Submitted by: Kathy Douglas, Central School,
East Bridgewater Public Schools, MA UNIT: Printmaking - Monoprints Jump to lesson Grade level: Elementary (all grade levels)
Kathy teaches in a Choice Based classroom. Printmaking is one of the centers students may choose to do. Subtractive Monoprint is one activity set up for students. Shown below, students making subtractive monoprints. Students rolled white or black ink on Plexiglas sheets, then scraped off ink with assorted tools (sticks, plastic forks, glue spreaders). Once satisfied, a blank paper is laid over the inked plate to pull a print.
Explain what a monoprint/monotype print is (explain difference in meaning of monoprint and monotype). Optional: Present some examples of historic monoprints - Matisse, Cézanne,Picasso,Stramel
and others (see Resources).
Explain what non-objective art is (show examples if desired. Examples could be show AFTER the art making for critique/comparison)
Demonstrate the subtractive process
Demonstrate embellishment with color on dry print (colored pencils and Construction paper crayons. Note: paint could be used if acrylic is used for ink)
From Kathy Douglas:
I discovered that monoprinting is a good lead in to foam block printing even though the processes are quite different. That is because I set up four monoprint stations, and one uses block print ink and brayers. Using the brayers to ink sheets of Plexiglas in preparation for scratching and then printing designs the students get a lot of play out of their systems and get used to just how much ink works well with the brayers. So the menu about monoprinting stresses that the artist needs 1. pigment 2. a printing plate 3. something with which to make the image and 4. a surface on which to print.
Station one is for folded paper monoprint in which a piece of thick paper is folded, with one side of the paper takes the role of the plate and the other side the surface to be printed on. The pigment is thick tempera paint and the tool is a paint brush. One color is brushed quickly on one side of the paper and then the student folds and rubs. After opening the paper another color can be added and the paper folded once again. Using one color at a time ensures that the student will fold while the paint is still wet and also makes some nice layers of color.
The second station is for Tempera Paint monoprints. At this table students can make a painting on a large sheet of Plexiglas (the printing plate). Students can erase or change their painting with a sponge. Working quickly is important so that the paint does not dry. Plastic sgraffitto sticks as well as sponges can be used to scrape into the painted area. Paper is placed on the wet paint and a print is lifted.
Table three has Plexiglas printing plates and Washable Fingerpaint. Students hold a piece of paper behind their back with one hand and fingerpaint with the other, changing and erasing until they like their design. Their finger is the tool, and when they print and lift their paper they may notice that their image is reversed, an important thing to remember when printmaking.
The last station is set up with block print ink, brayers, scratching tools and sheets of
Plexiglas. Students ink the Plexiglas, scrape lines into it with the tools and put a paper believe that having multiple monoprint techniques available on the introduction week helps students to see the connections among the various types and to internalize the big ideas of monoprinting... After this introduction (which in my room is optional... usually ½ to 3/4 of the students participate after watching a brief demo) plexiglas sheets are always available as one material in the paint center. The fingerpaint monoprint is available by request. The brayers, a tube of ink and a sheet of plexiglas are kept in a small box at the printmaking table... up high and out of reach of the younger students. I find that my "control freak" students do not care for the unexpected results common with
monoprinting, but other children adore it.
So that is one sort of printmaking we do. If you do an archive search on this site you will find a very long essay on silk Screen Printing Ink... let me know if you can't find it. keep up the great work!
Kathy Douglas in Massachusetts, cleaning up after throwing a birthday party.
And now Kathy... how does clean up happen?
do you have lots and lots of plexiglass so that it goes into the palette bucket to soak when done, or does each
child sponge off and return their own plate? Curious minds want to know... ~Nan
Note: This year, Kathy set up white ink on black and
black ink on white. They used the water based block print ink and
assorted scraping tools (sticks, plastic forks, glue spreaders).
I believe that having multiple monoprint techniques available on the introduction week
helps students to see the connections among the various types and to internalize the big
ideas of monoprinting.
After this introduction (which in my room is optional... usually ½ to 3/4 of the students participate after watching a brief demo) Plexiglas sheets are always available as one material in the paint center. The fingerpaint monoprint is available by request. The brayers, a tube of ink and a sheet of Plexiglas are kept in a small box at the printmaking table... up high and out of reach of the younger students.
I find that my "control freak" students do not care for the unexpected results common with
monoprinting, but other children adore it.
From Judy Decker: You might want to have another center with gadget printing/stamp printing. These are monoprints too. Collect a variety of objects for stamp printing (even old tennis shoes are nice). You could have limited colors for the printing. When prints are dry, color negative spaces with oil pastels for more interest. Another mono-type method to introduce is the trace method. Plexiglas plates are inked (I used black ink) with uniform layer of ink. Place a clean paper over the plate and draw on the back (being careful not to rest hand on paper as smudges will transfer). Lift paper and see that lines have transferred to the paper. Use pencils or ball point pens (pens will give a finer line). A drawing on thin paper done in advance could be used as a guide by placing it on top of the printing paper and tracing over the lines of the drawing. If a drawing is used, ball point pens work best for making the print. Cezanne, Gaugin, Degas, Picasso and Matisse are all artists who used this method of printing.
Kathy used a sample print by Judy Decker
(see digital image and detail).
You may select a variety of non-objective art for the critique.
Kandinsky would be a good choice.
Monotypes and Monoprints [DVD] - The printmakers in this production demonstrate how different plates can be drawn on or painted with water-based mediums. Some of the techniques used include subtractive, additive, templates, ghost prints, and handworking the finished print. 41 minutes.
Get Plexiglas cut to manageable sizes. Many window shops may donate scraps. Set up stations for white ink (with black paper) and stations for black ink on white paper. Put a variety of scraping tools at each station. Students can also make their own tools using scrap cardboard and old credit cards. Cover tables with newspaper (or roll paper). Have plenty of newspaper on hand to recover tables as needed. Note: white acrylic silk screen ink works well with black paper.
Roll ink out onto Plexiglas plates (ink should make a slight zipping sound). Cover plate evenly
Use assorted tools to scratch a design in plate. Focus on scratching an interesting pattern of line. Scrap off different thicknesses of lines for variety.
Once satisfied - place clean paper over plate (make sure plate has been moved to a clean section of newspaper). Rub back of paper to transfer ink.
Look at print and plate - compare. How has image changed? Put prints on Drying Rack to dry.
Explore other types of printmaking set up in the room (or make more subtractive prints).
Embellish dry prints with colored pencils and/or Construction paper crayons. If an acrylic ink was used, students could embellish prints with paint.
Critique works of art. Compare student work to other examples of non-objective art/artists.
Students are embellishing finished prints with crayons and colored pencils. Click images for larger views.
Project: Monoprint -Subtractive
Method Name______________________ Class __________
– 3 pts
Novice – 1 pt
Developing skills at grade level – Shows growth - takes risks to discover
I produce high quality, creative work. I show originality and take risks to learn new.
Understanding and application of Art Concepts and lesson objectives
I apply all art concepts, especially those stressed for the project. I solve problems myself.
Participation and effort
I always participate in class and always use class time well
Use and care of Materials
I used all materials appropriately with no reminders. I always clean up
I always follow all classroom rules and never cause a classroom disturbance. I am Always helpful.
A Monotype is when only one print is made from a inked surface.
Non-objective art does not resemble any object - living or man made.
When a print is made from a plate the image is reversed.
Students made a non-objective print(s) using the subtractive method. They made a pleasing image using line and color. They learned the elements and principles of design are important in non-objective art, too.