These pieces were from “That Artist Woman” http://www.thatartistwoman.org/2014/09/making-autumn-trees-printmaking.htm
This did not turn out exactly how the project looks from the site but I think as educators and for those of us who are really try hard at teaching art, having varied results is always a good thing, as it allows for reflection of what happened during the process.
For us that day I did not have rollers to print the trees on. So instead we slightly modified this by cutting out the trees and then painting one side and printing it onto the piece. This was fairly successful. One common problem I noticed that we had was students would let the paper stay on their painting too long and then they would have difficulty peeling of the tree print as it was literally binding to their work. Another key issue I noticed is that some students did not like that their print left little gaps or parts of the trunk had no paint (or patchy) after peeling off their print, so they decided to paint over with a brush. Other students simply painted their tree trunks and did not follow directions. Each of the work below has had one of this things done to. I’ll let you see if you can think which ones were not done 100% correctly, in that regard.
The other part I was really focused on before printing on our tree tree trunks (branches where thinly painted) was how students painted their backgrounds. We discussed what it meant to thoughtfully and meaningfully create brush strokes, and how after the pain dries those brush strokes remain and become a reflection of the art work and the quality of it as well. We discussed especially for the sky, how we can arc the strokes to give that horizon look. We also discussed how to get rid of the brush strokes that look big and not uniform. We also worked a bit on adding in colours to the sky and to the ground to create highlights. In the examples below we see a varied amount of abilities when it came to using the paint brush and the textures created in the background and foreground.
The last part that was the dabbing on the falls leaves using Q-tips. I have done other activities in the past with Q-tips and the results are always interesting. I usually do a quick demonstration of how to make nice dots and that you are not painting like a brush but dabbing straight down, however this does not always turn out. What I mostly look for is how students are placing down their leaves. Does it look rushed, are there dots you can see? Has it turned to mud because they kept putting paint all in the same spot?
Overall,I was quite happy with the results. I like that students are willing and happy to have their own original and unique pieces of art. They are happy to risks and try new things even if it was the exact instructions, because they were envisioning something else in their heads. I try to always allow for that artistic freedom in all the projects we do to a degree. Lastly, it is important to remember two things, often times many students do not like their art because they do not think it is good compared to the few “Artists” in the room and they no longer want to try. Secondly, whatever it is you are doing with them it might be the first time they are trying out a technique and we must always remember ther are huge learning curves with art and we need to celebrate as much as we can their accomplishments even it the art piece does not turn out how we hoped it would, they tried and we should all be proud of that.
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