Block Printing in Discovery Art Lab

One of the first activities we tackled in Discovery Art Lab this semester was styrofoam block printing!  For materials, we're talking a list as simple as acrylic paint, some pencils, a bag of styrofoam plates, and the awesome imagination that kids are born with! I got the cheap plates from Target, and I have to say I think they're better for this project than they are for their intended use.  My husband stuck a piece of pizza on one, and it melted.
The plate, I mean.  Not the cheesy pizza.
But for creating one's own block print, they're perfect!

My example

My example

We started with a simple leaf that we all did together, so the kids could get a good grasp on the technique. 


The kids got the concept right away!

Then, after a quick discussion on positive and negative space, what level of intricacy works best on this sort of project (along with the acknowledgement that maybe my peacock was a bit much...), mirror images, and a little bit of color theory (I only stock white, black, red, blue, and yellow paints, so my kids get to do some color exploration every time they paint!),  I set them loose on their plates.


We even had a little sister drop by to get in on the printing! (She knew what she was doing, too!)

And the results?  Well, you can see that for yourself! Everything from Harry Potter's wand to dragons to whale tails to an awesome painted landscape- these kids are amazing!