Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dendritic Painting

A group I belong to met today to have a try with Dendritic Painting.  This is a very simple process of squashing paint between two sheets of glass, prising them apart to see the wonderful pattern they make and taking a print from them on fabric or paper.  The definition of a dendrite is
  1. a short branched extension of a nerve cell, along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body.

  2. a crystal or crystalline mass with a branching, tree-like structure.

I think you will be able to see, in the pictures below, why it is called 'dendritic' painting. 

I'll talk you through the process to show you how we achieved our prints.

First drop small blobs of acrylic paint onto a sheet of glass

Acrylic paint blobs ready for dendritic painting

We found less was more in this instance as it produced a finer print

Next place the second sheet of glass on top of these blobs and squish down firmly.

blobs squashed between two sheets of glass for dendritic printing

I just love how these blobs form perfect circles!
(the oval shape is the stripe in the first picture)

To reveal the dendritic process, carefully prise the sheets of glass apart.

removal of glass to reveal dendritic effect

Just look at the beautiful patterns that form!

dendritic pattern revealed

You are now ready to take your print.  We found the first one was not always the most successful so this picture shows the second (left) and third (right) print on paper.

second and third prints from dendritic painting

These are very simple prints to show how easy the process is but you can make them as complicated as you wish, mixing shapes, colours and even double printing. The ones below show some of my experiments from today.

selection of dendritic prints

There are many more pictures showing what the other ladies created, far too many to add to this blog post.  I've made the folder available on google drive so if you click this link you should be able to see many more of what we created today.

Have fun!


  1. Brilliant blog as ever and shows the process perfectly, you have some really good results. I like the big piece especially x

    1. Thanks Liz. I thought it may be helpful for others who want to have a go.

  2. I was part of the group that Alison led today. I really enjoyed the process and plan to make birthday/gift cards etc with my grandchildren. Well done Alison. Brilliant.

    1. Oooh that is good news Flis. I'd love to see those when they are made.

  3. I was part of the group too, it was a very enjoyable session, I came away very pleased with the results and I'm going to try embroidering some of the pieces. I'm sure my granddaughter would love to give it a try too. Thanks Alison for a great idea and for getting us all organised. Keep up the good work!


I really appreciate all the lovely comments you leave so thank you for taking precious time to do this.