Exploring Color + Color Mixing with Monoprinting

Exploring Color & Color Mixing with Monoprinting

Kate from An Everyday Story is with us today to share an inspiring art experience that can be enjoyed by children (+ grown-ups) of all ages…

Once a month we participate in a Science Through Art workshop at the national science research center (CSIRO). They are amazing hands-on workshops where the children explore different topics through art. So far we have explored insects (through model making and block printing), dinosaurs (through clay modelling and painting), camouflage (through collage and drawing) and color.

One of the activities at the Colors workshop was exploring color mixing with monoprinting. I really liked this activity because Jack (4.5yrs) could work with color mixing while Sarah (2.5 yrs), still working with the same materials, could explore in a more sensory way.

Both of my children really enjoyed this activity. The roller proved especially satisfying and then the reveal as they peel the paper back; fascinating.

Exploring Color with Monoprinting

Here’s what you need for each child:

  • 2 smooth tiles. You might have some spare kitchen or bathroom tiles in the garage or shed which you could use. Otherwise try a local supplier for some sample tiles. Tiles are also wonderful for working with clay so it is good to have some on hand.
  • 2 small paint rollers
  • 2 containers for paint
  • cotton buds (cue tips)
  • paper

  • Lay out all your materials in a beautiful and inviting way making sure your child can easily reach everything
  • Using the roller, invite your child to roll paint onto a tile (one color for each tile)
  • Using the cotton bud, draw a design into the paint
  • Press the paper onto the tile and make a monoprint of your drawing
  • Take off the paper and see your design
  • Repeat the process with the other tile using the other color of paint
  • Now press the same piece of paper onto the second tile. The colors will mix creating the new color
  • Peel back the paper and see your design. Beautiful.

Exploring Color & Color Mixing with Monoprinting

At the workshop, the teacher read the children Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni.

I hadn’t seen this book before. It was a sweet story about two friends, Little Blue and Little Yellow and how one day after losing each other for a short period, they hug until the two blobby paint friends turn green.

It’s also a nice story about friendship and acceptance. Have a look for it at the library next time you’re there.




Kate Gribble lives with her husband and two little ones, Jack and Sarah, in Canberra, Australia. She is a former high school teacher but now spends her days happily homeschooling. Kate likes to dabble in a bit of photography, is a hopeless but aspiring kitchen gardener, and loves a bit of crafty goodness. You can find more inspiration over at her blog, An Everyday Story.



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  1. This looks like so much fun! Like a magic picture as the paper reveals the image from the base, the kids would have been fascinated by it! I just adore the concentration shown by your daughter 🙂

  2. I love seeing Jack’s houses/buildings! This activity looks fabulous. The colour mixing is always exciting for kids and to see the big reveal of the print would be wonderful. Definitely going to try this. We love Leo Lionni. R regularly chooses one of Lionni’s books for bedtime reading.

  3. Beautiful as always! We’ve done this before with foam as a scratch art monoprint but I love the tiles instead. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is such a great way to explore colour. I can imagine that Cameron would really enjoy this! Beautiful ideas and pictures as always Kate. I always look forward to your posts.

  5. I’m loving this! I’m going to use it today to go along with our homeschool history where we are learning about Guttenberg and his printing press : )

  6. Great post! Question: for process art that requires a couple of steps, do you instruct the children first and then let them try or do you walk them through the process as they are exploring the materials?

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