Thursday, March 9, 2017

4th Grade Pop Art Prints

Fourth grade students have been working on self-portraits inspired by artist Andy Warhol and the Pop Art movement.  To begin, we watched a short video about Pop Art:

Self-Portrait, Andy Warhol 1966

Students learned that Pop Art is short for "popular art" and that Andy Warhol was a Pop Artist interested in exploring popular culture of his time.  He often used bright colors and repeated images, using printmaking to create many copies of his artwork.

For this lesson, we would be creating our own collection of self-portraits, using a printmaking technique called foam relief printing.  To begin our self-portraits, we created simple line drawings using pencil and paper. Students used mirrors to observe basic shapes, proportions, and facial features.

Each student transferred their drawing onto a foam printing plate - first taping their paper on top of foam, then tracing over drawn lines using a dull pencil.  This created a copy of their self-portrait, now indented into the foam.  To carve our image deeper into the foam, we removed the paper and used a dull pencil to press into lines one more time.  

Students learned that when we later add ink to our plates and print, these carved out areas will remain empty and the uncarved areas will hold onto the ink. 

Printing day!  An exciting class where students learned proper printmaking techniques, including how to use a brayer (roller), roll out and apply ink, and hand-print their images onto paper.


Day one of printing was a success!  Students gained practice with relief printing and are looking forward to trying again next week.  Once finished, they will be choosing a few of their best prints to create a final project in the style of Andy Warhol - stay tuned!

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