Leaf Relief project and my Pressed Leaf Project as well. Thanks!

I don't know what it's like where you live, but here in Tennessee, we are experiencing spring-like weather. For the most part. I mean it did snow the last two Saturdays (and, in Tennessee, "snow" means just a few flakes and a couple of inches) but the other day it was 78 degrees. Crazy, right?

For that reason, I've got touch of spring fever. You too? Well then you might enjoy this leafy printmaking project I did at the beginning of the year with my second graders. It's simple, scientific, beautiful and fun...okay, enough talking about me (!), on with the lesson.

For this project, you'll need the following:
  • gelatin, not Jell-o. Most grocery stores carry a brand called Knox which sells in boxes of 16 pouches.
  • cookie sheets
  • printmaking brayer, sold at most craft stores
  • printing ink
  • variety of leaves
  • paper
Print pulled from the same printing tray, this time the positive version.
The night before you begin, you'll need to prepare your sheets of gelatin. To do that, bring about 3-4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, whisked one pouch of gelatin into the pot. You don't want any clumps of gelatin, so whisk like there's no tomorrow. You'll end up adding about 12-15 pouches of gelatin into that one pot. Sorry, I'm not into exact measurements. Which could explain a lot about my cooking. If there are any remaining unwhiskable clumps, remove them with a spoon.

Pour mixture into a cookie sheet filling it about 1". Leave uncovered over night. If you see any bubbles in the cookie sheet, pop them or remove with a spoon. For my class of 20 students, I made three trays.

Pulling the first print always managed to get oohhhh's and aahhhh's aplenty.
The following day, we were ready to print. The surface of the gelatin was squishy yet very firm, perfect for holding our printing ink. I think I can explain this best in steps, so here you go:
  1. Using a brayer and printing ink, cover surface of gelatin in ink.
  2. Place leaves onto the ink-covered cookie sheet with the veiny side down. I don't recommend using anything with pine needles because that will puncture the gelatin. But experiment, you never know!
  3. Once leaves are in place, lay paper on top of cookie sheet and rub (er, we call it  "massage") the paper. 
  4. Pull paper off, as you see in the above photo, and viola! You have your first print!
Notice how clear the gelatin looks. All of the ink that was once on the tray is now on the paper.
I love her dainty fingers pulling up the second print. So sweet.
Now for the second print:
  1. Gently remove all of the leaves from the tray. It's best to pull them out by the end of the stem.
  2. Place a new sheet of paper over the now-empty cookie sheet and rub.
  3. Pull second print which will be a positive image of the first.
Looks like a black and white photo, don't you think?
Once both prints have been pulled, re-ink the tray and begin the process all over again. With a class of 20 students and 3 pans of gelatin, about 10 kids were able to print per half an hour class. The pans of gelatin can last about two days with an endless amount of printing. I tried to cover the gelatin and keep it for a little longer, but condensation droplets created strange little craters on the surface. If left uncovered for too many days, it begins to dry and crack. For that reason, if you plan to do this project for longer than a couple of days, you'll just need to prepare more gelatin pans the night before.
Our second go-round of printing involved using white ink on black paper. Just as pretty.
This project is so easy and the results so stunning that everyone is successful. I've now had a couple of craft get-togethers and this is always a hit. Once those leaves start growing in your neck of the woods, I do hope you'll give it a shot!
I love the photo negative quality of this print.

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