Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hot and Cool Reflective Landscspes

This was a great project I recently did with my Fourth Graders to teach them about printmaking (amongst many other concepts...!)
We started with a white piece of 12x18 paper, folded it in half (long-ways/"hot dog style") and painted hot-colored watercolor on top and cool-colored watercolors beneath the folded horizon line. (*are you already seeing how many vocabulary words are used in this lesson?!)
On Day 2 we created our printing plates using sheets of styrofoam (they were 9x12 sheets, I cut them in half so they would fit perfectly) and the kids used pencil to draw/etch a skyline. They cut the negative space off the top of the printing plate. Students then rolled black water-based ink over their printing plate (I like to use Speedball water-based printing ink--- semi-pricey but sticks to they styrofoam marvelously and transfers great too!)
They printed the first print in the hot-colored section (the "sky") and did a ghost print in the beneath it in the blue section (the "water"). I know it's not a direct reflection, but it still works and you can barely tell that it's not a direct reflection!
Vocabulary used in this lesson (and I'm sure there are a zillion I've missed): hot colors, cool colors, color scheme, reflection, horizon line, printing plate, etching, ink, brayer, print, printmaking, skyline, citicscape, reflection, ghost print.)
I've used other methods of printing over the years and haven't printed much with styrofoam at all (mainly because of price!) but I'm glad I pulled this lesson from the vault because the kids LOVED it and learned SO MUCH! I loved overhearing their conversations while they were printing. They really were using the correct vocabulary which made my heart swoon!


  1. Beautiful lesson, well done. The results are fantastic!

  2. So wonderful! I love this! We will have to give it a try!