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We just cancelled a teen printmaking class (monotype) from our summer art
program due to lack of response. I think a major problem was that kids
were so unfamiliar with it. We tried to explain in all our PR materials
that the class would involve drawing, painting and bookmaking as well.
Also, teens say they won't take anything in the summer if they don't get
school credits for it.
We have been doing a lot of monotypes with kids this year. We start off
doing them right on the tables with acrylic paints or finger paint. You
have to work fast. Kids use their fingers and hands to smear the paint
around and then we place a sheet of paper (hinged with masking tape right
onto the table) over the color and rub by hand. They can lift up the paper
and see what they got and then make adjustments in the paint and print it
again. No need to worry about registration since the paper hasn't moved.
Sometimes it take a bit of practiv\ce to figure out how much paint is too
much--thick applications squirt out and distort. A face or a portrait is
good subject matter for this. Later we do more complicated stuff using
plexiglass plates which are donanted scrap from framing shops. A great
book is Monotype by Julia Ayres (Watson Guptill). It has many interesting
techniques to try and they are very kid friendly. I especially like the
ideas for using tape.
For reliefs: use glue, tape, string and pieces of heavy cut paper to
create collograph plates. You'll need to paint a coat of glue or acrylic
medium over them so they don't fall apart during print. If you soak your
paper before printing and used a baren, you won't need a press to print
Kids also enjoy making books. If they do an edition of prints, they can
trade around with the class and put together a book of everyone's images.
We've been doing some wonderful flip books based on accordian folds. A
theme based subject assignment works best for a book project so there is
some continuity between the images in the book. There are many good
bookmaking sources out there. Check your library or big bookstores.
Contrary to Fran, I find kids always hate printmaking at first but once
they get into it, they're hooked. They complain about having to make more
than one, but once they're done, you can't get them to part with any one of