As part of our study of Prehistoric art, students discussed the images of hands that frequently appeared on cave walls. Similar images also appear in the art of Aboriginal peoples in Australia.
We discussed several ways that these stenciled and printed images were made, and we simulated these techniques by sprinkling a small amount of powdered black tempera paint on top of the students' hands, and then spraying their hands with water. This created the stenciled image, and when they turned their hand over and pressed it against the paper, it created a print.
It was fascinating to think that stenciling and printing were developed thousands and thousands of years ago--and that we still use these basic methods of art production today!