Learning about the amazing creatures that are found in our world’s oceans can be a fascinating experience for children. The sheer multitude of unique shapes, forms and abilities of sea animals make them a perfect inspiration for art. Introduce children to various art workd
- Printing Plates (or styrafoam meat tray)
- Paint (inking paint is best but we used acrylic)
- Art Paper to print on (we used cardstock)
- Brayer or Paint Brushes (see notes below)
Suggest Resources for a Unit Study:
Art Project Tutorial:
Start out this project by exposing children to new artwork for inspiration. You can do a simple online search for images or purchase an art book. We chose this amazing book called "Art Forms in Nature" by Ernst Haeckel
Art Forms in Nature
Look through your inspiration photos and talk with children about patterns, shape, line, etc.....Here is a resource where you can print these images for free
Give each child a printing plate and show them how to use a pencil to press into the plate. You'll want your lines to be deep enough so they won't accept ink in a later step.
Continue your pattern, filling up your plate
Ink up your brayer. You don't necessarily need a brayer for this project but it certainly helps.....and it's lots of fun too. If you don't have one you can use a small sponge brush or even a paint brush to lightly coat your printing plate, being careful not to press paint into your grooves.
Using a brayer certainly helps distribute the ink evenly across the printing plate.
Turn your printing plate over and press onto your art paper.
Starting at the top corner, carefully lift your printing plate off of your paper.
Your print is finished!
Test your printing plate with varying amounts of ink. You can see that the print on the left had more ink and a darker print.
This is a fantastic art project for sea creatures, you might even make a little Ocean scene.
You can even use a small paintbrush to ink different colors onto your printing paper, again being careful not to push ink into the depressions.
Colorful prints are fantastic for cards or an Ocean Diorama.
Monochromatic is just as beautiful in it's own right.
When you're finished even your printing plates are a work of art.
You can arrange multiple prints and frame them for some beautiful modern looking ark