Do you remember these handprint keepsakes that I posted on my 100 Days of Art Bar Instagram account last year? Well lucky us, because today we are going to find out exactly how they were made! Cara Franke from The Arterie art studio is here to share all of her wisdom and tell us how she inspired her students to make these magnificent warm and cool color studies.
Here is Cara in her own words…
As a lover of color and one who deeply believes in allowing children the opportunity to experiment with color mixing, this project really fits the bill. Add in one’s handprint as subject matter and you’ve got an instant crowd-pleaser.
In our studio at The Arterie, we only stock the primary paint colors plus white, black, brown and fluorescent pink. This lets children create a multitude of hues for their work. For the purposes of this project, students were given the primaries plus white to create their warm and cool color palettes which kept the finished pieces bold and bright. Kids from age 5-12 worked on these, and the older the student the more special the piece for families. More than one parent said, “we can never have enough of their handprints!” And for parents of older children, it brought back the early days of tracing and stamping their child’s little hand. It’s a winning keepsake all around!
[ I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn small fees at no cost to you by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. ]
Supplies needed to make a Handprint Keepsake:
~ Acrylic paint (primary colors and white)
~ Tray or plate for mixing colors
~ Glass of water for cleaning brush
~ Permanent black marker
How to make a Handprint Keepsake:
1. Lay embroidery hoop over muslin to size. Cut and stretch within the hoop. Trim excess from around edges.
2. Apply a thin coat of gesso to stretched muslin. This fills the holes in the muslin and creates a smooth work surface to paint on. Set to dry.
3. Trace around hand using a permanent marker. You don’t want marker running into the paint when you begin painting.
4. Divide surface of muslin and handprint with a marker by drawing 3-5 lines that span across. Make sure the lines are not too zig-zagged or curly-cue because there will be more difficult for younger children to paint clearly.
5. Now you must decide if you will have warm colors within the handprint or cool colors. Whichever color palette goes inside the hand, the opposite color palette will fill the background.
6. Using the acrylic paints, fill in the hand first with either the warm or cool color palette. This makes it easier to differentiate the hand from the background. Each section within the hand will get a different color. Colors may repeat within the hand but no two sections touching each other should have the same color. To create a variety of colors, simply add a little more or less white.
7. Fill in the background using either warm or cool colors (the opposite of the color choice used to fill in the hand). Work in the same manner, painting each section a different color. Set to dry.
8. Once dry you could use a spray gloss to add an extra sheen. And attach a ribbon hanger.
Thank you, Cara, for this amazing project!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
A little about Cara:
Cara Franke is the owner of The Arterie art studio in Thousand Oaks, California, where students are encouraged to express themselves freely through visual art using a variety of mediums and techniques. Cara believes the creative process isn’t linear, and that artists take different approaches to attain a finished piece, sometimes through process art and sometimes with a product in mind. She teaches the foundations of drawing and painting, fosters an appreciation of art and artists, and allows for finding one’s artistic voice and personal style. Cara is formally trained in watercolor painting, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Art Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz and completed her graduate work in Art Education and Fine Arts at CSUN. When she’s not in the studio, Cara can be found outside, reading a good book, painting, or hanging with her husband and their super cute kiddo.
Follow Cara on Instagram and be sure to tag her in anything that you create at home or in the classroom inspired by her studio. She is always full of good ideas.