Subtractive Paint Prints

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In this activity, learners of all ages will experiment with paint and printmaking. Learners will create their own unique patterns, create copies of their designs by removing paint from the originals, and then compare the prints and discuss similarities and differences. Activity includes visual supports with step-by-step instructions and photos.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Smooth surface
  • Paint
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paint roller or stiff brush
  • Paper


  • Mathematics
    • Geometry

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Discovery At Home


  • All rights reserved, Discovery Museum, 2020