Art-Making Activity: Create a Solar Print

Solar print paper and objects for making silhouettes. Image from

Create a sun print  using solarized paper (available from art supply stores or and a variety of objects of different shapes and sizes.  Lay an assortment of objects on the solar paper and expose to sunlight for 10 to 20 minutes.  Next, rinse the paper in water and let it dry.  The paper will retain a white color where sunlight was blocked (under the items laid on top of the paper) and will turn a bright Prussian blue where it was exposed to sunlight.  Suggestions for objects:  lace, leaves, scissors, cork screws, small toys, letter magnets, paperclips, etc.

This activity works with construction paper too, but you’ll need to leave it in the sun a bit longer! Try placing your solar print in the sun in the morning and check back later in the day.

Learn more about cyanotypes, an early form of photographic solar prints, in this feature about Ceylon by Anna Atkins from NOMA’s permanent collection. 


NOMA members inspire the love of art in every visitor who walks into the Great Hall or through the gates of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

In addition to enjoying benefits like special members’ previews of exhibitions, free wellness classes surrounded by sculptures, and a complimentary subscription to NOMA Magazine, our members enable schoolchildren to discover the Old Masters, community members to engage with world-class art and local artists, and NOMA’s curators to present innovative and provocative exhibitions year after year.