Make a Painting without Paint!

Wade Guyton uses Microsoft Word software to create the letters, shapes, and lines in his artwork. He prints these images onto large strips of canvas, a material used by artists to paint on. Sometimes the canvas crumples as he feeds it through the printer, creating wobbly bars and jagged lines. He often repeats the printing process with the same canvas, creating layer upon layer of ink.

 Create your own painting without paint using a computer and printer.

What you’ll need:

A computer and a printer, plain or assorted<assorted how? colored?> printer paper, Microsoft Word or other software program that can produce lines and shapes.

  1. Using the computer, open your software program and create a composition of shapes and lines. Start with simple black-and-white shapes. You can add more once you have tried it out. Ask an adult if you need help.
  2. Format the shapes that you’ve chosen. For example, play with the thickness and style of the lines and the colors of your shapes. Experiment until you get the effects that you want.
  3. Print your picture! Look at how it appears on the page.
  4. Now put the same sheet of paper back into the printer. Print your picture again. Experiment with flipping the paper around or turning it upside down. What happens? Did it come out how you imagined it?
  5. You can put your picture through the printer a few times, layering shapes and lines on top of one another. You might end up printing on both sides. That’s okay! Hold it up to the light. Can you see the ink overlapping in some areas?
  6. Each time you print, look at your picture. Think about a time that you have made a painting; how is the process of making this artwork similar? How is it different?
  7. For an extra challenge, you could add more shapes and colors and try out different types of printing paper.
  8. When you have finished, upload your images to your For Kids profile page.