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Painting - 5 to 11 Years

Printmaking - 5 to 11 Years

The essence of printmaking is to transfer a mark or image from one material to another. In most cases, it makes it possible to reproduce a mark or image more than once.

As in other art forms, printing is dependent on the use of the visual language and is especially effective in focusing children’s attention on line, shape, pattern and texture. It allows children to try out different techniques and to immediately see cause and effect in action.

All ages find the process of printing exciting. In art, printing makes possible a range of effects that cannot be achieved in any other way. These effects come from processes such as, stamping, pressing, cutting, stencils, rubbings and overlays. The results are quite different from drawing and painting and add a further dimension to children’s exploration of the visual language and ways of expressing ideas.

Printmaking offers the opportunity to work on different surfaces for example, paper, card, fabric. And for different functions for example, from the one offs to multiple copies such as cards, designs for textiles, bags, book covers.

Close-up of a marbled page, with red, blue, yellow and white marbling
Marbled Endpapers

Most simple printmaking processes and techniques can be practised by children of all ages. Progression and development are measured by increasing control over tools, media and materials and the style and content of the resulting images.

Teaching how to make a print in a particular way will require careful planning and organisation, time for the teacher to demonstrate and the children to practice. All printmakers find it a challenge to fully visualise what the finished print will look like. The ability to visualise only comes with experiment, practice and experience.

Today schools have access to equipment for scanning and copying images and printing out from computers. These resources provide a digital way of manipulating and copying images and of combining words and pictures. Used in conjunction with the print making techniques dealt within this Art Framework, they provide a rich resource that can enable children to make their own small books and other print material.

The key aims of the Printmaking framework are to enable children:

  • To use a range of simple printmaking techniques using a number of different tools, media and materials
  • To introduce a wider vocabulary for mark and image making
  • To use printmaking for a number of different functions
  • To know about and enjoy a variety of prints made by other artists and designers, contemporary and historical and from other cultures
  • To become visually and critically aware of the printed material in our environment


Download the lesson ideas for each age-group in the Printmaking Resource Pack.