Thursday, September 15, 2011

Art Project #1 - Fingerprint Art

The whole homeschooling thing is in full swing now. The Drama Queen takes her basic classes like Reading, Arithmetic, Spelling, Language, and Writing every day, and we have sprinkled in some extra classes as well. Mondays and Wednesdays we learn about American history; Tuesdays and Thursdays we explore science. Fridays are reserved for Health class and Art class.
I love art and believe that not only should the student create something wonderful that she is proud of, but also it should teach some basic principles of creating art. I hope to keep record of each art project we do this year, not only for memories' sake but also for ideas for others looking for simple, fun projects to do. Keep in mind that I am creating each of these projects with a five-year-old in mind, but many of them can be easily adapted to other age groups.

Here is our first project.
Project Title: Fingerprint Art
Materials Needed: white paper, ink pad (for stamping), black ink pen or fine tip Sharpie
Purpose: To teach students to take basic shapes and create more with them; to inspire students to take something ordinary and make it interesting.
(I also chose this project for our first because we had been learning in science class how every person in the world is unique. We examined fingerprints of all the members of our household and found that no two were alike.)
This is a very simple project. I made up this idea sheet the night before to help the Drama Queen with the creativity process. Then, when art time came, I gave her several sheets of white paper folded into greeting cards for her to decorate with fingerprint masterpieces. We experimented with different ways to make fingerprints - lots of pressure, roll the finger, use the pinky for little creatures, etc. and enjoyed making our own designs.
The Drama Queen made this card for her grandma. For the dog, she did two thumbprints, one vertical and one horizontal, before adding details like ears, snout, and legs with an ink pen. The long-eared owl (her words, not mine) was made with one vertical index fingerprint and decorated with ears, eyes, beak, and feet.
I only had a few dollar-store ink pads in blues and blacks - these would be a lot of fun to do in different colors, especially the frog made from a green fingerprint, the pig made from a pink fingerprint, and so on.

For more ideas on fingerprint art, you may want to try Ed Emberley's book Complete Funprint Drawing Book. I remember having an Ed Emberley drawing book as a kid and probably some of my little doodles are from those memories.


  1. hey Ed Emberley was the first thing I thought of!! Remember we used to get those books from the library -- he had ones for every color. :) :)


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