CyberMuse Teachers - Lesson Plans
An introduction to the prints of Albrecht Dürer
Lesson Plan Activity:
Emphasizing prints: Grade 7-8
A master painter, printmaker, goldsmith, as well as art theorist, and humanist scholar, Albrecht Dürer embodied the idea of the renaissance man; constantly seeking, learning, teaching and adding to his vast repetoir of knowledge in both the arts and sciences. In this lesson, students will investigate how Dürer created areas of emphasis in his prints. Students will then create prints with defined areas of emphasis.
Students will discuss and describe emphasis, a principle of design.
Students will create an area of emphasis in their artworks.
Students will use grade appropriate vocabulary and art terminology when discussing how they created areas of emphasis in their artworks.
Cross Curriculum Links:
4 20-minute periods
Look & Discuss
Present and discuss a selection of the 10 featured artworks in the Artwork & Artists slideshow with your class. (Tabs will provide you with information on the theme, composition, interpretation and the artist.)
Concentrate especially upon: Samson Rending the Lion, St. Eustace, Knight on Horseback and Lansquenet.
Discus with your class some of the devices, listed below, that Albrecht Dürer used to create areas of emphasis in his prints. See if the students can find other devices the artist has employed to create areas of emphasis.
Samson Rending the Lion
- The main narrative of the artwork, the area of emphasis, is in action contrasting with the still surroundings.
- Trees and plants are used to define the area of emphasis by creating a frame.
- The curl of the lion?s tail aids to define the area of emphasis by creating a frame.
- Note how the artist uses less detail to the left of Samson?s head. This device creates an area of emphasis by developing a clear contrast between the main narrative and the background.
- By surrounding the main narrative of the work the man facing the horse in extremely fine detail, the unadorned expanses of the horses body, and the man?s shirt, draw the viewers gaze in, creating an area of emphasis.
Knight on Horseback and Lansquenet
- The main narrative of the artwork, the area of emphasis, is in action and draws the viewer?s attention.
- Trees and plants are used to frame the area of emphasis. Note the plants in the foreground, which rise to meet the diagonal line created by the riders sword. This line draws the viewer?s focus from the edge of the page to the main narrative.
- Objects are angled to direct the viewer?s focus to the main narrative. Note the individual running behind the horse is carrying a spear, which creates a line from the right side of the artwork to the area of action. The extended arm of the rider continues the line created by the spear further aiding to draw in the viewer?s gaze.
- Note how the artist used less detail around the knight?s head. This device creates an area of emphasis by developing a clear contrast between the main narrative and the background.
- The dog in the foreground is actively looking at the main action sequence. This device works to direct the viewer?s eyes to the action sequence, the main narrative of the artwork.
- Soft rubber brayers, or small paint rollers
- Plexiglas (min. size 81/2 x 11) or an old cookie tray.
- Linoleum cutters. (V-shaped and U-shaped gouging tools)
- Piece of linoleum. (Linoleum can be purchased from any printmaking or art supply store.) Size is dependant on budget
- Paper for sketching and printing.
- Carbon paper
Preparation TasksCover the student?s work areas with newsprint.
Using a pencil and paper have the students design a picture creating an area of emphasis with the devices they learned from studying Dürer?s artworks on a piece of paper. Have students use carbon paper to transfer the image onto the linoleum block. Alternatively, have them design the picture directly on to the linoleum block. Please note that the printmaking process will invert their pictures
The lines that are to be printed should remain in relief. This means that the spaces around the lines should be cut away. The spaces that are cut away will not hold ink and will remain the color of the paper. Cut the desired spaces out of the linoleum using the linoleum cutters.
Place a small amount of ink onto the Plexiglas sheet. Only one plexiglass sheet is required per class, however it may have to be re-inked depending on the number of students. The ink needs to be ?warmed?. To warm the ink, roll the brayer up and down and from left to right over the ink. Do this until the ink is smooth. By the end of this step, the brayer should be fully coated with ink.
Have the students roll the inked brayer over the cut side of their linoleum blocks. They should be sure to evenly coat the linoleum block with ink
Have the students place the inked linoleum block on a table, ink side facing up and lay their paper on top of the linoleum block. Using either the side of their hand or a wooden spoon, they should rub lightly over the entire surface of the paper, applying gentle even pressure.
To view their print, students can then carefully peel the paper off the linoleum block. Finished prints should be set-aside to dry overnight. Depending on the amount of ink remaining on the linoleum block students can pull a second print from the inked linoleum or return to step 4 to create more prints. Once their prints have dried students should present their artworks to the class discussing and describing the devices they used to create areas of emphasis.
Take it Further
Discover the different methods of printmaking Dürer employed by investigating his printmaking techniques discussed on the NGC Dürer mini site.
The student?s presentation contains no evidence, which demonstrates an understanding of emphasis.
The student?s presentation contains one to three statements, which demonstrates an understanding of emphasis.
The student?s presentation contains four to five statements, which demonstrates an understanding of emphasis.
The student uses no devices to create an area of emphasis in their artwork.
The student uses one to two devices to create an area of emphasis in their artwork.
The student uses three to four devices to create an area of emphasis in their artwork.
The student does not use grade appropriate vocabulary and art terminology when discussing how they created an area of emphasis in their artworks.
The student uses three examples of grade appropriate vocabulary and art terminology when discussing how they created an area of emphasis in their artworks.
The student uses five examples of grade appropriate vocabulary and art terminology when discussing how they created an area of emphasis in their artworks.