Sniff Sniff

Have you noticed how dogs love to sniff everything? That is because they perceive the world through their noses! My dog once told me that he can sniff clues in the wind and these clues bring memories from other animals and they also tell him what’s coming next. Let’s pretend we’re dogs and try to decipher the clues in the wind!

On a nice day, sit or lay outside in your garden, a park or the forest. If there’s a dog in your family, maybe they can guide you to the best spot. Once you’re there, close your eyes and try to focus on what your nose is perceiving. Maybe they’re smells, maybe they’re sensations like dampness, dryness, warmth, cold… Don’t worry too much about trying to figure out what it is you’re smelling, just focus on the sensations and the memories they bring.

When you’re done sniffing, you can stay where you are or go back inside and remember those sensations and memories. Can you draw them? Maybe you prefer to write them down. What kind of feelings did they bring up? Bring to mind your favourite smell(s), how does it/they make you feel?




Anthotypes are a fun way to play with colour, plants and sunlight!

All you need is:

☼ Your choice of: berries, beets, black beans or red cabbage

☼ Watercolour paper or some other kind of thick, absorbent paper

☼ Brushes, paint rollers, sponges or some sort of contraption to spread paint

☼ Shapes! You can cut them out of paper, card, or you can use dried leaves, perhaps?

☼ Sellotape or masking tape

1. To make your anthotype, chop your berries, beets or red cabbage and leave them in a jar or container to soak overnight. If you’re using black beans, you don’t need to chop, just let them soak overnight in just enough water to cover them.

2. The next day, check out the colour of the water in your jar/container. Has it changed? You can also put your berries, beets or red cabbage and coloured water in the blender to make a sort of juice. Strain. For the black beans, don’t blend, just strain them and your beans are now ready to be cooked! Keep the coloured water, you’ll use it like paint.

3. For extra colourful fun, you can split your colour juice into three jars and mix in a pinch of baking soda in the first one. Add a splash or vinegar to the second one and leave the third one as is. Do you see the colours changing?

4. Dip your painting materials in your colourful water and paint away, trying to cover as much of your watercolour paper as possible. Get creative! Build up layers of colour as it dries to make it darker.

5. Leave to dry and watch the colours change!

6. Now, place your shapes on top of your painted watercolour paper and secure in place as best you can.

7. Place your anthotype-to-be in a very sunny window and leave it there for a few days until you see the exposed bits have faded.

8. The sun will make the paint fade in the places where it’s not covered by shapes and only the shapes will remain. It’s like taking a photo, but way more fun!

✧ Anthotypes are made possible thanks to anthocyanins in plants such as berries, beets, black beans or red cabbage. But what are anthocyanins?



Spontaneous Ink

What colours can you find in your environment? Go and see…

Can you find any colour that is transferable? Look for something that you might be able to use to make marks and colour on paper.

Could you rub petals on a page and leave a mark? What about tea or coffee? Are there any vegetables that leave a stain?

Fill a blank page with spontaneous ink marks, taken from your environment.

Which colours do you like most and why?

Learn more about the history of dyes and pigments!

More ink-making inspiration:



Memory Drawing

Go for a walk – it can be inside, outside, long or short. Pay attention to your surroundings and look out for something that catches your eye. It might be a plant, a tree, a piece of rubbish, an object, anything. Stop and look at it for a few minutes, taking in all its details. Continue your walk.

When you get home, find some drawing materials and sit down. Close your eyes and call to mind what you looked at. Now draw whatever comes to you. Give it a title and put it somewhere you can look at it over the coming days. 

Why do you think that particular thing spoke to you?

What do you think/feel when you look at your drawing?