Paint Layer Collage and Portraits

We have had fun turning some painting and printing into pieces of bright, expressionist art work and self portraits!
Both girls were fully involved in this project, working at their own level of course! First of all I found some sheets of A3 paper that I had painted onto long ago using acrylics. I’m not sure what I was planning on using them for and I often come across folders full of odd remnants from my past like this! Time to re-use and upcylce!
Using shape sponges, brushes and their fingers, they painted and printed over the brightly coloured papers. They had an actual push-me-pull-you fight over the paint palette because they couldn’t dive in there quick enough, which was a remarkable thing to behold!

Because I had so many sheets of paper it was fun to whip them away and get a new one out quickly so that they could keep on going, as they became much more absorbed in it than I expected.

Some lovely, clear shapes began to emerge and the colours remained fairly true (instead of turning a lovely shade of sludge!) because we were working fairly fast on each one.

And they looked beautiful with all of the paint layers showing through!

Some of the paint we used was pearlised acrylic and it added an iridescence and different quality.

It was PLENTY of fun! (but didn’t taste so great!)

Next morning I cut up a few of the sheets into large rounds and ovals, and cut some of the others into a range of regular and irregular shapes. Cakie set about making a collage, gluing the shapes onto one of the painted sheets using runny (PVA) glue and a brush.

And here is the stunning result! I washed another coat of PVA over most of the picture to seal it and keep the shapes in place. She found a stray button and added it too. Love it.

It really reminds me of the work of both Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

Kandinsky- Swing

I gave Pop one of the rounds and some shapes of her own and she stuck them down in earnest, making her very own first ever self-portrait (not that she knew it!) You will see why in a moment.

And here is her finished picture! I love it.
 Little Pop- Self Portrait
Cakie then joined in and chose a large silver oval for her face outline and stuck shapes with a little more purpose and deliberateness than I expected her to, naming the parts of her face as she did so.
Cakie- Self portrait
And this style of abstract shape portraiture reminds me of Paul Klee’s  Self Portrait

This activity is good for:
  • creativity and free expression
  • practising techniques of printing/ layering/ painting/ collage/ portraiture
  • experimenting with colour mixing
  • naming and manipulating 2D shapes and using them to make pictures
  • talking about how the picture makes you feel or what it makes you think of
  • fine motor skills: holding and using small tools and developing muscle strength

Now, here’s a chance to help a great campaign through art!
In January Save the Children launched it’s most ambitious campaign to date,
No Child Born to Die
 Every year 8 million children under five die from illnesses we know how to treat or prevent, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. Just, WOW.
Save The Children is focusing on the provision of vaccinations and healthcare workers. In June there is a meeting in London hosted by David Cameron and attended by other world leaders. Save The Children aims to make as much noise as possible to ensure the funding shortfall for vaccinations (4.7 billion) is met by all the donor countries.
If this funding gap is met, the vaccines that could then be provided would save the lives of millions of children.
This week 3 bloggers/ vloggers are going to Mozambique to follow the journey of a vaccine from the coldstore in the city right down to a rural community. They will write, make films and tweet about their experiences, the children and families they meet and the challenges of “cold” vaccinations in hot countries.

So our challenge is simple:
1) Get your child to either draw or craft a self portrait of themselves now or in the future. It can be absolutely anything- from a 1 year old’s scribbly lines to a teenager’s foray into abstract art!
3) Sign the Save the Children petition and then pass it onto your friends
4) Write a blog post about it as soon as possible, including information about Save the Children and the petition. We want as many people linked up AND signed up the petition by Sunday 29th May 2011
5) Tag 8 fellow blogger friends
6) Come back and link up your posts, so we can all share your craftiness
7) If you have time, visit each other posts and say hello!

THANK YOU to Maggy from Red Ted Art for tagging me and providing me with the above text/ information from her blog. I am tagging the following friendly bloggers! If you want to join in too PLEASE DO! Link up your portrait and Save the Children post below.

Jamie from Hands On: As We Grow
Jenny from Let The Children Play
Rachel from Quirkymomma
Rachele from Messy Kids
Catherine from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
Rachelle from Tinkerlab
Melissa from The Chocolate Muffin Tree
Kate from An Amazing Child


  1. says

    Oh you are clever lady! I keep meaning to do “more” with “real art” – i.e. linking what we do with real artists out there. We have a number of great books that introduce art to children, so we really should do more!

    Love all your upcycling and all your printing! Agree… if you work through lots of sheets of paper you are less like to end up with brown goo.

    And the Self Portraits are awesome.

    You very clever lady!

    Thank you for supporting Save The Children!


  2. says

    I love how you drew this project out over time, giving your children the opportunity to experience their work in its different states. The pearlized paint is gorgeous, and I think it would be a great addition to paint palettes that feel like they need some sprucing up. My daughter always loves it when we try new things, and this would go over really well with her. But the best part is that picture of Cakie with paint all over her face. Priceless!!