This idea was spurred on by the video above. I liked a few things about the technique:
1. It relates to tessellations (Geometry)
2. It relates to art careers (Illustration & Design)
3. It's simple enough to use for all levels of students.
4. It can be done in any 2D media (Drawing, Painting, Collage, etc.)
I decided to use the technique to showcase crosshatching. It lends itself to that naturally because we will use a photocopier which can only handle black and white images.
We had a long discussion of the crosshatching technique, how it is used to print money, and create the illusion of shadow and form. We did a couple of practice worksheets before working on a final drawing.
StudentArtGuide.com has an awesome one you can download HERE.
1. Graffiti or bubble style name
2. An animal they felt represented their personality
3. An object they felt was important
4. Free choice
When sketches were checked, I shared the video above with them so they would see where we were going with it. I cut good drawing paper (about 70lb thickness) into 8.5 x 11 in. pages. I found copy paper would work, but was too thin and would easily wrinkle.
Students drew and crosshatched one or two of their images on the sheet before cutting. They made sure the images did not touch the edge of their paper as the video says. We did the images in pencil first, re-traced with sharpie markers, crosshatched, then erased all the original pencil out.
I did a safety demo to show my older students how to use a paper guillotine, but those who were nervous about it could ask me to cut their paper for them. Though the video says it must be cut in half, it works as long as all the cuts are straight up and down. I told students to follow the grid of the paper cutter and not worry too much about exactness of cutting along the perfect center.
They took the papers and completed designs, overlapping seams but again avoiding edges. I encouraged students to fill their design, that it was okay to do more than their 4 sketched ideas. They could add things they felt made their design better as they worked even if it was not from their original sketch.
We used clear tape to join papers back together along the entire seam. This was VERY helpful because we could put the originals into the copy machine feeder and it did not jam.
I ordered 6 copies of each image, though students only needed four. I assumed a few might make a mistake, so back-up copies were available. (It turned out that about 6 students of 100 did need the extra copies)
I think they look fantastic as black and white images, but we will be adding color to them. The nice thing about coloring in with colored pencil is that the shading is now essentially done. Color pencils are not opaque, so the back lines do show boldly against the color. I think water colors will work well too, but I'd glue images down to a heavier paper if possible.
When coloring I told my students I'd like to see evidence of some changing hues by overlapping and changing color saturations. "Show off your coloring skills! It is the 3rd quarter after all, so show off a bit of what you have learned." This was added to my rubric along with showing 1, 2, and 3 layers of crosshatching, and a bonus for stippling within the work.
I think this approach is a nice alternative printing lesson that does not use linoleum cutting tools and printing inks. The students too seemed to enjoy the process. I will try this lesson with my younger students in the summer and see how they do. I assume this may be fine for my youngest students though they would need assistance with both cutting and taping depending on the age.