Family Activity Inspired by Sandra Cinto's Tempest in Red, 2009

Sandra Cinto is an artist who blurs the lines between fantasy and reality in her work. Tempest in Red is not only inspired by other works of art that deal with storms, but it also refers to contemporary worldwide immigration issues.

In this moderate level Family Activity, we'll walk you through how to make a sea (or land) scape inspired by Cinto's Tempest in Red, 2009

Sandra Cinto (Brazilian, born 1968). Tempest in Red, 2009. Acrylic and permanent pen on canvas, 63 x 98 x 2 inches (160 x 248.9 x 5.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Elisabeth H. Gates Fund, by exchange, Fellows for Life Fund, by exchange, James G. Forsyth Fund, by exchange, Gift of Demotte and Company, by Exchange, Charles Clifton and James G. Forsyth Fund, by exchange, George Cary Fund, by exchange, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Garo, by exchange, Evelyn Rumsey Cary Fund, by exchange and Norman E. Boasberg Fund, by exchange, 2011 (2011:12). © 2009 Sandra Cinto, courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York. Image courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

Getting Started

  • How would you describe the lines within this work of art? Draw the motion of the lines in the air with your arms.
  • What do the colors that Cinto uses for this scene remind you of? Why do you think she choose those two colors?
  • Would you want to sail on a boat within this seascape? Why or why not?
  • Can you think of any stories about people who have risked their lives in a boat during a storm?


  • Cardboard/heavy cardstock
  • Pencil
  • White glue (hot glue or tacky glue works too)
  • Glue stick or tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Q-tip
  • Permanent markers

Artmaking Activity

1. Select a piece of cardboard (or mat board–whatever is available to you) to use as your base. Using lots of lines, draw a scene of waves or any landscape of your choice. Keep it simple, without too much detail.

2. Gather together your glue and your string. Trace the drawn lines with your glue and gently place the string over all of the lines. (This can be done without the string if you use hot glue or tacky glue.) Let everything dry completely.

3. Cut a piece of tin foil a little bit larger than your cardboard and gently fold the foil over the top of the cardboard. Glue or tape down on the back. Now place more glue on the areas that are not covered by the string. (If you have spray adhesive–that works too!) Then gently press the foil down over the whole work, so that it sticks to the glued areas.

4. Next, use a Q-tip to press against all the lines so that the drawing becomes more apparent.

5. Using permanent markers, color in the spaces around the lines. You can choose to use one color, like Cinto, or multiple colors to convey a feeling or an emotion within your work of art.

Optional: Share your creation on Twitter or Instagram with #AKBeyondWalls and #MuseumFromHome!


Seascape: a photograph, painting, or other work of art that depicts of the sea

Embossed: the processes of creating a raised image/ design against a background

Relief print: a process consisting of cutting or etching a printing surface in such a way that all that remains of the original surface is the design to be printed

Woodblock: a form of relief printing in which a design is cut or gouged out of the surface of a block of hardwood; ink (or paint) is then applied to the surface to print out the design