Paint a Handprint Mermaid
Create a mermaid using your hands, fingers and paint! Full handprints create beautiful flowing hair, while individual fingerprint patterns create a shimmery body. This underwater painting is as colorful as it is fun!
What You Need:
- Heavy white paper for paint
- Tempera paint in various colors
- Shallow trays or plates for paint
- Felt tip marker
- Sequins or glitter (optional)
What You Do:
- Choose a color for the mermaid hair and pour it into a tray. You can use two different colors. Have your child press her entire hand into the tray and press it onto the white paper where the head will be. Go ahead and do another handprint on top of that same area to create flowing hair. Allow to dry.
- Create skin-color paint and pour it into a tray. Fingerprint the face around and around in layers to create the face. It is OK to cover the hair. Try to create a large circle for the face.
- Using the same skin-color paint, fingerprint the top part of her body to create two arms and shoulders. Let this dry.
- Turn the paper upside-down. Pour blue paint into a tray. Have your child dip her entire hand into the tray and, keeping their fingers tightly together, place a handprint down at the edge of the skin body.
- Time to create a tail. Press three middle fingers into the blue paint and print them twice forming a “V” shape at the end of the body. Allow to dry.
- Use individual fingerprints with green paint to dot on rows of scales on the body. And, add a row of fingerprint dots at the very top of the body to connect the skin to the fish body.
- Use two fingerprints of white paint to create eyes. When they dry, add a pinky dot of colored paint to create the colored part of the eyes.
- Use one fingerprint dot for the lips. When the paint is dry, use a felt tip pen to draw on eyelashes and to finish the mouth.
- Give your mermaid some friends! Fingerprint fish around the mermaid. Create the body of the fish using multiple fingerprints, and then when it’s dry; add on scales with different color paint.
- Bubbles can be created with a blue fingerprint, and when it’s dried, add a white dot right on top.
- For jellyfish, fingerprint a circle and use the side of your little finger to create tentacles.
- Add sequins or glitter to the mermaid tail for extra flash!
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.