Printing Press Portrait

A RENAISSANCE ART PROJECT

Click the image above to view or print the pattern and instructions for this craft.

The movable printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1456.  The printing press made it possible to print thousands of pages per day.  The old way of printing could only produce 40 or 50 pages per day.  Books became available to much of the population.  Many people learned to read. 

Wealthy people supported the arts.  They had their portraits painted. 

This activity combines the concept of the printing press with portrait painting.  You’ll create a body template (or a few different body templates).  Your students will “ink” the template.  Lay paper over the template.  And “press” with a rolling pin to make a copy of the template.  We used tempera paint, which dries quickly, to make our prints.  After students have created a print, give each one a paper plate “palate” with a blob of red, yellow, blue, black, and white tempera paint, a paint brush, and a cup of water, and a napkin.  Show them how to mix paints on their palate to make more colors.  Show them how to rinse and wipe their brush before using a new color.

Click PRINTING PRESS PORTRAIT to view or print the pattern and instructions for this craft.

HOW TO MAKE A PRINTING PRESS PORTRAIT