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1. Use the bumpy side of leaf (with raised veins)


2. Use your fingers to spread a thin layer of finger paint on bumpy side of leaf.


3. Put your leaves, paint-side down, on white paper, place newspaper pages over them, and press to make prints.

Activity 1: finger paint leaf prints

Activity 2: finger paint transfer art

1. Cut a piece of banner paper to the right size (A3 is a good size for this).


2. Cut a piece of wax paper to about the same size.


3. Add finger paints to your wax paper. You might want to start with just 2 primary colours to show how mixing red and yellow, for instance, makes orange. Make sure to cover a large area with your paints.


4. Once you are done adding colours fold your piece of wax paper in half. Use your fingers to "squish" all the colours together between the wax paper.


5. Take the wax paper and place it paint side down on your piece of banner paper.


6. Peel off the wax paper. You have now made a transfer print of the original finger paint design!

You can add a little more paint to your wax paper and produce other prints.


You could also place a piece of string on another piece of banner paper and burnish the wax paper on top to create another piece of art!

Activity 3: carving through paint

This is a beautiful piece of art by Karin Waskiewicz who has built up layers of acrylic paint on wood and carved into them to reveal this:

You may have to experiment with a range of tools and paints until you get the effect you want...

Activity 4: plastic wrap technique

1. Using two or three watercolour paints, paint a given area on a thick piece of watercolour paper.


2. Cut a larger piece of plastic wrap/cling film than your painted area and place it on top.

3. Move the cling film to create the pattern you want, allow to dry and then peel off.

Idea from Greg Conley.

A Zentangle (or 'tangle') is an abstract drawing created using repetetive patterns. It is a meditative, mindful drawing practice that has also been defined as 'a structured contained doodle'.


Activity 5: making a zentangle

1. To create a zentangle use a piece of paper, cut into a 3.5" square piece, and draw a freehand border around the edge in light pencil.

2. Then use your pencil to draw a curved line or squiggle within the border, called a "string."

3. Now switch to a pen and begin drawing a "tangle," a series of patterns and shapes around your "string" and voila! You got yourself a Zentangle.  

Zentangles from ATC.


Traditional Zentangles are always black and white but we fully support experimenting with color. Keep some 3.5" squares handy so you can always create when inspiration strikes.

Mark-making is used to describe the different lines, patterns and textures we make in an artwork. You can use any art material on any surface to make your marks.


Hatching and Pointilism are good examples.

Activity 7: making your marks

Produce a series of linocuts making a series of different marks, using various cutting tools. You can also use Polymer Blocks, which are easier to cut.


Using Speedball water-based block printing inks are easier to clean with soap and water and they dry faster.


Charmaine Watkiss

Look at the most primitive art anywhere, and you will often find that a hand-print is the earliest example to be found. 

Activity 8: using cardboard strips 

(a) Cut cardboard strips and pieces of varying sizes. Use these as mark-making tools with ink, acrylic or powder paint to create a great piece of modern art.


(b) On a canvas or board you could create surface texture with Calk or Pollyfiller and then rub in a glaze or wash.


Idea from Michael Chase.

Activity 9: make your own art tool

Make your own mark-making tools by scavenging, assembling, experimenting, and making adjustments to them until you are satisfied.


Create swatches for reference and eventual use in combination with other drawings.

Activity 10: mark-make on leaves

1. Collect some Autumn leaves from outside and dry them out.


2. Use ink pens, gel pens and/or metallic Sharpies to mark-make patterns on them.


3. Wax or laminate to preserve after


* This could be good for a group project.

Art by Delphine Gittermann

Activity 11: wax-resist with ink

1. Cover table with a plastic sheet.


2. Cut out six inch squares of cartridge paper or thick watercolour paper.


3. Mark-make on designs on these, using wax crayons.


4. Apply coloured inks for effect.


*Just use primary coloured inks as they are expensive.

Activity 12: making a mess

1. Place a plastic sheet over the floor.


2. Use powdered paint and shaving foam to create a large piece of art on the floor.


3. You could use chipboard or MDF as a surface and varnish/PVA your piece when dry to put on a wall.

Zentangle feather design by Holly May.

Activity 6: 'tangles' using circles

1. Create a border within an A4 sheet of paper with a black pen.


2. Use a circular object (e.g. roll of masking tape) to draw circles that overlap each other, with the border.


3. In each space draw a different repetitive pattern.

Drawing by LuAnn Kessi.

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