Lesson #1: Creating Texture with Lines

Part of the unit: Creating an Animal Print |


Why do printmakers create texture with lines?
Students will be able to:
Create textures using lines made with a variety ofl drawing tools
Engrave a foam plate
Students will understand that artists::
Use familiar tools and materials in new ways.
Extend knowledge of design elements.

Chart paper; markers, crayons, pencils and various implements of different thicknesses for students to share (pencils, pens, skewers, etc.), VGA projector; ballpoint pens, 8 1/2" X 11" paper divided into 4 squares and two 3" x 4" practice pieces of scratch-foam per student.

Materials for demonstration:  black paper, white paper, printing ink, brayer


Albrecht Durer's Rhinoceros


Display Albrecht Durer's Rhinoceros.

  • Based on this work, what do you think a rhinoceros might feel like?
  • What do you see that gives you that impression?
  • If you could touch the art work, what would it feel like?

    Discuss the difference between visual texture and actual texture.

Review different kinds of lines (straight, curvy, dotted, zigzag...).  Draw examples on chart paper for student to refer to while working.

  • What kinds of lines do you see repeated in Durer's Rhinoceros?

Invite students to notice how lines are grouped in different ways to show texture (in regular, evenly spaced arrangements; in dense, overlapping groupings; randomly spaced...)

    * What kind of lines could we use to show a kitten's fuzziness...a toad's bumpiness.. a porcupine's prickleyness...?

Students can take turns practicing drawing textues on chart paper.  Students should then fold their paper into four rectqangles and draw a different visual texture in each box.

Look again at Durer.  Although this art work looks like a drawing, it's not.  It's a print.

  • Has anyone made a print?
  • How did you do it?
  • What process or material did you use?

This print was made from a wood block that was carved and then inked and put through a special printing press so that the ink transferred to paper.

  • Why would an artist want to make a print?

Explain that printmaking allows you to make multiple images from one plate so that an artist can share their work with more people.  It also allows you to make changes in the work without having to redraw it.

Explain that printmakers might use wood or metal for their plates, but a simple foam plate will work too.  Show students a styrofoam plate and a print made from it.

  •  What sequence of steps did the aritst take to make this print?

We are going to practice making plates today.  We will engrave our textures into foam plates.  Demonstrate how to engrave one of the student's texture drawings on styrofaom, using a pen, pencil, fork, skewer... questioning students as you work:

  • What kind of mark do you imagine a tool like this might make?
  • What will happen when I change how hard I press into the foam?

Students will refer to their drawn texture explorations and will engrave two 3" x 4" scratch-foam sheets using a variety of tools and grouping lines to create textures.  They can trace over their marks with a ball point pen to deepen the grooves and allow them to see what they have done.

Select one of the students' plates and print it on white paper and then again on black paper.

  • How are these prints different from the plate and from each other?
  • What part of the plate carries the ink?

Ask students to research different printmaking techniques during library time or as homework.  Some key terms might be:  intaglio printing, relief printing, etching, lithography, linotype, collograph, photo silkscreening.