Color and Texture

(Inspired by That Artist Woman and the vibrant paintings in the Great Hall at the Eric Carle Museum.)

We set out to make our own decorative paper, using only primary colors and textures. We’ll use these papers (we ended up with about 15 sheets) in a future collage activity.

Materials: Paper (I used drawing paper; it curled a bit while drying, but since this will be cut and glued, I think it’s okay, and plus, it’s what I had on hand); tempera paint in red, blue, and yellow; paintbrushes (one for each color); small container for the paint; various items to create texture

I gathered both large and small bubble wrap (the small is the inside of that mailing envelope), some plastic rings from six-packs of soda, a small comb, and small cardboard tubes. Be creative!

First, cover the paper with paint. We’re using one color per paper, no mixing. We want our primaries to stay primaries! Be generous with the paint, and not too slow. There needs to be enough paint so that you can make an impression in it, and it can’t dry before you get to that step. But be careful not to overload the paper with paint–this will depend on how heavy your paper is.

The toddler in the corner has a couple of colors of paint and a sheet of paper, so she could join in the painting.

Once the paint is on, have some fun making texture.

Here, N is using a comb. Below is the effect I created by stamping into the paint with the end of the cardboard tube.

Below, the boys are using bubble wrap. It works a little better if you allow the bubble wrap to stay on the paper until the paper is just about dry.

See that mailing envelope up above? Below is the effect V created with it.

V also used the six-pack rings to create texture. He lined three of them one below the other and then we placed another piece of paper over the rings so we could press down on them without getting fingerprints all over the paper. (Helpful! If you don’t like your effect the first time, just smooth on more paint and try again! Which is what we did with the six-pack rings.) When we peeled off the top paper and removed the rings, this is what we saw.

N left one of his with the brushstrokes as the texture, and we learned that it’s hard to see the texture in the yellow. But all in all we have a good supply of papers in primary colors for a future project.

4 thoughts on “Color and Texture

  1. donna lee

    Tempera paint makes great textured paper and fortunately dries fairly quickly. I love the image of the little one helping you put beads into her instrument until it was exactly right for her. And I love that you let her keep at it until she was satisfied.

    Kids do need to learn that artists/writers or anyone who creates often has sketches or trials before they have a finished piece. It helps them learn about the creative process.

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