Free Lesson Plan: Relief Printmaking

Relief Printmaking

Level: Middle School

Duration: Six 45-minute class periods

Historical Overview: Kathe Kollwitz, German Expressionism, and the history of Japanese wood block printing

Goals and Objectives: To introduce printmaking techniques

Vocabulary: Positive and negative space, relief printmaking, brayer, press, barren, inks, Blankets

Materials: Paper, pencils, tracing paper, tape, glass with taped edges, rollers/ brayers, press, barren, inks, door knobs, Japanese rice paper and sampling of other papers, sampling of wood


Day 1

  1. Anticipatory Set: Show posters and books of images of different prints by artist Kathe Kollwitz.
  2. Slide lecture on history of relief printmaking.
  3. Class discussion on artists shown.
  4. Review vocabulary.
  5. Demonstrate image reversal and planning for use of negative space.
  6. Provide a sampling of wood and linoleum.

Day 2

  1. Students create preliminary sketches and transfer drawings onto linoleum.
  2. Demonstrate cutting tools and techniques (i.e. using hot plate to make cutting easier).
  3. Demo on sharpening knives and different types of cuts.
  4. Students use tools to cut images.

Day 3

  1. Review variety of methods for inking plate.
  2. Demo on basic hand image transfer printmaking techniques
  3. Demonstrate studio clean up rules and techniques.
  4. Students complete project one.

Day 4

  1. Demo on reduction cut printmaking techniques using linoleum.
  2. Review inks and color mixing with palette knives and paint scrapers.
  3. Review different methods of registration and keeping aligned edges secured.

Day 5

  1. Demonstrate hand painting plate with oil paint and linseed oil applied with brushes
  2. Demonstrate color separation with multiple plates.
  3. Demo on how to use press.

Day 6

  1. Students complete projects and critique prints.

Art Sphere Incorporated

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