Amate Bark Painting / Pinturas en la Corteza Del Amate

Learn how to make your own “bark” paper and create a beautiful painting that mimics Latin American Amate Bark Folk Art.



Step 1. / Paso 1. Gather your supplies.


Reúne tus materiales.

Amate Bark Painting


Mexican bark painting


Step 2. / Paso 2.


Crumple your brown craft paper into a ball.



Forma una pelota con el papel artesanal café.

bark paper


Step 3. / Paso 3.


Unfold the craft paper. Add lots of water to your brush and paint the crumpled paper with the black watercolor. The paint should be very watery as you are applying what’s called a “wash” of color to your paper. The watery paint should just make the paper a little darker, not completely black, as shown.


Deshaz la pelota que formaste con el papel artesanal. Añade mucha agua a tu pincel y pinta el papel arrugado con la acuarela negra. La pintura deberá estar bastante diluida al aplicarla, lo que se denomina un “lavado” de color al papel. La pintura diluida sólo debería oscurecer un poco el papel, no pintarlo totalmente de negro, tal y como se muestra.

bark painting


Step 4. / Paso 4.


When the paper’s dry, it should look aged, and similar to tree bark.


Cuando el papel se seque, deberá verse como si fuera papel viejo similar a la corteza de un árbol.

Amate painting


Step 5. / Paso 5.


Draw your design on the paper using a light color oil pastel. Research typical Amate bark paintings and choose one of these themes. Make sure to add a border around the edges of the image. We drew a turtle and added a border with a simple flower at each corner.


Dibuja tu diseño sobre el papel con un color pastel al óleo claro. Investiga las pinturas típicas hechas sobre la corteza del amate y escoge uno de esos temas. Asegúrate de añadir un borde alrededor de las orillas de la imagen. Dibujamos una tortuga y añadimos un borde con una flor sencilla en cada esquina.

Mexican art project


Step 6. / Paso 6.


Pour some poster paint into the palette and paint your design. Make sure to keep the colors bright. Tip: use white paint and see how brightly it appears on the brown “bark” paper you made.


Vierte un poco de pintura para carteles en la paleta y pinta tu diseño. Asegúrate de mantener los colores brillantes. Consejo: usa pintura blanca y fíjate en lo brillante que se ve en el papel de “corteza” café que hiciste.


Further Discussion: / Más Detalles:


Amate Bark painting is a form of folk art practiced in Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is named for the special paper, made from the bark of the Amate tree. Partner this craft with a book or online images of traditional Amate Bark paintings. Encourage children to find common themes and colors used in this form of art. Traditionally, you will find bright and colorful images, such as tropical birds, flowers, turtles and lizards and the edges are completed with a decorative border.. Many of these paintings also include the color white, which shows up well on the dark background.


La pintura sobre la corteza del Amate es una forma de arte popular practicada en México y otros países latinoamericanos. Se le nombra por el papel especial hecho de la corteza del árbol del Amate. Asocie esta artesanía con las imágenes de un libro o imágenes en línea de pinturas tradicionales plasmadas sobre la corteza del amate. Aliente a los niños a que encuentren temas y colores comunes utilizados en esta forma de arte. Tradicionalmente, encontrarán imágenes brillantes y coloridas, como aves tropicales, flores, tortugas y lagartijas, y las orillas se completan con un borde decorativo. Muchas de estas pinturas también incluyen el color blanco, el cual resalta bien sobre el fondo oscuro.


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