Foil painting just requires an easy little switch. Foil instead of paper means a new painting surface; a slippery, reflective surface that’s extra fun to paint on.
Unroll and go…
First you need to prepare the painting surface. How you do this depends on how you and your little artists feel about the longevity pf the final product. If this project is purely about the process of painting on a new surface and letting your child experiement then maybe the final product doesn’t need to last forever. In this case feel free to open a roll of foil, roll it out and begin to paint. There is nothing wrong with jumping in!
Or prep first….
We did a little prep work before starting to paint so that the paintings would be easy to keep and display. You will need a piece of cardboard, a dismantled cereal box is the perfect weight to easily manage. Any size will work. Roll out a piece of foil slightly larger than the card board you already cut.
Lay the card board flat onto the foil, wrapping the edges around as if you were wrapping a gift, taping as you go. It doesn’t matter which side of the foil is exposed, the shiny or the more matte side. Experiment with both and see if your child can tell the difference.
Choose your paint….
Craft acrylic paint works great for this project. It’s opaque and smooth and comes in lots of great colors. Plus it’s inexpensive! The only downside of acrylic paint is that it is not washable. You’ve gotta’ know your kids. If washability/staining is a sticking point grab some tempera paint and work with that! Tempera paint is a staple for kid’s art making and always good to have on hand!
Choose your tools….
Inexpensive paintbrushes will work just fine. But…..have some fun here. Foil painting means a shiny, slippery surface. Paint moves around easily so look around your house for things that might work. Anything that won’t tear into the foil is a possibility. Cotton balls and Q-tips are a good place to start.
Experiment. A q-tip will spread paint nicely but the paint begins to dry that same q-tip will work to wipe paint off. Then it becomes a subtractive game of taking off paint that’s already been painted on.
Why foil painting…..
Painting on foil is a process art activity. What does this mean exactly? It means this is an art experience, not necessarily a craft or a project with a desired outcome. It means you’re providing materials and a “jumping off point” for your young artist but not a specific set of steps. Process art is more about the “making” than creating a finished picture that matches your couch.
Encourage your young artist to think outside the box; make art with nontraditional materials and use art materials in new ways. This is not “wasting” it is part of growing a creative person.