Natural tools for art making

Natural tools for art making

Creating art without using traditional tools such as paintbrushes and palette knives allows us to think of different objects and materials which could be used to introduce interesting effects and marks. This can add another layer and freshness in our work.

Natural tools for organic marks

I am always in search of a variety of marks in my paintings. In recent months I experimented with dried foliage and used these natural findings as tools to apply paint as well as to make prints.

Natural tools for art making were collected and used to create a variety of marks and textures.

I’ve learnt that they are better dried so that they are firm enough to make concise marks but if they are too dry they can break or even disintegrate in the paint! It’s a process of experimentation – after all that’s what our art practice in essence is, isn’t it?!

An enjoyable day out in nature using found tools from nature herself.

Making prints

Since childhood I remembered collecting leaves of all sizes and shapes. We painted them with highly saturated colours and then printed unto loose sheets of paper which were then proudly displayed on our classroom walls. We would also carve noughts and crosses into potatoes and print with them onto cards for our lucky parents 🙂

Other natural tools for art making such as flowers and grasses are also great for mono printing. I experimented on my gelli plate using a bunch of dried grasses as seen in the video below. I chose various thicknesses of grass and randomly scattered them onto my painted gelli plate and then laid a sheet of watercolour paper to create the print. The sheet can be used as an art piece in itself or can be used as collage paper on another art project.

Mono print using grass


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