Lesson #6: Adding Texture to the Printing Block

Part of the unit: Creating a Portrait Print |


How can texture enhance a print?
Students will be able to:
Carve texture into their printing block
Re-carve the printing block for the second layer
Students will understand that:
Artists use texture to create visual interest.

Student EZ-Cut printing blocks, a variety of Speedball cutters, four-color sketch


A print that incorporates texture made by varying how the plate was carved


Display a student print with its printing block and four-color sketch.

  • What areas should the student carve away next?  Why?

Explain that each area does not have to remain as a flat color. Display a print that incorporates texture through the use of different sized cutting tools.

  • How were these effects achieved?
  • Why might an artist want to add texture to a print?

The teacher will demonstrate how to add texture to the printing block. Safe carving techniques should be emphasized.

Students should be directed to look at their sketches and to decide which areas should include texture to create visual interest.

Students will cut their printing blocks to include some textural effects.

Ask volunteers to display their four-color sketch with their plate.

  • Why did you add texture in this (or these) particular area(s)?
  • What challenges did you face in adding texture?

Use the internet to research the earliest history of printmaking.  Write a one page essay addressing these questions:

  • What are the earliest forms of printmaking?
  • Describe how three early civilizations used printmaking.