Monday, February 10, 2014

Making Collograph Figures with Children

Learning to draw people is part of the developmental process for children. Sometimes it's nice to shake things up and use a medium other than crayons to create a representation of a person. By using the printmaking technique of collographs children think in terms of the basic shapes that form a figure.


a piece of corrugated cardboard for the printing plate


sheet of craft foam (white sheet in photo)


glue stick or white glue


a brayer or inexpensive sponge roller


printing ink or acrylic paint




paper to print on


colored pencils or crayon


Cut the basic shapes that form a person from the craft foam. The children can draw the shapes onto the foam with a pen first, if that makes it easier. It's a good idea to demonstrate and as you're working, talk about the parts of the body and how they proportionally relate to one another. I like to explain that there is no right or wrong way to do this, so that they don't feel any pressure. Sometimes the most interesting work comes from "mistakes". You can show them how the figure becomes more animated by making cuts so that arms and legs are jointed. Glue the shapes to the cardboard, let it dry for a few minutes, roll on some ink and print several figures. I like to use wax paper as my surface to roll out the ink.


When the prints dry the children can go back and draw over the print to add details like hair, facial features, fingers, and detail in the clothing. I think it's a helpful process for distinguishing between the basic shapes of a figure and the detail. I'm doing this project with Kindergarteners this week and look forward to seeing what they come up with.

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