Monday, August 7, 2017

Linocuts+ by 4th graders, inspired by a visit to a frog pond

Last week I had my Summer Spree campers create linoleum prints inspired by our visits to the local frog pond. They drew in sketchbooks, then made drawings in pencil on linoleum blocks. I showed them how to use carving tools (none had made a linocut before.) A few minor cuts and bandaids later they learned how to proof their prints in black or blue ink on white paper and white ink on black paper. From there the kids were encouraged to create final products for our end of session exhibition however they wanted. They could hand color with markers, colored pencils, watercolor paints, or collage. As a result of being given so much freedom toward the end of this project, the variation in their final products is striking and really reflects each of their personal interests and personalities.

My favorite was Minori's. She's a bit of a dark, serious kid at times, and after hand-coloring her print she wanted to add a poem "about a frog and a window." So we did a Google search and she found the perfect poem to compliment her image and set the dark mood she wanted: Frog Outside My Window by Walterrean Salley.

Amelia spent a lot of time carving and removed most of the surface linoleum from her block, so I had her print in oil-based black ink and then we masked a border and she add colors with watercolor paint for the neatly finished image of a birdfeeder.

Lauren got rather creative; first she hand-colored and glued one of her prints to a blue piece of paper. Then she drew on and cut one of her other prints to turn it into a figure, and added it and more drawing to the overall work of art.

Both Selwa and Leah turned their prints into diptychs; Selwa had made a symmetrical image with the frog in the center and the pond below, so a second, ghost image of the print was placed underneath to make a reflection. Leah made an image of a tree and printed one black on white paper, and one white on black paper.


Ben also created two versions of his print, both hand-colored, and glued them to the same piece of paper. And Nate hand-colored his bug-eyed frog print and then added pieces of green polka dot fabric to the space around the image.

And finally, Zoia and Sophia both added bold color with opaque acrylic paint to their prints to totally transform the image, using the linocut image as a starting point. 

I love children's artwork. Looking forward to Session 6 of Summer Spree camp this year. I think I'm going to have the kids make a version of white line relief print with markers and Scratch Art Scratch Foam.

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