Tackle a Tinfoil Painting

What You Need:

  • Tinfoil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Cardboard
  • Black tempera paint
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Large paintbrush
  • Toothpicks, paintbrushes, and craft sticks for making marks
  • Piece of colorful construction paper

What You Do:

  1. Do some quick research to learn more about etching with an internet search of Albrecht Durer or intaglio printmaking.
  2. Invite your child to cut a 6" x 6" piece of tinfoil using a ruler and scissors. They can use some small pieces of rolled tape placed on the back corners to secure the tinfoil to a piece of cardboard.
  3. Have them get out the black tempera paint and a brush. Before they get painting, squeeze a drop or two of dishwashing detergent onto their tinfoil.
  4. Encourage your child to use a big brush to evenly distribute the black paint mixed together with the dishwashing detergent all over the tinfoil.
  5. While they're waiting for the paint to dry, have them brainstorm ideas for their artwork and create a sketch to use when etching. While they're drawing out their ideas, discuss how they can use cross-hatching to create shading and depth within their etching! Cross-hatching is using lines drawn closely together in one direction and then layered with another set on top to create changes in tones. Have them practice using a pencil.
  6. It’s etching time! Offer your child several mark-making implements of various sizes, such as toothpicks, the ends of paintbrushes, or tongue depressors.
  7. Have your child "scratch" their design into the dried paint, using the different-sized implements to create lines in various sizes.
  8. Once your child has finished, they can carefully remove the tinfoil from the cardboard and mount it on a colorful piece of construction paper!

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