Monday, July 22, 2013

High School Printmaking Unit: Post Ten -- Reductive Block Prints

After the stamp project, the use of lino-cutting tools for the reductive block print project was the least complicated aspect of what the students set out to accomplish. They faced two new challenges:
  • First they needed to come up with their own design idea. I no longer provided them with a specific subject prompt (like nature in the collographs or abstract symmetry with the stamps). The only guidelines they were given were that they should include pattern if possible, include perspective or depth, use at least three colors (not counting the white of the paper), and make an attempt at visual texture in their mark-making.
  • Once they had the design figured out and transferred to the carving block, the next big challenge was planning out what to carve away first. To achieve the reductive block print using multiple colors, students had to plan out the color areas in advance. White areas get carved away first. Then they work from lightest to darkest color areas. With each color more of the block is carved away, essentially destroying the block by the end of the process.
Students created a series of 6 - 8 prints each. They had to use registration marks to line up their prints each time a new color was inked up. Some students purposely off-set their registrations to allow some of the color layers to show through.  And depending on how much ink was applied, the layers did sometimes bleed through, but usually this added to the prints' quality.

There were so many great prints made that it is difficult to choose only a few, here are the "top ten" as determined by in-class critique:


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