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Simple Printing At Home





In these little lessons, we'll play simple printmaking techniques, using some household items.


For the first lesson, we'll make a printing plate using foam. You can reuse this plate over and over!



You will need:

* foam (styrofoam plate or food packaging, craft foam, or whatever you have that you can make in indentation in!)

* ballpoint pen, or another dull pointed implement

* spray bottle

* rags

* water based markers (crayola kids markers are great for this)

* something to print on (copier paper works great, use whatever you have!)



Prepare your space:

* cover your work area

* place your materials within reach, with room to work in front of you

* determine a place you can lay wet prints to dry while you print more

* keep drinking water nearby

* music? light? whatever makes it your ideal creative workspace, do that!


The work:

* using your ball point pen (or whatever tool you are using), draw on your foam

* note: if you are writing letters or numbers, make them backwards because the print will be reversed

* when you have finished the drawing, fill the whole plate with color using your water based markers

* spritz the paper you are printing on, dab it dry with your rag if it's too wet (you'll experiment and sort out what works best for your prints)

* turn your printing plate onto your damp paper, and press evenly over the whole thing

* lift the plate!

* note: you can do this in reverse, laying the paper over the plate - try both ways and see what you prefer!

* experiment with layering prints, using a variety of colors, blending colors on your plate

* have fun!




For the second lesson, we'll do Monoprints.



You will need:

* cardboard

* foil

* scissors

* acrylic or tempera paint

* foam or bristle paintbrush

* cotton swab or popsicle stick (or try another tool, maybe a paintbrush? a feather?)

* rags

* spray bottle or damp rag

* paper to print on (I used brown packing paper, and it works really well!)

* optional: wood spoon, tape



Prepare your space:

* cover your work area

* place your materials within reach, with room to work in front of you

* determine a place you can lay wet prints to dry while you print more

* keep drinking water nearby

* music? light? whatever makes it your ideal creative workspace, do that!


The work:

* cut a piece of cardboard smaller than the paper you will be printing on. Any shape will work.

* cover the cardboard with aluminum foil. You may want to tape the foil on the back, but not necessary

* cover the whole thing with a thin layer of paint

* make a drawing with the cotton swab, or whatever tool you are using. you are removing paint in this step

* lay the printing plate on your paper (or you may choose to lay the paper over the plate - experiment with doing this step in different ways)

* apply even pressure the the plate/paper to transfer the paint to your paper and pull your print

* you may want to use the wood spoon to apply that pressure

* pull your print!

* experiment with different tools, different amounts of paint, layering your prints

* note: if you are writing text, remember to write backwards as the print is in reverse

* you may want to experiment with making areas of your printing plate - play and have fun!



Have Fun! Be kind to yourself and each other.


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