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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

String Prints on Painted Paper

    3rd Grade students created these sophisticated prints on painted paper.  Wanting to introduce printmaking to them, I thought an easy way would be by making relief prints from plate cards made with foam core and string glued on top in an abstract, linear design.  I love the look of prints made on painted paper, so I first had the students created their papers.  We began with primary colors, as I showed the students how to mix them to create secondary colors, then choose which colors they would like to paint on their papers.  I discouraged them from mixing their colors on their paper (so as to avoid muddy results), but instead, beginning with their lightest color and creating an interesting shape or stroke of the paint they liked, then laying a new shape or stroke with the next darkest color next to it, and building their painting in that way.
    Once their paintings were complete, I showed them how to create a simple, abstract line drawing on a 6" square piece of paper.  Their only instructions were to use their space in an interesting way (i.e.; not leaving one side of the square blank and not making too small of shapes), and to not draw too much detail, as this would be difficult for them to cover exactly with yarn.  After they made drawings that were satisfactory to them, they transferred them onto a 6" square piece of foam core.  Using glue to trace over the lines and yarn to lay down on top of their glue, they created their string printing plate cards.
    During the next art class, after their papers and plates had plenty of time to dry, the students were ready to create their prints.  The idea was to make multiple prints on  their 9" x 12" paper.  They chose either white or black ink to make their print with, rolled onto their plate with their brayers, then placed them first in the corner of their papers, rubbed them well, and made their first print.  The following prints just lined up on the paper one right after the other until the entire surface was covered.
    The students enjoyed the printmaking process very much and have asked me when they can make more prints.  Ahhh, there are always too many things to create and too little time!

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