In this Junior Artists at Home, we look at Elizabeth Catlett’s linocut
and learn about printmaking. Then we make our own print from a potato! With a grown-up’s help and using other materials commonly found in the home, you can make as many shapes as you want to create your beautiful stamped picture. Follow along with the video and download the art-making instructions or read them below. Have fun! Sharecropper Instructions
You will need:
a potato and a grown-up who can cut the potato in half for you
a butter knife and a spoon
acrylic or tempera paint, and a paintbrush
paper towels or a dish towel
Gather all your materials.
Ask a grown-up to cut your potato in half for you. Choose one of the potato halves for your print, and dab the cut side with a paper towel to keep it dry.
Use a marker to draw the outline of the shape or pattern you plan to carve. This will help guide you once you begin to carve your potato! A single shape like a heart or a star works the best.
Using your butter knife, carve a little outline around your shape. Take your time, and be careful with the knife. This is your guide for when you are scooping around your shape.
Then, use your spoon to scoop out chunks outside the edge of the shape. Be careful—the potato can be hard and juicy. Use your towel to dab away the juice. Ask a grown-up to help with this part if you’d like!
Keep going until your shape or pattern is raised and the rest of the potato around it has been carved away. Dab your potato shape with a paper towel until it is dry.
Now put a dot of paint on the raised shape or pattern and then use your paintbrush to spread the paint evenly.
Keeping the potato flat, press it firmly onto your blank piece of paper, hold it there for a moment, then carefully lift it up to reveal your stamped picture! Fill in any missing spots by painting directly onto the paper.
Reapply the paint to your potato and stamp in another place on the paper. Continue to stamp as much as you like. Remember to add the paint to your potato each time. Try a different color!
You can make another shape with your other potato half and make a beautiful stamped picture!