Printmaking Week 5

LESSON TITLE: Printmaking (5 of 6)
TEACHER NAME: Jennifer November
GRADE LEVEL: 7th & 8th
CLASS TIME: _1hr 45_Minutes _1_Days/week _6_# Class(es)


Students will print their first layer of their print on the colored paper.

Students will print some of their relief prints on the colored paper.


  • 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


When printing for the first time the students are to take a test pull. This is when the rest of the printing materials come in such as the phone book, brayer and ink. The block is to be rinsed off and throughly dried.

Ink should be spread onto an inking tray. Students were given the option of mixing their own colors with the pallet knife on the inking tray if they desired.

Using the brayer roll it onto the ink moving in one direction so that it gets covered with ink. It should be pretty spread out. But at this point the ink will be pretty thick and will need to be evened out. This is where the phonebook comes in. Tare off the cover of the book to use the paper pages as disposable roll out ink trays. The paper will absorb a little amount of the moisture and spread out the ink evenly on the brayer. This is great because when you need to switch out the paper you can tare the page off and discard it. By evening out the ink on the brayer it will give a much more even coat of ink on the block. This should be reported each time the print is made.

After getting the ink even on the brayer roll it over the block with little pressure. It should pick up the ink and be even. If it doesn’t look like it have a good coat of ink on it go over the block one more time in the same direction.

Follow Up

Students were working hard on their prints the earlier week but had run out of time to print on the colored paper designated for the final project. So this week they were anxious to get right into working. I had no instructions for them, just to get right to work. They had all of the tools at this point, and they showed this to me when they called the all of the materials by their proper names, when they used the materials in a more confidant way. I was treating this class like I had with my high schoolers the first time I ever taught this in my student teaching years ago. I allowed them to have all of the important information to be as educated on the printing process as well as making the prints themselves. I was so happy to see them pick up all of the materials they needed to set up stations and begin printing or carving. They all began with the reduction prints. First printing the base layer on the colored paper. They were to print at least a dozen or so of these prints and set aside to dry for next time. Once they had about a dozen of these prints done they could wash the ink of the block and either carve it to prepare it for next time, or print the relief prints. This allowed us to begin the full production of the cards. Some of my students had already printed their first layer the earlier week and it was with these students that I was able to demonstrate the way to register the second print on top of the first print. The students were to line up the print by holding the block above the print, holding the print so the block carving is facing you as you bring the block down on an angle and line up the init to he image. This took a few tries, but that is why we saved all of the prints we did (even if they didn’t come out perfectly) so we could make a mistake here and there.

The last week would be saved for the second printing layer or third layer depending on how far in the process each student had gotten. At this point we are creating finished products which can be mounted on the cards the last week.

Since we were running so behind schedule some of the students worked on their free time to create more finished prints. The following week we had a lot of finished cards!


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