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Editor’s Note: Today I’d like to introduce the newest member of the AOE Writing Team, Wynita Harmon! Wynita teaches elementary art in Plano, TX and provides her students with lots of choice in order to develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. You can learn more about Wynita here. Please join us in giving Wynita a warm welcome in the comment section!
Creating monoprints is a magical experience for students and one of the most popular activities in my art studio. The abstract nature of the results and the engaging process keep students coming back again and again. I find great pleasure in watching my students experiment, as they are so excited to see their resulting masterpieces!
Each monoprint comes out beautifully unique.
In my room, we use Gelli plates. They are user-friendly and the possibilities really are endless. Of course, you can display the finished prints as-is, but you can also show students how to take their prints to the next level by adding layers with drawing and collage materials. These more advanced processes allow students to enhance their skills while intentionally promoting the creation of mixed-media artwork.
It is important to have a workspace set up or materials already put aside in order to maximize your time.
Once your materials are set up, students can begin printing using the process below.
If you or your students do not have prior knowledge of creating monoprints with a Gelli plate and need a tutorial, you can check out a video I created right here.
We all know our students may need a little push in the inspiration department from time to time. Give your students an opportunity to brainstorm ideas of what they would like to create with their print or inspire them with the ideas listed below.
By this step, students should have a print ready to go and an idea in mind based on their own choice, the inspirations provided, or a theme you set out as the focus for their artwork. Students can add collage elements first followed by drawing elements or vice versa. Both ways will provide interesting results.
Provide your students with the usual suspects like glue and scissors, but also supply them with a wide array of materials such as kid-friendly magazines, yarn, sequins, construction paper, old books, fabric scraps, and newspapers. The more items they have to add to their prints, the more creative they will be.
Students can embellish or draw on their print or even just enhance patterns and designs created through the printing process. They can add text as well. Supply students with broad and thin line markers and Sharpies, oil pastels, charcoal, colored pencils, pencils, and any other drawing materials of your choice. While all of these materials are not necessary, it is good to have at minimum two options.
The final piece should provide each student with a mixed media piece they are proud of!
Although this is a wonderful experience to give your students, it can take a bit of time and effort to set up. Here are four tips to make things run more smoothly!
As educators we know that while working with one medium is great, it’s important to show our students how to effectively combine different techniques. In this way, they can become well-rounded artists.
Do you use Gelli plates in your art studio?
How do you promote mixed media projects?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.