Indigenous Crafts: Mexican Bark Paintings

Indigenous Crafts: Mexican Bark Paintings
Mexican Bark Painting

Mexican Bark Painting

Latin American bark paintings depict birds, fish, sea horses, alpaca, armadillo, and flowers like marigolds, roses, hibiscus and sunflowers. Consider combinations of these objects when creating your design for the bark painting.


White drawing paper

Tracing paper


Permanent black fine-line felt-tipped marker

Acrylic paints – bright colors of choice

Paint brushes


Large paint brush

1/4 inch thick piece of plywood 8” x 10”


  1. Draw your design on a piece of white paper. Then place the tracing paper on the drawing. Trace your design on to the tracing paper.
  2. Blacken the back side of the tracing paper and place it blackened side down on the plywood. Tape it down.
  3. Go over the design on the tracing paper with a pencil by pressing down hard. Remove the tracing paper and go over the lines on the plywood with the black marker. (They should show up on the plywood. Take a peek under one corner of the papers first to see if an impression was made.)
  4. Color the designs with the paints. Make it colorful like real Mexican bark paintings. Allow to dry.
  5. Layer a coat of shellac over the painting to make it shine and to protect it. Mexican bark paintings are colorful. Hang it up in a prominent place.
Mexican Banana Bark Painting

Mexican Banana Bark Painting

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About marion

I first wrote and sketched as a child growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and Brooklyn, New York. I received her first recognition for my creativity when I won the New York City Schools Art Award and participated in my first art exhibit in downtown Manhattan. I was fourteen and a half when I moved to Cyprus with my family. I experienced culture shock but I continued to write about and sketch the sights and sounds of another country and many other things. I am a creative person. I write children's and Young Adult fiction and nonfiction. I write historical and Coming of Age Young Adult novels. I also write picture books and art books for elementary school children. I am in the process of writing a fictionalized biography of a member of the Belgian Resistance who also fought for the US Army during World War II. I worked as a freelance editor for two local companies: College Prowler and SterlingHouse Publisher. I also worked as an assistant literary agent for Lee Shore Agency. I was attending Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program at the time and the experience was invaluable. My course work toward my Master of Arts degree in turn helped me at work. As an assistant literary agent, I reviewed all incoming manuscripts, cultivated a relationship with the writers we contracted and marketed our books to book publishers for sale. I “freelanced” my editing skills which included working with the manuscript acquisitions editor, selecting book covers with the art department, writing the book jacket blurb, reading film scripts and executing general office duties as assigned. Oh, by the way, I edited books, too. I even utilized Adobe InDesign for the editing that I did for College Prowler. I’ve also reviewed published books and conducted research. I have published nonfiction articles and books online and in print. As an artist, I have exhibited my mixed media drawings and collages nationally and regionally and have worked as a freelance designer and calligrapher. I have a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

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