Monday, September 29, 2008


In researching finger painting and techniques in a prelude to my K-2 afterschool art class, I came upon some rather interesting sites that shed a whole new light upon the finger painting process.

At "Another Look at Finger Painting," finger painter Mary Ann Brandt gives a fresh perspective on the ancient art of finger painting (prehistoric cave paintings and Chinese calligraphic finger paintings on rice paper) and let's you know how you can do it On Your Own.

Artist Allen Montague painting a Monet-style waterlily scene, with fingers.

In the background, a compelling series of videos at, makes me want to learn to make my own natural paints. This site is a start, by using what I've got in the kitchen, there are recipes for making a couple of different mediums: finger paints, play dough, silly putty and ice cream. But what I'd really like to use are natural, local pigments...perhaps grape skins? clay?

Further reading about finger painting with Ruth Faison Shaw, who developed institutional therapeutic finger painting, after teaching the art of painting to children using finger paints.

Below, BackPorchArt William Boyer has created a series of finger paintings viewable at WebShots.
2007-023 Spring flowers

From my reading, it seems that most finger painted art starts with a blank canvas (obviously), and paint is poured directly onto the canvas. The paint is then moved around with fingers. There is another method, demonstrated by wonderboy, below:

I had not even conceived of the pointillist technique in regards to finger painting, but it seems rather obvious in retrospect.

More links...
Cave Painting - making your own paint from dirt and shortening
Tons of Homemade Paint Recipes - shaving cream, soap flakes, food coloring, oh my!
More and More and More Paint Recipes - yowsah! Paint, dye, and Ink Recipes.
Elementary Lesson Plan Combining Finger Painted Paper and Collage
Screen Printing with Finger Paints
Glues, Brews and Goos - Google Book Search is amazing! This book looks fabulous!
Liquid Starch Recipe - from Field Trips in Fiber, a quilter's blog:)
From Painting: It's the Process, Not the Product! by By MaryAnn F. Kohl, Katheryn Davis : 1/4 cup (60mL) liquid starch and 1 T (15mL) tempera paint and stir.
A bit unrelated, Keith Haring Art Curriculum projects
Of course, I can't forget a favorite of mine, Ivan Chan:)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mini Mosaic Presentation...

It's the end of my four week session with the Ms. Brown's first grade class. We've finished our mosaic tiles and our "Making Learning Visible" books that accompany the project. Here's my presentation using Google docs (which I do like a lot!) that helps to fill in even more visual content standards for the project.


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