How to Paint With Marbles
A project perfect for all ages and abilities, marble painting is a quick and easy craft everyone is sure to enjoy. It works well on a rainy day when kids can't play outside and also with people who have special needs. I have done this craft with seniors, adults with special needs, and children ages five to 13. They have all enjoyed it and were able to do it easily. Note that this is not a good craft for very young children because the marbles can present a choking hazard.
What You'll Need
- Paint. I recommend using washable paints. This project gets messy.
- Paper. Use a heavier weight sketch paper. It will hold up well and is easily put up on the wall or framed.
- Baking tray. It should have a raised edge. If you don't have a tray, use a shoebox.
- Paper towels
Fun Color Combinations to Try
Reds, Pinks, Silver & Purples
St. Patrick's Day
Reds, Whites & Blues or whatever patriotic colors your country has
Reds, Browns & Yellows
Reds, Greens & Whites
1. Set Up the Paper
- Lay the paper on your surface. In the example photo, I used a baking tray with a raised edge.
- Choose your paint colors and place drops of them around the paper. You can use as many or as few colors as you wish. I have found that using more than five colors tends to get muddied and the color ends up turning gray.
- Hint: Don't use too much paint in each drop. It takes forever to dry and it is hard to roll the marbles around.
2. Add the Marbles
- Put the marbles on the tray. For this example, I used five marbles. You can use as many or as few as you wish, although I would suggest using more than one.
3. Start Painting
- Start rolling the marbles around. You can pick up the tray or just shift it around while it is on the table.
- Continue until you are happy with the look of your painting.
- Let it dry completely overnight.
4. Hang It Up
Watch the Technique
According to marbleart.us, marbling "is the art of printing multi-colored swirled or stone-like patterns on paper or fabric."
Marbling has been around for over 1000 years, with beautiful examples in ancient turkish and japanese texts. It is known as suminagashi in Japan.
Today there are artists who specialize in ancient marbling techniques. Take a look inside the cover of a book you have on hand and you may see an example of marbling.
Create Your Own Masterpiece
You may think marble paintings look vaguely like paintings from the famed artist Jackson Pollock. He was best known for his "drip and splash" method of painting. In a recent auction, one of his paintings sold for a whopping $58.4 million dollars.
Who knows, maybe you or your child will create a masterpiece one day. Even your child doesn't create that million dollar painting, I bet they will feel like a million bucks when you proudly display their beautiful picture!
Jackson Pollock or your own?
Would you rather make your own marble painting or own a "drip and splash" one by Jackson Pollock?
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Claudia Mitchell