Eeew – fish prints?! My third grade artists were a little bit worried when I began telling them about Japanese fish printing! Gyotaku (Japanese 魚拓, from gyo “fish” + taku “rubbing”) is the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, a practice that dates back to the mid-1800s. This form of nature printing may have been used by fishermen to record their catches, but has also become an art form of its own.
We watched this video about Gyotaku, and – the printing began – with rubber fish, of course!
Third graders painted their fish with printing ink and carefully placed paper on top, rubbing the paper to transfer the fish design to the paper. It was tricky to figure out how much ink to use, but after trial and error, they created some beautiful fish prints!
After carefully cutting out the prints, third graders glued them to their beautiful Shibori paper backgrounds. Find out more about our Shibori project here.
Here are some of their fabulous gyotaku pieces.
Visit our ARTSONIA on-line art gallery to see more gyotaku prints!
I Can Goals: *tell a friend what gyotaku means; successfully print three fish; mindfully cut and attach fish to a shibori background; explain the shibori paper dyeing process
Georgetown artists have been learning about the art of Japan, China, and India. Third and fifth graders explored an ancient form of Japanese “tie dye” called shibori. In Japan, fabric is folded and tied in elaborate ways to create beautiful dyed fabric.
Students folded and dyed paper to create their own shibori-style art. The results…beautiful! There was much oohing and aahing as everyone carefully unwrapped their dyed papers.
Their beautiful papers became the backgrounds for two more Asian inspired projects – Fifth Grade Pagodas and Third Grade Gyotaku Fish Prints. More to come on these projects soon!
Oh how I love these glorious Koi paintings by my fourth grade artists!
They learned that the Japanese Koi, or carp, is a much loved fish in Japan and is a symbol of strength and perseverance in the Japanese culture. After a quick painting demonstration, they painted their koi with India ink on large sheets of paper. The room was absolutely silent as everyone concentrated on their paintings.
Can’t wait to see the finished pieces after we add color!
Fifth grade artists created these pumpkins in the style of Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama. Known as the Pumpkin Princess, her large pumpkin sculptures and art pieces are filled with polka dots. Her pumpkins are often placed on a neon colored background with a pattern that she calls a “net”.
Georgetown 5th grade artists created their Kusama-inspired pieces by printing a net background with cardboard pieces and carefully filling their pumpkins with a variety of dots. Their project is a fun twist on the usual Fall pumpkin artwork!
See more pumpkins at our Artsonia on-line gallery here!
Student “I Can” goals:
I can talk about the work of Japanese artist Kusama; I can create an art piece in the pop art style of Kusama; I can place carefully drawn dots to create movement and visual interest on my art piece.
Fourth grade artists combined their art and poetry skills to create these beautiful fall-inspired paintings.
They began with a sky-blue background, dabbing the watercolor paint with a tissue for added texture.
They traced leaves and added color with watercolor pencils.
Their beautiful leaf paintings were tied in to our cultural focus for the year, the study of Asian art. We read the lovely book “One Leaf Rides The Wind” and learned about the art of writing Japanese Haiku poetry.
Fourth graders wrote wonderful fall-inspired poetry and added their writing to their leaf paintings.
Show Movement with careful placement of objects and color
Manipulate watercolor and watercolor pencils with success
Write a Japanese Haiku
See more of our Falling Leaf artwork at our Artsonia On-Line Art Museum!