While looking back over all of the projects, I was shocked and a little upset with myself that we didn't do printmaking this year. While in college, I LOVED printmaking. I even did an independent study in it and my entire senior art exhibition was printmaking. We did printmaking in 7th grade last year but I wanted to kick it up a notch this year and make it a bit more challenging. I decided to try reduction printmaking!
For this project, I took a picture of the students and used paint.net to posterize the photos into 3 colors (black, grey and white). Students shaded on the back and transferred all of their white areas onto the linoleum. We use easy carve linoleum at school and it's so easy for the kids. We haven't had any slips (or bad cuts) this year! Students used the gauge to carve away all of the areas of their print that would be left white. Since we were printing on white paper, we didn't need to print this part. All that would be left would be the grey and black areas.
They chose a color and mixed it with some white to make a tint. Then students pulled a proof. A proof is a practice print so they can see what it would look like. If they were happy with their proof, they could pull 10 or more quality prints. The students discussed what made a quality print and here is their list...
- enough ink, no white spots
- linoleum carved away where it was meant to be carved away (no stray marks)
- Ink has an orange peel texture
- No finger prints
- No smudges (where the paper slipped on the plate)
After they printed 10 or more quality prints, they had to carve away all of the grey area, leaving only the black areas to print. They then mixed a shade of ink and printed on top of their first prints.
Here is the final result