Art Smart: A Lesson in Texture, Durer & Printmaking

by This is Carrie on March 3, 2010

This second grade art lesson included a far more time consuming art project than our previous lessons, so I did not start off with a storybook to introduce the art element of the day as in lessons past.  With only 1/2 hour to teach, I just jumped right into it by showing them this drawing by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) called “The Hare”.

I asked the kids, “How do you think this bunny would feel if you touched it?”  Of course they answered “soft” & “fluffy.”  The real answer is that it would feel like paper because it’s a drawing, but the use of texture makes it LOOK like it would feel “soft” & “fluffy”.  Texture often takes a lot of time and attention to detail. I asked them to imagine how long it must of taken for Durer to draw each of those pieces of hair on the rabbit or each panel of texture engraved into his famous rhinoceros wood block print.

Even though Durer created this print without ever having seen a rhinoceros, it is considered one of the most influential pieces of animal art of all time, inspiring rhino art for a few hundred years after it’s creation.

After our brief introduction to texture and Durer, each child received a circle cut from the bottom of a styofoam plate to create their own “print block” using Durer’s Rhino as inspiration.  A dull pencil was used to “engrave” different “textures” into the plate. Then, parent helpers used brayers (stencil sponge roller) to roll on paint and the kids used their barrens (spoons) to transfer the print to their paper.

While waiting for their chance to print, the kids also got to create their own “Texture Turtle” using texture plates (which are so fun) and crayon rubbing.  The kids were sad when it was time to give the texture plates back, but it gave us a chance to talk about looking for texture all around us–  leaves, piece of cardboard, bubble wrap, sandpaper, etc.

Art Smart Lesson 1

Art Smart Lesson 2

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

elise March 3, 2010 at 5:52 am

i absolutely adore The Hare and really, Albrecht Durer in general. what an awesome art lesson!

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Max California March 4, 2010 at 2:40 am

You know I didn’t ever really think that Albrecht Durer was an artist, I just knew it was the best brand of watercolour pencils to buy for my fashion school.

Your students know far more than I did 2 seconds ago!

You’re amazing. I have to read every single post in this blog right now.

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Anna
Twitter:
March 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm

That is a great lesson. I wish my elementary school art teacher had been as interesting. Thanks for sharing, this could actually be used as a home lesson too. Just found your blog from the feature on Somewhat Simple and I’m glad I stopped by.

Anna

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Debbie March 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I am art mom for my daughter’s 4th grade class and we are working on Durer this month. This project sounds great (and is very different from what we usually do). What kind of paint would you suggest using for making the prints? Thank you so much for the idea!

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This is Carrie
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We just used tempera paint. Cheap and easy and worked just fine. Good luck to you!

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Christy January 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

I am loving this blog!
Do you have the texture turtle printable to share? I would love to have it for my kiddos. Thanks

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Donna January 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Love this idea! Can you explain how you used the spoon?

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This is Carrie
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The spoon is used as a brayer to rub the paper on the print block, causing the print to transfer.

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Sue Carter March 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Thanks so much for this post. I’m going to integrate your Durer samples into my texture art lesson. Thx!

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LaToya Patterson March 31, 2014 at 7:26 am

Hi,

I was wondering if you could share the “texture turtle” template. I’ve tried to find similar coloring sheets, but none compare to yours! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

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