Saturday, January 8, 2011

Radial Symmetry Prints

- Paper (one 5" x 5" for each child, one 10" x 10" for each child)
- Pencils
- Scratchfoam (or styrofoam meat trays)
- Printmaking ink
- Brayers
- Printmaking trays

We discussed the art of printmaking and where it can be seen today. We also reviewed symmetry vs. radial symmetry.

1. Fold 5" x 5" paper diagonally so that you have a triangle. Choose one corner along the fold and place a dot. Draw an interesting line design starting from the dot and go "off" each edge somewhere at least once. 

2. Using a light box or window, trace design onto other side. When opened, you should have a symmetrical design.

3. Place design on top of 5" x 5" scratchfoam. Trace into foam using a pencil. Take off paper and trace into foam once more for good measure. Where dot was on original drawing, place a dot in the same corner onto the back of the scratchfoam.

4. Present a printmaking demonstration. Print design onto corner of 10" x 10" paper with dot towards the center. Repeat in all four corners. 

5. Make a second print with dots towards outside corners of 10" x 10" paper. (Optional)


  1. This is soooo funny that you are posting this! I just finished this lesson with my 2nd graders!!! They came out awesome! I love how you did yours in color. My kids used only black (mainly because I had an over abundance of black ink). LOVE the pieced together design. They were so amazed that one design turned into a totally new one when put together. Great job!

  2. Love it! I've been planning on a printmaking project but it keeps getting sidelined. Maybe this will be my inspiration.

  3. Perfect timing - I need a printmaking project for 2nd grade - I was going to try and do an animal in the jungle a la Rousseau but this seems much more 'do-able' THANKS! Will start it tomorrow!

  4. It sounds like you've all used this project for young students. Do you think it's something that older students (Middle School) would enjoy, too? How might I be able to adapt it for older students?

  5. I would do reduction printing with it for middle school... using a light color for the first set of prints and after adding details to the printing plate, print the subsequent prints over top with darker colors. You could even have them cut away a part of the plate for final prints.