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Session Five

Welcome to the fifth Art at Home session. We hope you are continuing to enjoy them.

We’ll start with Me Today, as always, then move on to a selection of activities connected with printmaking by using textures, everyday objects, items you may find around the house, park or garden.

You can scroll down the page to follow all the exercises in order, or use the buttons below to jump to particular activity.

Remember, it’s completely fine to adapt the exercises to suit you and what materials you have. The idea is to have fun, and absorb yourself in a creative activity, with no particular desired result – everyone will do them differently. As ever, we’d love to see what you create – please do send in your images to us on Facebook or Twitter, or email them to our art therapist, Hannah.

Me Today

If you’re trying out an Art at Home session for the first time, this is an exercise where you make a ‘quick snapshot’ image of how you are today – a little sketch, scribble, or doodle – anything that captures the way you feel today.

We usually allow about 15 minutes for this, but since you are at home, take whatever time feels right.

Ink Blots

Drop or spatter some ink or paint on a sheet of paper, and quickly fold it in half, smoothing the paper down. Open out, and see what you’ve got! Possibly a shape rather like a butterfly, a face, or perhaps you see something quite different.

You could do this several times, then choose one you especially like and develop it – perhaps by using it as a starting point for a repeat pattern, or surround your ‘butterfly’ with a landscape or have it sitting on a twig.


Look for surfaces with textures inside or outside your house. Some examples would be the sole of your shoe, a coarsely woven rug or mat, a basket, a cheese grater, the grain of a wooden item or the bark of a tree, leaves, bricks, tiles, metal drain covers, concrete or tarmac. Once you start looking you will find many more.

Using a wax crayon or oil pastel, make textured rubbings on paper, from as many surfaces as you can.

Cut them up, and use to make a collage, or perhaps a patchwork with regular shapes. You could try making all the rubbings with just one colour, so that you end up with a design of many textures and a single colour, or go for a more multi-coloured approach, or try both.

Here I have made a small patchwork style image with a soft pencil.

Simple Printing

For this activity you will need to collect a number of items from around your home once more. Some of the items could be the same things you have been using to make rubbings – you will get a different effect from dipping them in paint and using them as a block to print from. Some suggestions of mine are corrugated cardboard, toilet roll tubes, corks, bottle tops, lids from jars or tubes, string, keys.

Have some liquid paint ready, in a thin layer, perhaps on a plate, and your paper nearby. Dip your printable item in the paint and immediately place on the paper – you can build up patterns, or use the prints to create textures and images, for example the foliage on a tree.

Cardboard items such as toilet roll tubes will become soft and the print more smudgy after a while, while metal or plastic will stay crisp – you could play with what happens to certain materials when used to print many times.

In the example shown here I have used a number of lids, a cardboard tube, a small metal cog, a piece of scrap wood with grooves cut in it, and a metal ring pull, to make simple repeat patterns. You could think about printing your own wrapping paper in this way, since Christmas is on the horizon…

Have fun!