The idea

Hands in foam with marbled ink

Want to make some marbled paper?

We'll show you how to use shaving foam and ink or paint to create swirly patterns and prints!

You can use paper to print onto, or even your hands!

Inspiration

Gerhard Richter, ‘Abstract Painting (726)’ 1990
Gerhard Richter
Abstract Painting (726) 1990
Tate
© Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter, ‘Abstract Painting (809-3)’ 1994
Gerhard Richter
Abstract Painting (809-3) 1994
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland
© Gerhard Richter

German artist Gerhard Richter is well-known for his abstract works. In these paintings, he scraped paint across the canvas. Underneath this top layer of paint, Richter sometimes paints a detailed composition, which sometimes peeks through.

In this activity we will scrape the foam off the paper to reveal our artwork!

Let's get started

materials for making marbled paper laid out

You will need:

  • Shaving foam
  • A baking tray or dish
  • Cocktail sticks or wooden skewers
  • Washable inks, paint, or food dye
  • White paper
  • A spatula
  • A plastic ruler
a baking tray filled with shaving foam

1. Fill your tray with foam

smoothing the foam down with a spatula

2. Smooth the foam with a spatula

dropping ink into shaving foam, a pattern of dots across the surface in different colours

3. Drop ink onto the foam

swirling the inks together using a stick

4. Swirl the inks together using a stick

Swirly ink in shaving foam

5. Keep swirling!

Hand about to pull paper off the foam

6. Place paper on top of the foam. Push it down with your fingers. Leave for 1 min.

peeling back to reveal

7. Slowly peel back the paper

Scrape off the foam with a ruler

8. Scrape off the foam!

Your marbled paper!

A piece of marbled paper

Use your hands!

hands in the foam

hands down in foam

Place your hands onto the foam

palms up

Now look at your hands!

hand prints to scrape

Things to do with your marbled paper

Bunting made from marbled paper

You could make some bunting...

bird made from marbled paper hanging on a ribbon

or a decoration to hang up!