Jan 28, 2013

Print Like a Master: DURER

{This idea was pretty much straight out of Discovering Great Artists. The woman is a genius.}

The art portion of class today was enormously fun. It was many of the kids' favorite project so far.

Who did we talk about? Albrecht Durer. Self-portrait to the left.

A German, so right there you know he's probably cool.

Albrecht is especially known for his Renaissance wood cuts/prints, his attention to detail, and his amazing hair.

We used small 4"x4" pieces of balsa wood, available at, you guessed it, Hobby Lobby. Rather than hand the littles a bunch of sharp wood carving tools, we used hammers, nails, coins, nuts, bolts, screws and other metal doodads. Balsa wood is so soft, that some of the kids just used the back end of a paint brush to make their indentations. And, you don't necessarily even need the hammers. If you just push hard enough, the balsa wood will take an impression.

However, the hammers were a big hit anyway.

Especially with the boys.

We used a brayer (a paint roller, in the vernacular) to apply the tempera paint (not egg tempera, though, thank goodness). Then you just flip your 'wood cut' over onto paper and be careful not to jiggle it while you apply pressure to the back.

Easy Breezy. Perfect wood prints for little artists.

To improve this project, I would bring a larger variety of doodads (springs? cookie cutters? fridge magnets for letter shapes?) and leave more time at the end for the actual printing. Most of the kids only got to make one or two prints. IF I was a pre-planning kind of person, we could've printed cards for mommies for Valentine's Day!

I'm going to try to remember this idea next fall when we're thinking about Christmas cards. I love the very organic vintage feel of these prints.


  1. He does have some amazing hair. Love reading about your art lessons.

  2. That should be "had" instead of "does have". I realize he isn't still alive, despite the great hair.