Monday, January 12, 2015

Patterned Penguin Printmaking


This is a great art lesson for Winter and/or the study of Winter Animals or even Migration.
Using black ink on a white background (or white ink on a black background) is a natural choice for the black and white penguin.

Using foam plates have your students cut the curved edges off - leaving a flat circle.

Trace the circle onto some sketch paper and look at some penguin photos.

Penguins are basically an oval shape with part of the oval on the outside edge turned into a wing or flipper.

The head is a circle with the beak added.

Practice some penguins on the paper, but not in the circle.  Their penguin can be doing anything and they can draw as many as they want.

When the students are happy with drawing their penguins they can put their design into the circle they traced.

Every line they draw will print as a white line, the areas they leave alone with print black - opposite of their drawing.

Ask the students to put some pattern on their penguins belly.  This will make the belly look white in contrast to the plain wings and head.

Ask them to also add a horizon line and some snow or stars to the sky, thinking about balance and pattern.

They can also add a pattered border around the edges, like a frame if they want.

They can draw their sketch on the foam by tracing over their pencil lines with the foam under the paper, or draw freehand on the foam.  Have them press lightly the first time, remove the paper and then go over it with more pressure.


Using water based block printing ink, a sheet of plexiglass and a soft breyer,  ink the foam circle on a sheet of newspaper.

Place the foam circle face down on the paper and push down, using your hands as a printing press.  Make sure the students don't push the plate across the paper smudging it, have them push straight down.
I like to have the students use a paper towel and push straight down on all the areas of the plate with firm pressure in a circular motion.
The drawing prints backwards - I usually ask them not to draw any words on their foam.

They can make as many copies of the print as they want.  Each one will probably be a little bit different because they may not get the ink rolled on the same or use the same pressure etc...  That is part of the beauty and magic of printmaking.

They should sign their print and put the print order of the print above the number in the edition of prints.
Mine is the 2nd print made out of a total of 2 - so 2/2

A super simple lesson in drawing, printmaking and pattern.
Examples of 3rd Grade Artists:






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