Magazine article School Arts

"Blotto": Symmetry and Beginning Prints

Magazine article School Arts

"Blotto": Symmetry and Beginning Prints

Article excerpt

The most rudimentary introduction to the process of printing which can lead to the practice of such techniques as Styrofoam or linoleum prints is the "fold over" print, or "blotto." It is important for young children to experience the possibilities ties presented when one creates an image, planned or spontaneous, an transfers it to another paper. Printmaking is one of my favorite units to teach because children bring such creativity and wonderment at every turn.

I distributed two sheets of 12 x 18" (31 x 46 cm) white drawing paper. Then, I asked the students to fold one piece in half lengthwise and o piece in half widthwise. Next, I distributed two colors of thick tempera paint and wide brushes. The students freely dabbed the paint on one half of their unfolded papers. They did this quickly so the paint would still be wet which they folded over (dosed) the paper and pressed it, causing the paint to transfer symmetrically to the blank half. The paper was then opened and the resulting Rorschach-like ink blot was allowed to dry flat. Every student created at least two prints to develop further during the following art class.

Taking a Closer Look

I asked each student to slowly turn her or his designs on the table, studying it in hopes of having an image appear that they could enhance With markers and crayons. Although some expected instant results and rewards, patience was an important lesson in this project's success. This fanciful, enjoyable process was very successful and was repeated with a twist in my third grade class. …

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