Thursday, February 26, 2009


This is a Printmaking project I did with Grade 6 before my vacation.
Rather than a typical monochromatic print I wanted to introduce them to a layered technique. It turned out quite well and for display we included the individual elements as well as the combined layered print..showing our progression.

Materials Required:

paper...I used a heavy sketch paper
acrylic paint
recycled foam
dull pencil
brayer, rolling pin, or even water bottle or coffee cup

At school I have been using scratch foam because we have a rather large supply of it.
It is basically thin sheets of foam similar to foam plates.
You can find it here.
However it is much more environmentally friendly to recycle some foam know the ones they usually are meat trays.....

mushroom containers..etc.

If it has some texture to it turn it over you should be able to find a smooth surface somewhere.

For this project we were doing a landscape. I had the kids determine their horizon line first and then we cut our foam sheet on this line.
I talked to them about the rule of thirds which I use repeatedly when creating art. How it is more visually appealing for the horizon to be in the bottom or top third rather than in the middle.

Using a dull pencil make your design. You want it to have simple line detail. No fussy stuff but make sure you have enough in the design to make the print interesting.

Do all your background pieces.

We are also adding some foreground elements. For this we are using scrap pieces of foam cut into shapes which also have some line details on them.
These are only about 1-2 inches tall.

Now the fun part....put some acrylic craft paint onto a palette. I am using a foam plate which I can then recycle( I let the paint dry and reuse it)
Don't dilute the paint it should be the perfect consistency straight from the bottle.

Paint completely one element. Don't scrub the paint into the design you just want to coat it completely with nice easy strokes.

Lay down into place on your paper.

Using a roller gently apply some pressure to the foam. If you press too hard you will lose the design. Make sure you cover the whole area.

Lift to see result.

For this project we did 2 prints for each element. The combined print as well as an individual print of each piece.

Take your little foam shapes and paint them.

Place on your composition. gently apply some pressure.

Lift off. They are almost like little foam stamps.

Continue until you are happy with your composition.

Here are all my pieces ready to be mounted.
I also got the kids to come up with a title for their print.

Mount on posterboard for display.
Give it a try, printmaking can become very addictive.
I have used this method on fabric as well. Because you are using acrylic paint you will have a durable print that holds up to washing.
We have made table runners, placemats, t-shirts, as well as printing on canvas for wonderful wall hangings.
see you next time


  1. I understand the addiction. In college I fell in love with monoprinting. If I had a press I would do them all the time. Thanks for sharing this though, printing really is fun and creates such unique pieces with such interesting textures.

  2. Thanks Ms. Julie. I wish I had a press as well!
    I'm thinking of doing a series of prints for the hallway at home...I really enjoy doing the progressions just have to find some good hot press wc paper I think.
    Your comments are most welcome!