Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers is a monthly roundup of advice and wisdom
from fellow art teachers, put together by the intrepid Glenda Lubiner.
Printmaking & Image Transfer
“Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.” — William Blake
Now is a great time to take a few minutes and breathe, relax and reflect back on what you have done so far this year. November brings to us Thanksgiving, Native American Heritage Month, and a few days to rest and rejuvenate. This month, we will focus on printmaking, photography and image transfers.
Bridging Art and Literacy Have your class agree on a book and find a used copy (you can usually get one online). Have each student create a print using the theme of the book (could be a linoleum print, polystyrene foam, silk screen). Make the print the same size as the area of print—the border on the page will be the border of the print.
No Need to Toss Old Papers Try printing on maps, book pages, newspaper, telephone books (if you can find any), old wallpaper samples, wrapping paper, or comic strips. The more untraditional paper you use, the more interesting your print will be.
I have also had my students make marbleized paper by using bright colored chalk dust sprinkled into large water vats. Place the paper on the top of the water and the chalk design will transfer to the paper. I’ve done it on all different colors of paper. My most successful prints on marbleized paper have been Gyotaku prints done with black ink or paint.
Engraving—Even for Elementary One of the best printmaking projects I’ve done with my students (elementary and middle school) was an engraving project. I used engraving tools, old CDs, etching ink, and a small printing press. The students traced the CD several times in their sketchbook so that their sketches would be the correct size.
Once they had their perfect sketch (usually a themed project) they traced it on to their CD with either oil pastels or just copied with a Sharpie marker. They then engraved it with the tools, inked it and ran it through the press. Some students hand colored with watercolors.
See It, Move It, Zoom It! Bizzy Jenkins, from Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla., says that when shooting a photo, remember to compose the image: look at everything in the viewfinder, not just the subject. A small step to the right or left or kneeling down can often dramatically improve the image. Remember to also use the human zoom—getting closer to your subject by moving you instead of just the lens.
Adinkra Print Making The Ashanti people of Ghana make Adinkra cloth by stamping patterns of symbols on cloth. Four symbols with special meaning are love (the heart), strength (the paddle), rhythm (the drum), and patience (the moon).
My students painted two sheets of paper; one with the cool colors, and one with the warm. Once these papers were dry they cut them and wove them together. Students cut out the symbols from sponges and attached them to clothespins. They then dipped them in liquid tempera paint and printed on the woven paper.
It’s a Wrap Nancy J. Williams from Saint Louis Catholic School in Waco, Texas, saves tissue rolls and towel rolls as she is sure most of you do. She uses them for many different things, but one of the best is rolling student work and inserting them in a tube, allowing students to take their work home with no messy folds etc.
Parents can also store the work in the rolls if they like! All involved seem to love this idea. It also lends a sense of importance to the students’ work!
Thank you Bizzy and Nancy for your great tips.
Happy birthday to Walker Evans (Nov. 3, 1903), Claude Monet (Nov. 14, 1840), Sonia Delaunay (Nov. 14, 1885);
René Magritte (Nov. 21, 1898), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Nov. 24, 1864), George Segal (Nov. 26, 1924) and William Blake (Nov. 28, 1757).
Arts & Activities Contributing Editor Glenda Lubiner (NBCT) teaches art at Franklin Academy Charter School in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She is also an adjunct professor at Broward College.
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