Printmaking Skills Lab
Printmaking Skills Lab
Monotype printmaking is a technique that creates one-of-a-kind prints. Using ink or paint, the artist draws on a polished surface, such as glass, metal, or stone. When absorbent paper is pressed on top of the drawing, the design transfers in a mirror image. The paper picks up most of the paint or ink, so there is not enough for another print. As a result, the print is unique. If you do press another sheet of paper on the inked surface, you will get a faint image which is known as a ghost print.
Bright, colorful and highly appealing, the six-volume hands-on “Art Skills Lab” series encourages readers to unleash their creativity and try a variety of visual art media. Each title explains the elements of design (line, shape, texture, pattern and composition) as they pertain to the featured art form and profiles famous artists and their works as examples. Topics also include a brief history of the specific art form, the color wheel (warm versus cool colors, complementary colors, and tints and shades), materials and techniques. There are step-by-step instructions for 11 hands-on activities in each title as well as text boxes with additional information, tips, and ideas for extending the creative process. The authors encourage readers to examine works of art and to bring that awareness to their own creations. For the home artist, the projects require an initial outlay of money for supplies, especially for items such as watercolor paint, brushes, cheesecloth, brayers, etc., but many of the supplies can be purchased for little cost at dollar stores. Teachers would find this series useful as teaching tools for art lessons in the classroom. Abundant color photographs, not only accompany each of the steps in a project, but also showcase real life works of art. A table of contents, a glossary, an index and a list of books and web sites for more ideas and copyright-free images are included.
Four main types of printmaking are covered in Printmaking Skills Lab: relief, intaglio, lithography and serigraphy (screen printing). The materials required are a little more expensive than those required in the other titles and a few of the projects need adult supervision for safety reasons (i.e. working with a sharp knife, V-chisel or a gouge). Readers can try fruit and vegetable prints, textured stamping with found materials such as rope, wood scraps and buttons, styrofoam impressions, lino and leaf prints, pochoir (stenciling) and silk screening, among others.
Interesting, educational and fun, the “Art Skills Lab” series is well worthy of purchase.
Gail Hamilton is a former teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, Manitoba.