Fingerprints and cactus don’t usually go together, right? Today they do! I’m going to show you how to start with a fingerprint and make a series of simple and fun cactus drawings.
Cactus drawing materials….
Because you will be using fingerprints to build your cactus drawings you’ll need washable markers. I think it’s super fun to have lots of different varieties in your drawing. A bigger set of washable markers, like these, are super inexpensive and will be useful in lots of artistic endeavors. If you only have a single green marker- use what you have. Technicolor cactus doodles in every color- go for it!
You’ll also want a fine tipped black marker for details. I like these felt tip pens for all kinds of drawing and doodling.
No special paper is needed here. Standard copy weight paper will work just fine. These cactus drawings would also make super cute DIY note cards or even wrapping paper!
Building your cactus drawing with fingerprints…
Start by taking a look at some images of real cacti. There’s a reason cactus are so trendy right now. They’re so pretty and their shapes and sizes are so varied.
Start by coloring the pad of one finger with a washable marker. Do this quickly and press it to the paper to create a fingerprint before the marker ink has a chance to dry. Quickly add some new color each time you want a new fingerprint.
I like to start at the bottom of the cactus shape and build up. Encourage your kiddos to start with a simple cactus shape. They’ll quickly get the hang of the process and be ready to build any cactus shape they can imagine!
The fingerprints won’t always turn out perfectly. Do not, I repeat, do not stress. Art isn’t perfect but neither is nature. If you get a wonky fingerprint just keep going!
Adding details to your cactus drawing…
Grab the black felt tip pen and begin by outlining the shape of each cacti.
Now go back to those images of real cacti that you referenced while building the fingerprint cacti. There’s a huge variety in how cacti grow. Many of the larger cactus are made up of smaller segments- perfect for fingerprints, right? Some have grooves running top to bottom. Some of the rounder cacti have grooves that really emphasize their spherical quality. Pay attention to these differences and add some of these details to each cactus drawing.
Now the prickles…
A cactus isn’t a cactus without some prickly, sharp spines. X’s, V’s, lines, dots- they all make great cactus spines. Spend some time imagining what the different cactus spines might feel like. What are some shapes you could draw to imitate that feeling?
I love washable markers as a an art medium. because there are just so many things you can do with them. Here are a few of my favorite marker ideas!
Make pet portraits with marker prints.
Make leaf prints with washable marker.
Draw flowers in the fun directed drawing lesson!
Want to make a fingerprint cactus together?
Follow along with the movie above and see how to make a fun little fingerprint cactus!