- Arts and Design
Create Thumbprint Animals and People with Thumbprint Art
Using only your fingers and an ink pad, you can create amazing miniature works of art. Children AND adults enjoy making thumbprint art - I know because I couldn't resist making these with my daughter. I can't take credit for the idea of thumbprint art, also called fingerprint or funprint art. Ed Emberley is the genius who has shared this simple art form with the world through his book Ed Emberley's Complete FunPrint Drawing Book.
I'll be sprinkling this page with some of our own attempts at thumbprint art. All the examples on this page are from Ed Emberley's book. These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of ideas in his book.
Fingertip Bug Centipede Drawing
Anyone can make fingerprint art!
Here's a simple mouse
ANYONE can make these fingerprint drawings - even children who "think" they cannot draw very well.
Using the funprint art book as a guide, we made all the cute little animals and people on this page. You start with a simple fingerprint (or two or three), then step-by-step add one black line detail at a time until it's complete. To see exactly what I mean, click on the link for the book near the bottom of this page. Thankfully, this book has the added feature of "Click to look inside" and there are several samples that show the steps.
Simple facial expressions
What will you need to make thumbprint art?
A willing set of fingerprints and...
Fingerprint art book (see below) or some examples
Paper - plain white paper works best
At least one ink pad - multiple colors are nice but not required
Thin black ink pen
Damp cloth for wiping fingers to change colors
A couple of interesting characters
My favorite way to use thumbprint drawings and characters
In a greeting card
Using thumbprint art inside of a greeting card is my favorite way to share this art with others. I have a fond memory of my daughter and I decorating the inside of "Nana's" birthday card. When Nana received the card she called right away to say how much she loved all the little fingerprint animals and then she described each of them back to us. I think elderly people especially will appreciate receiving cards decorated this way.
Thumbprint art train, car and submarine - I used the step-by-step instructions in the book for these
Here's Ed Emberley's book with 100's and hundreds of thumbprint drawing patterns - Each little animal or person has step-by-step drawing instructions
"For the first time, we present a two-in-one edition of two of his most popular titles-Ed Emberley's Fingerprint Drawing Book and Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book. Colorful step-by-step drawings show how to turn your thumbprints into owls, pigs, fish, or basketball players."
Check out this cute dog!
Complete with a "woof"
This looks like my dachshund, Peetey.
Special thanks to artist Holli Conger at agirlwhocreates for sharing her doggie art.
Look at those ears - what character this dog has! And what a cool idea to put the "woof" in a fingerprint thought bubble.
Ed Emberley has written & illustrated approx. 80 books for children
Links to more thumbprint art examples - Critters and more
- From Ed Emberley himself
Here's a free example of the step by step instructions provided by the fingerprint master himself. The example is of a kitty cat with all sorts of facial expressions.
- Thumbprint Reindeer Card
Here's a card from the Persechini family. They've added several Christmas thumbprint reindeer to a greeting card and it couldn't be cuter!
- Alpha Mom blogs about thumbprint art
Be sure to scroll down to see wonderful pictures of children in the act - inky fingers and all.
- Blogger Hausfrau in Melbourne
There's a wonderful picture here of a child following step-by-step instructions.
- Another example by my friend, Hausfrau in Melbourne
The cutest racoon ever.
- Valentine's ideas
Some really cute ideas for Valentine's Day including thumbprint dogs saying "I Ruff You". Too cute.
- T-shirt idea from FamilyFun
Now here's an idea - use fabric paints instead of ink pads and make t-shirts with flower designs.
- More Reindeer cards
Don't miss this one. Single fingerprints make a family portrait of sorts.
- And yet more reindeer
These reindeer are created by a graphic designer and are more appreciated by adults. For example one holds a martini glass. But don't miss them because the style of his antlers is really unique. And also notice the reindeer in the top left corner - h
- Thumbprint lesson sheet
Thumbprint lesson complete with some examples. Don't miss "The Martin Family" picture lower right. Provided by the good folks over at Kidskreations. Click on the link above for the lesson sheet.