Printmaking

Printmaking is about translating ideas into shapes and textures, transferring images, and making multiple copies of the same image.  As one fifth grader said, "You don't make the picture directly; you have to draw it on the block, cut it, then ink and print it before you get the image."  Students learn different kinds of printmaking processes at different grade levels, including monoprint, styrofoam relief printing, collagraph, and E-Z Carve relief block printing.  Each type of printmaking uses different materials to make the image, but with all of them students to learn how much ink to apply, how to mix and layer ink colors, how to make a clean, clear print, and how to work with an image that gets reversed.  The challenge for students is to figure out their own ways to use each material to create a printing plate or block that will effectively reproduce their ideas.

First Grade

Self-Stick Styrofoam Relief Prints:

  • What's your favorite kind of animal?
  • What parts does your animal have?
  • What shape will you need to draw in the styrofoam for each part?
  • Which color ink will you use first?
  • What happens when you roll one color on top of another?

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Second Grade

Self-Stick Styrofoam Relief Prints:

  • What kind of vehicle will you make?
  • What shape will you need to make for each part?
  • Which shapes will touch each other?
  • Which shapes will have spaces between them?
  • Will any shapes overlap?
  • What details will you add with your pencil?
  • Which color ink will you use first?
  •  What happens when you roll one color on top of another? 

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Third Grade

Styrofoam Relief Prints: Combining Observation and Imagination

  •  What parts do you see on your bug?
  •  What kinds of shapes will you need to cut to make those parts?
  •  What kinds of textures do you notice on your bug?
  •  What kind of background will you invent for your bug?
  •  Will any shapes overlap?
  •  Where will you use your pencil to make textures in the styrofoam?
  •  What happens when you roll Yellow, Magenta, and Turquoise inks over each other?

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Fourth Grade

Collagraph Prints:

  • Which materials will you use to make your collagraph plate?
  •  Which shapes will touch each other?
  •  Which shapes will have spaces between them?
  •  Will any shapes overlap?
  •  What happens when you roll Yellow, Magenta, and Turquoise inks over each other?

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Fifth Grade

EZ Carve Reduction Prints, lines and color:

  • How does your image change each time you cut away?
  • How does your image change when you cut away,  and print a different color on top?

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 Reduction Prints, lines, shapes, and color:

  • What kind of image will you make?
  • What kind of marks will you make to show textures?
  • Which parts of your block will you cut away?
  • What happens when you cut away and print on top of your original image?