Saturday, October 9, 2010

a little bit halloween.

To wrap up my first four week rotation with the 5th graders I decided to do a project based on an image created by the illustrator Saul Steinberg.

This particular illustration combines an abstract style with a sense of deep space due to his use of one point perspective of the buildings along the street. It also has a bit of Steinberg's trademark humor with the inclusion of the simplified, "scary" characters lining the street.

The 5th graders had been examining and creating 3 dimensional space through the use of diagonal lines, overlapping, and shading on their previous two projects, so I thought this project would be an entertaining way to take things a step further and introduce them to one point perspective in art.

I also took this project as an opportunity to revisit relief printmaking as an artistic process. Our students do a couple of these each year, while experimenting with different techniques, styles, and colors. With relief printing, you can not shade or blend things in like a pencil drawing. You need to use line patterns or invented textures to create different values. Even after making prints every year, most of our students never tire of the excitement you feel as you pull the paper back from the inked printing plate and discover the image that has been transferred. It's like magic to them. And me.

1. introduce students to Steinberg's work and his use of perspective and shading even in more abstract images
2. guided practice with one point perspective buildings
3. trace edges of styrofoam plate onto tracing paper
4. draw city street with one point perspective on tracing paper (still guided)
5. add characters to the street, getting smaller and smaller as they go back, like the buildings
6. transfer tracing paper image to styrofoam- drawing place on top of styrofoam, trace over drawn image making sure you indent the styrofoam as you go
7. remove tracing paper and go over indented lines on the styrofoam directly with pencil
8. ink plate
9. transfer inked image on plate to print paper- lay plate ink side down on paper, flip both over, and rub from the back with consistent medium pressure, peel paper from plate, and voila!
10. repeat print process if time allows




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