Class Overview

Painting with Light - Continuing Education at Seattle Central CollegeUse plants and the sun to make art!

In this workshop for kids ages 8-12, you will learn about anthotypes, one of the first types of photos using the pigments of plants and the bleaching power of the sun. Experiment with natural and found materials to make unique works of art.

We will create paint brushes from natural items found in and around your home, such as a stick or feather, plus moss or lichen. We will experiment with different plant materials that you find in your yard, neighborhood or park, to make pigment, dye or paint. We will have fun exploring various textures and colors that result from this process. 

Paint a picture using your homemade plant pigments. Then we will add light to our creative exploration and discover what affect that has on our pigments and paper.

This summer, all of our workshops will be online. Enjoy meeting other kids and make friends while being creative from your home. This workshop is part of our summer programs for kids.


Materials to prepare before the class: 

  • Sticks, moss, feathers or a paint brush
  • Thin rope or string of some kind
  • Mortar and pestle—bowl and spoon can work as well
  • Plant material (flowers, vegetables, fruit, leaves…etc.)
  • Acid-free cotton non-rag paper
  • Water
  • Two binder clips
  • Small sheet of glass 
  • A piece of cardboard 


Notes for parent/guardian: We encourage you to be nearby to support your child as needed. Also, each child participating needs to be registered for the workshop. If a sibling or friend would like to join, please register them separately. Thank you!

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover how to use plants to create pigments 
  • Explore painting with non-traditional materials
  • Gain an understanding of anthotype -- one of the first photographs ever made using plant pigments and the sun
  • Gain the ability to see your environment differently 
  • Develop a connection with nature by using it as a resource for your art making tools 

Who Should Take This Class?

Children ages 8-12 who:

  • Are interested in nature and art
  • Would like to do a creative project guided by an instructor
  • Want to meet other students online

Instructor, Location & Fee

  • Instructor: Koa Tom
  • Where: Online: Real-time and interactive through videoconferencing
  • Fee: $35