Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How-To Soap Resist Video and Project Examples

Last week, my students used soap resist to make artworks inspired by the molas of the Kuna people. I've written about soap resist at least twice previously on the blog, and y'all have always a ton of really great and awesome questions. . . Questions that are hard for me to answer, because describing the method is much more difficult than demonstrating!

So, I put together a quick video that explains the whole process. P.S. I mention that roofing felt costs $60/roll in the video and I misspeak. Roofing felt costs approximately $15/roll from your local big-box hardware store.

Here are the steps my students used to make their mola-inspired artworks:
1. sketch a design using either a person or animal that is inspired by molas
2. cut a sheet of roofing felt that is at least 24" wide
3. Draw design with a cut of Ivory soap onto the felt
4. Paint around the soap lines with acrylic metallic paint
5. Allow to dry
6. Wash off soap in the sink.



  1. is the roof felt the same as tar paper? also can you post a link to It is art day? I can't seem to find the blog when I search google....I bet it's URL has a different name

  2. Thank you for the awesome video...can't wait to try :)

  3. Mrs. Art Teacher:

    Roofing felt is made from recycled cardboards and sawdust and impregnated with a small quantity of tar. Tar paper is made from rougher materials and uses asphalt. As a art teacher the big difference is that roofing felt feels like paper and tar paper feels very rough (closer to shingles).

    The blog, It Is Art Day, is located at http://itisartday.blogspot.com

  4. I am off to buy a roll of roofing felt for a Keith Hearing lesson...I'll post the results

  5. Thanks so much for posting the video. I admired the It is Art Day post but when I tried to draw with hotel soap (on construction paper) it just didn't look promising. You made the process so clear!!!!

  6. what brand of paint did you use...I just made a sample with some craft paint and a good chunk of it came off in the rinsing process...yikes!

  7. Its an awesome blog about roofing sheets.there is a many types of roofing sheets like Color Coated Roofing Sheets , Pre Painted Roofing Sheets , Galvanized Roofing Sheets, Metal Roofing Sheets, Steel Roofing Sheets, Industrial Roofing Sheets, Pre Coated Roofing Sheets.thanks for sharing such an interesting blog with us.keep on posting.

  8. ur blog is very informative...good look your paint...


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  11. Amy, now that I've read through all these spammy comments from people trying to sell roof repairs, I have a couple of questions. I know you've done other posts on the roofing felt, right? You don't have a search bar so I can't find them.
    Anyhow - I'm doing a mini-workshop with some regional teachers in a couple of weeks, and we will be painting on roofing felt. I've tried it out, and love it, but have one complaint and am wondering how you did with it. I find that the soap (I've tried Ivory like you suggested, and also some hotel soaps) crumbles when you draw with it making it impossible to see your drawing. In frustration, I ended up using some chalboard chalk (and want to try sidewalk chalk too) and was able to do a much clearer drawing, that also rinses off when paint is dry. So my questions are: how did you keep the soap from crumbling; did your students find it a challenge to draw with soap; and, is there any advantage to using the soap rather than chalk? Both are cheap. If you can respond, I'd appreciate it, as I'm putting together a workshop handout.