I have a couple of creative irons in the fire that will be requiring some hand painted paper, so I decided to take a day and create some. This method of painting paper was demonstrated to me by a fellow art teacher Rosy (who is AMAZING) and uses acrylic paint and newspaper. The finished paper can be used for all kinds of lessons or projects. I adapted Rosy’s lesson for my own classroom and taught students about tertiary and analogous colors during the painting portion of the lesson, then had the students use the finished papers in a second paper collage lesson on Eric Carle (K-2), Henri Matisse (3-4) and Romaire Beardon (5+).
The finished paper is lovely to cut or tear. It has a lot of depth to it. The variation in color is amazing and it’s just fun to work with! The following pictures show the breakdown of steps:
In the classroom, I have very large plastic paint palettes (cheap three-compartment lidded, circular meal storage containers) for the students to use, I didn’t need that with all the paint in squeeze bottles; I just squirted out the colors I wanted to use directly onto the newspaper.
I used a one inch house painting brush for my paper, and I give the students about the same size (maybe a little smaller) in the classroom. I move the paint around until I like the colors and the brushwork, and until all of the newsprint is covered with paint. You can see how I painted off the edges of the paper and onto the plastic table covering in the picture.
Voila! Paper covered! I put my paper out on my concrete patio to dry. Some paint will come off and get onto drying racks, floors or concrete patios, just make sure that you scrub up the paint within a couple of hours and you should be okay. That’s what I did, and my patio looks fine. One of my old plastic lawn chairs looks like someone was cut to ribbons while sitting it — buuut — I’m not too concerned. Those chairs are old and will go into recycling when we move!
I usually press my dried and finished papers underneath something like books for a few days, just to get all the wrinkles out, then I can use them for all kinds of projects! Collages, book binding, illustration, matting and framing — anything where I want to use paper!