Today I can safely say that most of my grade 6’s have finished their lino printing.  Compared to the last time I did this medium it was a grand success.  Last time was smaller and single coloured.  The theme was traditional african costume which was far to extensive a theme to be lino cutting into such a small piece of lino (10cmx10cm!)

This time I had a bee in my bonet about pattern making.  Not just a print ful off patterns (which is hard enough to get out of then decently) but …. a pattern which when turned and repeted would link to form new and exciting mirror images.  Boy did this take time to figure out in my brain and to execute in such a way that the kids did not need to be explained too much but it just happened that way – I got it though!

I had them fold an A4 page till they reached A7 size.  They drew various kinds of lines with some touching each of the four sides.

They then opened the page up and traced this (using a light box or window) as carefully as possible to every part of the page – front only.  Choosing their favourite 2 touching pieces, they covered them in pastel at the back, placed that over the lino piece and traced the pattern onto the lino which left the exact lines to be cut out.

These were really the simple outlines which now needed to be filled with textures, lines and details to make the print intersting and eye catching.  To get the contrast, which always makes art more beautiful in my opnion, I encouraged thick lines and thin lines, left open areas and completely cut away areas, speckles and repeated lines.

They may sag at the thought but they were happier when they saw the result.

…And I am extatic!

We double printed it – Printing yellow and red blocks using the uncut back of the lino and printing with black over the dried red and yellow blocks.  Where they did not print with colour the kids got a black and white print which added to the variety in the artwork.