Explore Art Projects: Complementary Hand Prints/ Thankful Tree

Today's post is Part II of Complementary Colors.  Make sure and read Part I for a brief overview of the color wheel and complementary colors.

Complementary Handprints
For an art project to incorporate complementary colors I had Cy make handprints.  We used four different colors of paper, red, blue, green and purple.  If I did this project again I'd use only the 3 primary colors for paper.

I explained to Cy what complementary colors were, the colors opposite of each other on the color wheel, while we looked at a color wheel.  I picked a color and asked him to find the opposite color or complementary color on the color wheel.  Then we moved on to the paper.  I got out the paint we were going to use and laid out all the pieces of paper.  

Cy then had to find the complementary color in paint for each piece of paper.  He lined them up getting ready to make our hand prints.

I actually painted Cy's hand with a wide brush to then let him print it on the paper.  Only in part because his washable paints were running too low to pour out on a plate and let him smoosh his hands in.  Similar to finger painting this is a great hands on art experience!

He got a few hand prints on each piece of paper and we set them aside to dry.

Thankful Tree
I wanted to do something with these complementary hand prints to extend the lesson and fun.  What better than a Thankful Tree with the handprints as the leaves.  (now my husband might disagree because the tree landed roots in our living room)

Taking a roll of the brown packaging paper I unrolled enough to trace Cy's body laying down.  He was the actual tree.  He laid down and extended his arms up just like branches. (that is the dog in the corner wondering what in the world are we doing)

I traced him and then went back in for some tree bark details, running lines throughout the tree.  And cut it out.  Cy picked a corner of the living room and up went the tree with a little tape.

With the tree up we went back to the complementary hand prints, cutting each one out to then be our leaves.  I took 5 of them and wrote out a letter of Cyrus's name so he could then arrange them in order.
I rolled tape on the back of the hand prints and Cy got to put them up.

We also added a few more paper shapes for leaves to write down things we are thankful for.  Cy came up with toys, nice things, teachers, helping mommy, crayons, and family. Gotta love it!

Working art concepts into your child's art making can be as simple as painted hand prints, matching crayons or just a discussion about colors and their relationships as they are working.  Get Hands on Art, develop an appreciation for art, your little artist and quality time spent with the two.

Enjoy! Next week Hands on Art goes Pop. With turkey hand prints inspired by Andy Warhol see you Wednesday.


  1. What a great idea!I Love it!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am enjoying reading your back posts :) and will be adding you to my list of links!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...