Follow this step-by-step sensory activity to create your own printed portraits.
This activity will engage your child’s senses and is particularly suitable for those who seek out sensory input. You'll find all the materials and instructions listed below.
Watch the video!
Due to new e-privacy measures on our site, you'll need to click on the cookie symbol in the bottom-left corner of this page and tick the boxes to accept statistics and marketing cookies in order to watch the video embedded on this page. Alternatively, you can watch it on YouTube.
National Gallery of Ireland at Home
Materials and instructions
You will need:
- A piece of cardboard
- PVA glue
- Pieces of sponge or a sponge roller
- A pencil
- A sheet of paper
- Gouache paint
- A selection of textured materials e.g.
- Tin foil
- Bubble wrap
- Sunflower seeds
- A piece of corrugated/textured cardboard
- Cut out a square of cardboard and draw the outline of your portrait.
- Cover the entire piece of cardboard with a thick layer of PVA glue.
- Add features to the face using textured materials. Wool and string are great for adding details or outlines.
- Next add hair and clothes. You could use spaghetti for hair and sunflower seeds for the jumper.
- Cut some textured cardboard into shapes to create a mouth and ears.
- Use small balls of tinfoil for the nose.
- And, finally, cut up the bubble wrap and fill the background, placing the flat side of the bubble wrap down onto the glue.
- Leave your collage to dry. This will take a few hours...
- When it's dry, you can make your print!
- Use sponge or a roller to spread paint all over the raised textures of the collage.
- Next, place a piece of paper on top of the collage and press it gently all over without letting the paper slip.
- Then, carefully peel the paper off to reveal your print!
Share your artwork!
Would you like to see your artwork featured on the Gallery's website? Take a photo of your artwork and send it to us by email ([email protected]) or using this online form to upload your picture. We'll feature a selection of pictures in the Creative Challenge Gallery, so check back to see if yours is included!
Inspired by ...
This activity is inspired by our collection of prints by George Wallace, like this one. George Wallace (1920-2009) was an Irish-Canadian artist who made expressive portraits using different printmaking techniques.
Created by Edel Campbell for the National Gallery of Ireland.
This activity, which would normally have taken place in the Maples Group Creative Space, is now brought to you online.
Visiting with kids
Activities and ideas for kids and young people visiting the Natio
George Wallace: Talking Heads
Curator Anne Hodge discusses Wallace's printed heads
National Gallery at Home: Shades on!
Video: Make a collage inspired by Sir John Lavery's painting Her
National Gallery at Home: Orpen's Wind Shelter
Video: Make a textured mini sculpture.