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From pixels ... to prints.

It is important for students to prepare for the challenges of electronic imaging in the world of tomorrow. They need to understand how computers affect their lives. Computer-generated graphics continue to revolutionize communications. Printmaking technology, centuries apart from electronic imaging in its origin, has similarly affected our lives and our methods of communication.

This unit fosters the creative use of these technologies. Students will learn how to integrate computer imaging and printmaking to generate self-portraits in synthesized colors that express an emotion.

Class Sessions

Session 1

* Discuss impact of printmaking on the world.

* Show examples of linoleum prints.

* Discuss the content of the self-portrait. Use examples of traditional and computer-generated drawings to demonstrate the two methods of creating a portrait.

* Review facial proportions.

Homework: Using mirrors, students draw a 12[inches] (31 cm) square self-portrait that expresses an emotion.

Sessions 2-3

* After discussing the relationship of color to emotion, students translate their portraits into a color medium (colored pencil, oil pastel, colored marker) or a computer.

* Demonstrate use of computer software programs for painting (such as Platinum Paint or Paint Works) and manipulating color and composition. (Images are translated into a grid of pixels, comparable to mosaic tiles. Use a digital drawing table, light pen or mouse to enhance images.)

* Demonstrate scanning equipment (video equipment and software that can digitize such as Computer Eyes). Students digitize portraits on computer, then manipulate the original color and composition to make it more expressive. Students make a color printout and save the finished portrait on disk.

Sessions 4-5

* Using the portrait (hand drawn or computer generated), show how to make a tracing paper key. Students number each color area (from lightest to darkest) and make a sample color chart. They decide on final colors.

* Have computers available to finish digital portraits.

Sessions 6-7

* Students transfer the tracing paper key to the linoleum block (in reverse).

* Introduce printmaking vocabulary and tools. Demonstrate cutting techniques and tools. Stress safety.

* Students outline and number the color areas with a permanent marker on the linoleum transfer. Cut away areas that will be white only.

Sessions 8-9

* Demonstrate the preparation of an inking and printing area.

* Demonstrate color mixing, inking and registration techniques.

* Print the first (lightest) color, using the block on which white areas have been cut away. Print five copies.

* Clean equipment and area to prepare for printing the second (next darkest) color onto the first color prints.

* Students continue this sequence to reductively color layer the prints. Caution them to watch registration.

Sessions 10-12

* Continue cutting and printing.

* Number, title and sign finished editions. Mat and display.


Critique prints for use of color to express an emotion and for cutting and printing techniques.


Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.


* Apple IIgs computers (4-6 for 15 students), Platinum Paint[R] or other painting software, video camera, Computer Eyes[R] or other software that can digitize, computer printer and paper

* matting materials

* water-soluble block printing ink

* metal bench hooks, cutting tools

* inking plates, brayers, barens, wooden spoons

* coated linoleum blocks

* drawing paper, printing paper

* graphite tracing paper or carbon paper

* oil pastels, colored and graphite pencils

* mirrors with taped edges

* permanent black markers


Soften linoleum with warm iron to ease cutting. Always use sharp tools. Never place hand in front of area to be cut. Always cut away from oneself.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:upper elementary printmaking unit
Author:Tillander, Michelle
Publication:School Arts
Date:Sep 1, 1995
Previous Article:Creating a process-folio.
Next Article:Just me, myself and a copy machine.

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