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Radial Gelli™ Prints

RAD Radial Prints with Texture

Using Monoprinting & Collagraph printing techniques.

5x5 Gelli Printing Plate

5x5 piece of sturdy, thick ground material like cardboard, mat board or foam core

Texture plates, bubble wrap, burlap etc.

Geometric Foam Stickers

Brightly colored acrylic paint, I used Plaid Crafts Apple Barrel gloss.

Heavyweight paper cut to 6x6” (4-8 or more pieces per student), I used Canson™ Acrylic 140lb Large background piece to mount finished product to (larger than 12x12”)

Step 1:

Begin with a discussion about texture. Students should understand the differences between implied and actual texture and be able to give examples of each. Its also fun to have a variety of art images handy to have students pick out texture. This is also the time to discuss MONOPRINTING.

Step 2:

Students roll out a paint color onto the Gelli Plate that contrasts to their chosen paper. I used white paper, but you could use any color. Students should then lay a piece of texture (bubble wrap, burlap, shelving paper, stencils or plastic texture plates etc) into their paint & lift it from the plate. Lay a 6x6 piece of precut paper on the Gelli Plate & lift the textured print. Students should make at least 8 monoprints using two types of texture (4 prints from each texture) & choose the set of 4 they like best to use for their final piece. The remaining set can be used for practice on steps 5.

Step 3:

Discuss radial design with students, describing it in such a way that they understand that the design radiates from or grows outward from a center point. And don't be afraid to tie in math concepts here. Quadrants, fractions & proportions are fantastic connections points for your students to make & get excited about during this lesson! This is also the perfect time to talk to students about collagraph prints & how they are building an image on a plate that can be printed multiple times.

Step 4:

Have students then choose shapes from the foam stickers to begin to build their design on the 5x5 piece of cardboard, starting with 1 piece in the lower left hand corner of the board. Students will continue to build their design using ½ two ¾ of their square. Be sure to flip the cardboard over and make a mark in the lower left hand corner where the design radiates from. (These plates can be sealed with Plaid Crafts Mod Podge™ to save them for future use.)

Step 5-8

In this step we're using our Gelli™ plate as our inking plate to load our brayer. Students roll a paint color that contrasts to the monoprint color over their radial design collagraph with a brayer or paint the design pieces with a brush being careful to not get paint on the background board. Students then flip the board over & line up with the edges of their 5x5 printed monoprint texture design & rub it either with their hand, a wooden spoon or a brayer. Lift the corner of the print & pull up the collagraph plate to reveal the magic!

*Repeat this step 3 more times on each of the matching texture monoprints rotating the design on each piece.

At this point the Gelli™ plates may still have a little bit of damp paint on them which can be used to make a ghost print of solid color for a future lesson or simply wiped clean.

Step 9:

Lay out & mount each of the four prints on a large, contrasting background board in such a way that the 4 prints create a complete radial design.

Aren't these GORGEOUS? This was such a fun & easy printmaking lesson I can't wait to do it again to get more photos with my groups. Hey PA teachers ~ wouldn't this make a GREAT Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs lesson?! Ohhh, I think I know what my upper elementary kids will be doing next!

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