Lesson Plan: Inexpensive Printmaking!

Inexpensive Printmaking!

MonaLesson Plan Submitted by: Teri Schlotman
Elementary art teacher at Villa Madonna Academy, Kentucky
Grades: Adaptable to all grades!



Buy the largest foam plates that you can (9 3/4) from the grocery store. Cut off the rims, leaving a nice flat round area. Have the children use a "dull" pencil to etch in a design of their choice. Tell them to press hard without going through the plate.


To keep costs down, for this next step, use tempera paint and a cheap foam brush. OR, if you have the funds, you can use a brayer and ink. I use the first one though and it works great!!!


Just simply brush on a color, being sure to cover the entire printing area. Now lay a clean sheet of paper over the top of it, rub gently with finger tips, peel off paper from plate and TA DAH! You have a wonderful print. Using tempera has another advantage. I have the kids go to the sink, and with a foam brush that's laying back there, I have them wash off the color and dry it with a paper towel. Now they can come back and make another print with another color.


If you want the etching to have white lines, students will paint on the etched side of the plate. If you want the etched lines to be colored, paint on the raised portion of the plate.


paper plate print

Alternate: Using the foam brush to brush on the color allows them an easy way to brush on several colors at once!


Alternate: Use Styrofoam meat trays. Have students save and bring in (washed). Some stores may donate meat trays.


See the lesson, Easy Printmaking with Corrugated Cardboard

See Cathy Topal's Thinking with a Line.. Be sure to check the student gallery.



Students can make Collagraph prints from Nature on their plates. [See this lesson] Leaves and other items from nature are glued to the plate and then coated with acrylic gel medium to waterproof the items. Water-based Block Printing Inks. (or temperas) is then applied to the plate surface by painting it on with a brush, dabbing it into recesses with sponge foam brush or small bundles of material. The plate is then placed on the paper for printing.




Styrofoam Trays. (for inks or paint), assorted cut pieces of corrugated cardboard (cut to different size rectangles), Drawing Paper. (or Construction Paper.), choice of Block Printing Inks. or paint (Acrylic Paint. would be water resistance when dry). Optional: cut cardboard tubes (for curves shapes)



Demonstrate process. Present theme - or let student choose own subject - or create non-objective works.



Students dip edge of cardboard into ink and transfer ink to drawing paper (or construction paper). Students can create some very complex designs (architecture/city scapes is a good subject)


You can add to it card board cylinder sections for curved shapes (like cut up empty masking tape rolls).


You might try using Acrylic Paint. as ink so that it will be water resistant when dry. Students can then paint their compositions with water colors.


Quite striking is white ink on black paper - then colored with Construction Paper Crayons., Pastels. or oil pastels.



Printmaking: it's elementary!: An article from: Arts & Activities. - This digital document is an article from Arts & Activities, published by Publishers' Development Corporation on November 1, 2002.


Simple Printmaking: A Beginner's Guide to Making Relief Prints. - Information on making eraser prints, carving a linoleum block, making a woodcut, even building block out of Polymer Clay.. All of the prints appear on functional things: wrapping paper and note cards, book covers, a calendar, a poster, a T-shirt, even a lampshade.


Printmaking for Beginners. - This is a basic guide to printmaking techniques covering topics such as monoprint, relief, intaglio, screen and lithographic printmaking, explaining the processes involved and recommending the tools, paper types and sequences that are necessary for each, as well as highlighting safe and sensible working practices. The author uses the work of an international group of artists to show the diverse effects which are possible with the various printmaking techniques.



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