Saturday, February 20, 2016

5th Grade Cityscape Prints on Warm and Cool Backgrounds

Artwork by Colton

We began this printmaking lesson by reviewing the differences between printmaking and other types of 2D media and by watching some examples of printmaking on video.  We also had a great discussion of the commercial advantages of printmaking over these other media.  Before painting their backgrounds (on 9x12 drawing paper), students also reviewed the concept of warm and cool colors, as the top half of the print is meant to represent the sky while the bottom half represents the water in front of their city. 
Students painted two different 9x12 backgrounds in order to have more than one chance to make a good print.  Then, using a 4 by 6 inch piece of Scratch Art foam (essentially thin Styrofoam) and a dulled pencil, the students created a cityscape printing plate complete with buildings of different heights and tops, plus lots of details to give their cityscapes lots of pattern and texture.  After creating the buildings, the students carefully cut away the sky part of the foam printing plate.
Students then rolled black printer's ink onto their printing plates and pressed the plate onto their background's sky side, careful to rub the back of their printing plate completely to transfer a full, sharp print.  Then they folded their paper and rub the back of it to create a "ghost print" on the water side of the paper.  This is meant to be the dimmer, blurrier reflection of the skyline in the water.  Because the paper is twice as long as their printing plate, they repeat the process to make a wider skyline and complete a single print   This lesson rolls a lot of skills and concepts into one project, and the results are beautiful!

Artwork by Desirae

Artwork by Drew

Artwork by Mia

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