Monday, November 10, 2014

Skyline Prints- RES

Fourth grade artists have been looking at city skylines, comparing the similarities and differences between buildings. 
Some of their observations:
Most buildings have windows, but the windows can be tall, rectangular, tiny, round, etc.
Buildings have doors, but the doors can be single width and wood, double glass doors, arched, etc.
All buildings have a roof, but some are flat, some are pointed, or have radio antennae or lightning rods, some have chimneys, and so on
Most of the buildings are basically rectangles, but the height and width varies.

Artists brought all of these observations to this printmaking project
City skylines reflected into water!
I was inspired by this lesson, but couldn't help noticing that all of the reflections were backward, and figured that would be easy to fix.

Sunset and water
First, artists created their sky and water. They could really choose any time of day or night for this, and had the option to add salt.  Salting the watercolors creates a sparkly effect in the water or calls to mind stars when sprinkled in a dark black sky.

City developing
Next, artists used print styrofoam to create the skyline. Using a dull pencil, students compressed the fibers firmly to leave raised areas they would hold the ink, and white areas that would show the background paper when printed.  When they finished drawing, they cut out any negative space leaving only the buildings.

Negative space cut away from foam print plate
Next, we rolled out printing ink on plastic acetate. I find this allows a more consistent surface than using a styrofoam tray to roll out on.
Rolling out the ink with the brayer
The ink is ready to put on the print plate when it is similar to the texture of citrus peel.  Rolling across ready ink sounds sort of like shoes stuck in mud.

Rolling brayer onto printing plate
When the printing plate is fully inked, artists placed it face down on the sky, flipped it, and rubbed the back of the paper to transfer the ink.
Ready to peel off print foam
After the print plate is removed, instead of flipping the plate and printing again on the water, which would produce a rotated print rather than a reflected one, we closed the paper in half and squashed it.  To imagine what I mean here, think about folded Kindergarten paint butterflies- paint on half the paper and press it closed.
Ta-da! Spooky nighttime castle city
These came out fantastically well.  
A few more for your viewing pleasure.

The little flecks of light areas in the blue are the salt in the watercolor

Stormy water, clearing sky.  Awesome.

Feels like a skyline of buildings by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi

Day ending over the city
Can't help but feel like I am sitting in a boat looking out at this lovely city at sunset.

1 comment:

  1. Fourth graders, your work is beautiful! What a great project Mrs. Elliott.