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Multiple Level Lesson Plan

Positive & Negative Leaf Prints

Created on January 22, 2015 by KatieMorris

Students explore positive and negative space with mono prints made on a gelli plate, as well as different combinations of first generation and ghost prints.

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1 session; 40 minutes per session

1. SWBAT create a layered mono print.
2. SWBAT create patterns.
3. SWBAT explain "ghost print".
4. SWBAT experiment combinations of first generation and ghost prints.
5. SWBAT utilize positive and negative space in their prints.

1. Gelli plates (or homemade gellatin plates)
2. Paper, cut to size of plate (I used 6x6 inches)
3. Acrylic paint (tempera will work but acrylic rolls on smoother)
4. Brayers
5. Cotton swabs
6. Texture stamps or other found objects to create texture and pattern
7. A variety of leaves
8. Pencils

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Introduction
-The teacher will explain that printmaking involves creating an image on a matrix (a surface other than your paper) and printing it on paper
-Monoprints mean there is only one unique copy
-Gelli plates are flexible, reusable printmaking surfaces that show a lot of detail and texture
2. Demonstration of process
-Squirt a bit of one paint color onto gelli plate and roll out smoothly with brayer
-Create pattern or texture on gelli plate with tools
-Put one piece of paper centered on top of gelli plate, rub with hand to transfer, then lift paper to pull print
-Set first paper aside and use second piece of paper to repeat the printing method to create a ghost print
-Choose a different color of paint, roll out with brayer
-Choose one or more leaves and arrange on plate, vein side down
-Choose one of the prints, original or ghost, and place on top of plate
-Rub paper, pull print. The leaf acted as a mask and this print will show the negative space of the leaf.
-Use remaining piece of paper to pull ghost print. This print will show the positive space of the leaf, printing the texture of the veins.
-Layering positive/positive, ghost/ghost, positive/ghost, ghost/positive will create different effects

I only have 4 small gelli plates so it took 2-3 class periods to give each student a turn. I designated one table as a gelli printing station. The plates were in the corners and the tools and paint were in the middle so the options were clear. I squirted paint for students to make sure we didn't waste paint. They rolled the dirty brayers on a paper towel in between colors. This lesson was completed with 2nd and 3rd grade students but would work well with intermediate or middle school.

I let students explore other techniques as well, like just using textures and patterns or drawing an image with a cotton swab but the leaves were the most popular choice.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
[K-4] Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
[K-4] Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner
[5-8] Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses
[5-8] Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas

Rhythm/Pattern, Shape, Space, Texture