Printmaking Week 2

LESSON TITLE: Printmaking (2 of 6)
TEACHER NAME: Jennifer November
GRADE LEVEL: 7th & 8th
CLASS TIME: _1hr 45_Minutes _1_Days/week _6_# Class(es)


Students will understand how to transfer their sketch from the paper to the block.

Students will practice safety proceeders while cutting the block.

Students will know the proper way to use the materials, and continue to use the proper terms for them.


  • Pencil
  • Newsprint or Drawing paper
  • Erasers
  • Gouge, blades #1-6
  • Cutting block surface
  • 4×6 Linoleum block
  • 4.5×6.5 Card-stock (can be found at most craft stores often used for scrapbooks)
  • 5×7 Blank cards and envelopes (used for mounting later)
  • Ink of various colors (water based)
  • Inking tray (we used old baking sheets, just needs to be a non-absorbant surface
  • Phone book
  • Brayer

VOCABULARY (already gone over in week one, but there is always an importance in reenforcing the technical terms of the tools, allow your students to feel like experts in their work).

Printmaking Powerpoint

Terms can be found on the Printmaking Week 1 post.


On the second day students have will receive both of their blocks for carving the two prints. They first need to transfer the sketch tot he block. This works out best if the students used newsprint to draw their final sketch on it (however I have found that just about any kind of drawing paper and at least a soft BH pencil or softer does just fine). I cut the paper down to the same size as my blocks (in this case it was 4×6). After the drawing is finished and pre-approved by the teacher I had the students place the drawing face down on the block and used a hard smooth surface to rub the paper onto the block. The graphite will be picked up pretty well by the block. They can then use sharpies to draw over their drawing and be certain of the image. By using the sharpie they will also have a stronger awareness of what can be carved away and what thickness to make their lines. Forewarn your students about too much details, when they are carving in the block small details often get carved away. This can be adjusted if you are using a firmer material for the blocks.

Once the image is on the block they can begin to carve. My students were carving two different prints at the same time. They are working on such small blocks that having the second project to work on gives them a bit more work to create two different images and both using slightly different methods (reduction & relief).


The students really took to the carving process. I began the class by going over the safety procedures of carving with a sharp gouge and really put an emphasis on the importance of cutting away from your body and hands. I showed the students to use the way to hold the block by using the cutting block at the edge of the table and always cutting away from the hands and body. We worked slowly, turned the block many times, and used several size blades.  I told them to carve, then rise the block off to rid it of any dust or cut pieces that may be left. Then dry the block, pick an ink and then I could give them a demo on printing.

They worked hard on their relief prints first. I wanted them to make progress on these first because once their one design is finished they can print it through out the class. So if they finish printing their layers on their reduction print, they can work on printing the relief prints and this may guarantee we have a certain amount in the end.

These prints will be mounted on greeting cards and then sold in the Middle School’s holiday sale. Based off the sales at this point we know it will need to print about 76. I had each student make a minimum of 12 reduction prints and 12 relief prints, but they could do as many relief prints as they want through out the session.

Once someone was ready with their cut block I gave the students a demo on printing.

We laid the block face up on the table after it has been rinsed and dried very well. Since we are using water based inks, water will cause water spots in the ink if the block is not completely dry.

Squeeze the ink into the inking tray. If you are mixing colors, use a pallet knife to throughly mix he color together. Once this is done use the brayer to roll the ink on as evenly as you can. To smooth out the ink and to take away execs ink use the phone book to roll out the brayer on the paper and make your ink even. Once it looks smooth and evenly distributed on the brayer it is ready to be run over the block. We then put the paper on top of the block and use a clean dry brayer on top of the printed paper. After a few pass-overs we were ready to pull the paper. Starting at one corner and pulling in a diagonal direction slowly, we pulled the prints. The students can then examine the image and decide if there is more to take away from the image. So they wash any ink off, and sometimes ink will stain the block, this is normal, and they can go back into the block and cut away more. It’s important to explain that more can be take away but we can never add to it. Once they felt comfortable with their test pulls on their relief prints I told them to begin working on their reduction prints, so they can begin printing on the card stock paper the following week with hopefully both blocks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s