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Fantasy Creature
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Self-Portrait Unit
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Kentucky Educational Television
Lesson Plan
Monoprint

Activity: Creating a Monoprint

Video: Looking at Painting, Program 3: “Abstraction”

Grade Level: middle school

Length of Lesson: about 5 class sessions (depending on class participation)

Web Site Resources: Gerald Ferstman biography and five paintings beginning at gallery page 76

Key Segment: Gerald Ferstman speaking about his work (approx. 2-1/2 minutes)
Start: 27:59
End: 30:31

Supplemental Segments: Gerald Ferstman about ...

04:13-04:54  early experiences in art
09:00-10:04  early influences
13:40-14:50  training
18:09-18:46  influences such as Pierre Bonnard
34:37-36:52  his process and ideas; humor in his work
39:40-41:19  what he likes about paint
44:50-47:30  Jean Dubuffet

Concept/Objectives:
Students will:

  1. investigate principles and elements of design. Principles include repetition, variety, balance, and emphasis. Elements include form, space, line, texture, value, and color. (AH-M-4.1.32 and 33)
  2. demonstrate an understanding of personal expression as a purpose for creating art. (AH-M-4.2.32)
  3. create a monoprint. (AH-M-4.1.37)
  4. use a variety of processes, subject matter, and media to communicate ideas, feelings, or experiences. (AH-M-4.1.42)

Questions To Guide Your Instruction
Ask these questions of your students:

  1. What is abstraction?
  2. What do you think influences Gerald Ferstman?
  3. How does he mix color on plastic?
  4. Why are his paintings hard to understand?
  5. How long does it take him to make a painting? Why?
  6. Why are artists considered to be disobedient?
  7. Why does he like to work on plastic? What is this method called?
  8. What is a monoprint? How does it differ from other printmaking processes?

Kentucky Core Content for Assessment:
AH-M-4.1.31, AH-M-4.1.34, AH-M-4.1.39, AH-M-4.2.31, AH-M-4.1.32, AH-M-4.1.35, AH-M-4.1.41, AH-M-4.2.32, AH-M-4.1.33, AH-M-4.1.37, AH-M-4.1.42

Critical Vocabulary:
aesthetic: imitational, expressive, formal
abstraction
chaos
kinesthetic
monoprint
printmaking
transfer
composition
art elements: color, space, line, texture, value
principles of design: movement (rhythm), balance (asymmetry), emphasis, contrast, proportion, repetition, unity

Instructional Strategies and Activities
View video segments on Gerald Ferstman from Looking at Painting Program 3, “Abstraction.” Have students critically discuss what they have seen using the guiding questions.

Comment on Ferstman’s work and his layering of color and forms. Visit the web site gallery for an up-close look at his paintings. Discuss the element of surprise inherent in the creation of a monoprint due to the memory of layering. Invite students to brainstorm elements they want to include in their prints. Remind them to consider the random quality of the image development and the importance of color, pattern, repetition, movement, contrast, variety, balance, emphasis, space, line, texture, and value.

Give each student a piece of plastic or Mylar on which to paint. They will make their prints by building up a series of applied pigment inlays on the Mylar or plastic, following these steps:

  1. Using any type of utensil, paint your image onto the plastic.
  2. Sponge your paper with water to make it accept the paint transfer from the plastic.
  3. Transfer the image to the paper by gently rubbing/pressing the surface of the plastic onto the paper. Be sure all areas are rubbed before peeling off the plastic.
  4. Clean the plastic and repeat the process until the print is satisfactory.

Each student will then write a personal narrative about his or her own print. They should communicate their thoughts and ideas about the process, their paintings, and why they painted what they did.

Check for understanding throughout the lesson, and monitor students’ progress.

Class critique: All students participate in a discussion of one another’s work using art terms and the four-step critical process (describe, analyze, interpret, and evaluate).

Materials
plastic sheets or Mylar
white sulphite paper
acrylic or tempera paint
china markers or permanent markers
water containers and large sponges for soaking paper
brushes, knives, or other utensils for applying paint
leaves, ferns, doilies, or other flat shapes for stenciling

Support/Connections/Resources
Looking at Painting web site (www.ket.org/painting)

Assessment and Scoring Guide
Prompt: Monoprints have a surprising quality about them—surprising to both their creators and their audience. Write a personal narrative about your monoprint. Communicate your thoughts and ideas about the process, your painting, and why you painted it.

Directions:

  1. Students view Kentucky artist Gerald Ferstman’s segments in Program 3, “Abstraction,” of the Looking at Painting series.
  2. Students create a monoprint.
  3. Students discover the purposes of art (expressive).
  4. Students investigate principles and elements of design. Principles include repetition, variety, balance, and emphasis. Elements include form, space, line, texture, value, and color.
  5. Students select and plan compositions using variety.
  6. Students write personal narratives about their prints.
  7. Students critique the finished prints.
4 
  • The student creates a monoprint.
  • The student writes a personal narrative about the finished print, fully communicating thoughts and ideas about the process, the painting, and why she/he painted it.
  • The student designs an effective print that clearly reflects an understanding of all the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The project reflects the student’s best effort and effective craftsmanship.
  • The student follows all directions and always asks questions when uncertain.
  • The student is an active participant in the class critique, contributing remarks that reflect a clear understanding of the project.
 
3 
  • The student creates a monoprint.
  • The student writes a personal narrative about the finished print that somewhat effectively communicates thoughts and ideas about the process, the painting, and why he/she painted it.
  • The student designs a somewhat effective print that reflects an understanding of most of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The project reflects good effort and somewhat effective craftsmanship.
  • The student follows most directions and usually asks questions when uncertain.
  • The student is a fairly active participant in the class critique, contributing remarks that reflect a clear understanding of the project.
 
2 
  • The student creates a monoprint.
  • The student writes a personal narrative about the finished print, acceptably communicating thoughts and ideas about the process, the painting, and why she/he painted it.
  • The student designs an acceptable print that reflects an understanding of most of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The project reflects acceptable effort and craftsmanship.
  • The student follows a few key directions and doesn’t usually ask questions when uncertain.
  • The student is an acceptable participant in the class critique when called upon, and his or her remarks reflect a general understanding of the project.
 
1 
  • The student creates a monoprint.
  • The student writes a personal narrative about the finished print, minimally communicating thoughts and ideas about the process, the painting, and why she/he painted it.
  • The student designs a painting that reflects a minimal understanding of some of the elements and principles of art in the lesson.
  • The project reflects minimal effort and craftsmanship.
  • The student follows a few directions and doesn’t usually ask questions when uncertain.
  • The student is an inadequate participant in the class critique when called upon, and his or her remarks reflect a minimal understanding of the project.
 
0 
  • The student doesn’t complete a print.

This lesson was prepared by Cyndi Young and Franzee Dolbeare.


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