I love printmaking! I firmly believe that all Lower Primary students should experience some form of printmaking so they understand that artists use different tools and materials to create. I also find that for so students that have trouble manipulating drawing and painting tools, excel in printmaking as it pulls upon gross motor skills as well.
Here is one of my favorite printmaking projects to do with my 1st Graders. It ties in observational drawing, Pop Art and printmaking vocabulary. It also yields stunning final works that every student can be proud of.
After an introduction to Pop Art and using the video from the Tate Modern Kids Collection, students looked at the life and artwork of Andy Warhol. The three big ideas I wanted students to take away are regarding Pop Art and the work of Andy Warhol were:
- Pop Art is BOLD and BRIGHT and COLORFUL
- It’s ART FOR ALL
- It’s MASS PRODUCED
Students then began drawing flowers based off of pictures of flowers. This allowed me to review observational drawing techniques. Once finished in pencil students traces over their lines with black permanent markers.
For the second lesson, I helped students tape their flower drawings to a foam print plate the same size. Then, using a blunt pencil, students traces over their marker lines to transfer their drawing to the print plate. Many of them needed to go back over their lines to make the deeper but the key is to not push so hard that the marks go through the foam.
Students traces the shape of their flower onto another foam print plate so they would have one print plate with details and being just the shape of the flower. Then lastly students cut both of their flowers out and wrote their name and class number on the back using black marker.
Lesson three, students began printmaking. They can begin printing on colored paper or you can add a lesson and have students paint a background using acrylic paint. That it what we did for ours. The on top of the colored background, students print square using pre-cut square print plates to create a checker board patter.
For the nest lesson student print just the flower shape print plate using gold or silver printing ink and for the last printmaking lesson students use black ink to print their detailed flower print plate to print on top of each gold or silver flower shape. The purpose of the gold and silver is to create more contrast and add another layer of texture.
As a way to reflect on the printmaking process as well as assess students on their understanding of the Pop Art style, for the final lesson of the unit students completed a worksheet. Below are a few examples from the students.