Exploring the Great Artists: Katsushika Hokusai and Block Printing

 Here's a fun activity to do with you kids!  It's print making by reusing items such as Styrofoam trays.  Red Ted Art inspired us in her Kids Get Arty Series to learn about a famous artist.  Since we're learning about Japan with our Around the World in 12 Dishes we decided to learn about a famous Japanese Artist.  We discovered  Katsushika Hokusai from his famous piece The Great Wave off Kanagawa.  My daughter actually remembers seeing it in one of the Little Einsteins  shows called "A Brand New Outfit". I love how that series teaches our children about great artists and musicians!  As we did our research we discovered the art process he uses is Ukiyo-e, Japanese Block Printing Making. 
The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Katsushika Hokusai ( 1760 – 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s. For more background info {click here}.

Here are a few Books about Hokusai that we checked out from our library

As we studied the books and 36 Views of Mount Fuji we found that we also like the pictures that included the Cherry Blossoms which are the Japanese National Flower.  We decided it would be fun to create a project using these.  Here are a few of my daugther's favorite from the collection.   

 Katsushika Hokusai, ‘Mount Fuji seen through cherry blossom’ (c.1834)

Making a Ukiyo-e inspired Prints with Kids 
We found a picture of cherry blossoms to to help us with drawing the blossoms onto a recycled Styrofoam tray.  My daughter drew the flowers onto the try that she wanted.  Keep in mind when making the prints you the area that you draw will be white and will also be opposite image.  Once you're image is ready you roll the ink or paint onto the foam, try not to use too much paint.  Then you use your paper and lay it down onto the design.  Be careful not to move it.  Peel it away and you'll find your design!  We made a few prints for each family member. 

Resources for Ukiyo-e Print Making
Watch a Videos of Ukiyo-e Wood Block Print Making Channel
How to Make Ukiyo-e
Coloring Sheet of The Big Wave
String Prints
Background from National Geographic
VIDEOS ABOUT Katsushika Hokusai and Uukiyo-e
Cherry Blossom Print out
Simple Block Print Tutorial
How To Make a Block Print
Foam Block Printing
Bringing an Art Musuem to your School

We can't wait to more prints using these technique!  I hope you're inspired to try it out! 

If you have a Japanese  Craft or Recipe that you've shared we'd love for you to link it up to Around the World in 12 Dishes 

Here's a quick glimpse of Hokusai 36 Views of Mount Fuji with music.

I wonder what these will inspire your child to create!  


Amanda said...

Oooh, I wish I had a foam try right now!!

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas said...

I love this piece. I must start saving my foam trays.

maggy, red ted art said...

Wonderful to explore the art of printing and what a fantastic artist to choose ! My word, beautiful. I do love The Great Wave, such an amazing choice. And your block printing is wonderful. Another "thing on our to do list"....

Thank you so much for joining us on our Kids Get Arty journey!


Valerie @ Glittering Muffins said...

Great post! Very nice work from your daughter, she's good :)

Brooke (Siayla) said...

Beautiful! Shared here http://siayla.blogspot.ca/2014/02/got-paint-try-painting-with-out-typical.html

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