We had a great activity at the Fresno Art Museum for our students ages
8-15 back in May. They used Sunprint paper (which can be found on
amazon.com by searching "sunprint paper") and transparencies to create
photographs without cameras, film, or chemicals. Normally, Sunprint
paper is used to make prints of leaves and flowers, but I decided to
take it to a different level. Our local newspaper donated their used
negatives, so students cut out letters and photos and made a collage
Large negatives to cut out
Clear film or transparency the size of the Sunprint paper
Scotch tape (crystal clear)
Tray of water
Piece of glass with beveled edges (can use the glass and backing of
an old picture frame)
Dry or wet erase markers
Construction paper large enough to cover the size of Sunprint paper
Clothesline and clothespins
Cut out negatives and tape words and pictures onto transparency
Note: letters and numbers do not need to be placed backwards
Draw with a dry or wet erase marker on clear parts of the
transparency, or place the transparency on top of a magazine or photo
and trace the picture. Remember to make it negative! Color in the
spaces you want light and leave the spaces you want dark, clear. A
nice new dry or wet erase marker is solid enough to block the sun and
yet if you make a mistake you can erase it.
In shade or inside the building, place one piece of Sunprint paper
onto board. Place collage on top of paper, making sure the rectangle
matches the size of sunprint paper
Place glass on top. The sunprint paper and negative should be
sandwiched between the board and the glass with the glass on top.
Place a piece of construction paper (doesnt matter what color) on
top of the glass. This will protect the image until you get to sunlight.
Find a spot that has direct sunlight. A good indication that there
is enough direct sunlight is if nearby shadows are very dark. Place
the project on the ground. When ready, remove the construction paper
and watch the print start to change. Follow directions on the sunprint
paper package! It will usually take less than a minute for a full
When the print is ready, place the paper on top to protect it and
take it to a shady spot.
Remove the paper , glass, and negatives and place the Sunprint
paper into a bin of water. Watch as the darks become light and the
lights become dark!
Rinse for a few minutes and hang to dry.
Integrate found objects or plants
Store in a dim room both before and after exposure to light.
Whats dark or black on the negative will become light on the print
and vice versa.
When the project is in the sun, the light parts should become pale
yellow, not white. If it turns white, its been in the sun too long.
It will still work, but it will have low contrast.
Normal copy transparencies work, if you draw a rectangle the size of
the Sunprint paper so students know how large to make their collages.
Jo Anne Yada
Fresno Art Museum
2233 N. First St.
Fresno, Calif. 93703
(559) 441-4221 ext. 112
(559) 441-4227 fax