This fun painting activity is called monoprinting! In monoprinting you paint a design, a creature, or a landscape on a reusable surface, print it, and wipe the surface clean to paint and print something new!
Monoprinting can be as easy as finger painting or more challenging, as you’ll see from my examples. So it’s an activity for all ages and abilities.
These one-of-a-kind prints can be mounted on colored paper and hung up or sent to your friends! Yes, snail mail still exists, and everyone enjoys getting something besides bills or ads!
- Paper (copy paper, heavier white or colored papers—almost any kind works. Experiment!
- Cut or tear paper to various sizes
- A flat, cleanable surface for painting on (cookie sheets , foil-covered cardboard, etc.)
- Liquid tempera paint and small containers to hold paint as you work
- Water and paper towels or rags for clean up. Old rags may be best as you can rinse and reuse them
- Big brushes to spread paint
- Tools such as plastic forks, small paintbrushes, small piece of cardboard, fingers!!
- This is messy so old clothes or paint shirts and a covered or washable table inside or outside is good
Here’s the basic how to:
- Choose a color and with a large brush paint across an area of your cookie sheet. (Older children can do this or do it for a younger child)
- Experiment with how much paint to apply (A thinner layer produces better prints but if your child really just enjoys playing in the paint put on a thicker layer)
- Use brushes, fingers, or other tools to make designs, creatures, or anything you like.
- Before the paint dries, lay a piece of paper on top of your creation and press down lightly, then carefully peel back and put aside to dry. Younger children may need help with this. Once prints are dry, flatten them under some books.
- Take a damp rag and wipe your painting surface clean.
- Repeat with a new idea!
The subjects and variations are endless. I found it hard to stop, and even when I finally tore myself away to completely clean up, more ideas! So I got everything out again!!
Here are a few things I tried:
- Blend a couple colors for your base coat. But don’t mix completely, Let the separate colors show.
- Try just colors with few or no marks, as if making a sunset or a rainbow.
- Try painting something right on the surface with brushes. This really must be done pretty fast as the paint is thinner and dries quickly. I did a little more smoothing for the print and lost the individual petals, but I kind of like it!
Molly just popped out to say,
But don’t forget to eventually clean up!!”
And Molly and I both want you to remember one last VERY IMPORTANT thing while making your amazing monoprints: