Easter DIY to Try: Rothko Inspired Easter Eggs

By Brittni • Updated on 08/21/2023

Nail polish Easter eggs, inspired by Mark Rothko.

Drawing abstract design on Easter eggs with a colored pencil and nail polish

Taking it back to my art school days with today’s DIY! When I was in college, I was obsessed with the work of abstract expressionists, which eventually led me to color field painting (where I got my love for color palettes).

And one of the artists that inspired me most in school (as cliche as it may have been), Mark Rothko, is who today’s Easter egg DIY is inspired by.

These Rothko Easter eggs involve layers of color (similar to color field paintings that often have many many layers), but are still very easy to make.

Click through to see how they’re done. Surprise… there’s no paint involved, whatsoever!

So how can you make Rothko inspired Easter eggs without any paint?! Just use pretty much everything else.

These eggs are a combination of layers… from traditional egg dyeing to adding nail polish and even colored pencil.

Here’s how to make your own…

Painting Easter eggs with nail polish on a white table

Materials for Nail Polish Easter Eggs

  • brown eggs OR wooden eggs (like these)
  • Easter egg tablet dye set (like this)
  • nail polish (in at least two colors, but in the same color family)
  • color art pencil (a contarsting color than the nail polishes)
  • paper towels or rag that can get dirty

How to Make Rothko Easter Eggs with Nail Polish

1. Start by dyeing brown eggs in a color similar to the nail polish colors you selected.

For example, I used blue and green nail polish, so I dyed the brown eggs I used blue and green. I like to use brown eggs instead of white ones because it give more unique and muted colors.

More about this process here: my #1 Easter egg hack for dyeing brown eggs.

2. Once the eggs are dyed and completely dry, add a layer of nail polish in one color to one half of the egg – it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Then wipe off any excess on a rag or paper towel. The intention is to remove some of the nail polish, creating a more painterly look.

3. Set aside and let dry.

Then, repeat this process with the other nail polish color on the other half of the egg, painting it on and then removing some of it with the paper towel.

4. Set aside again and let dry.

Then, using a high quality colored pencil or pastel pencil draw a line in between the two colors to mimic a Rothko painting.

Or create other patterns and lines on the egg as desired.

Blue and green abstract design on Easter eggs, inspired by artist Mark Rothko

Closeup abstract painted Easter eggs

Abstract Easter egg designs in blue, green, and pink

Looking for more DIY ideas like this one?

Here’s a few you might like.

Nail Polish Easter Eggs

Brittni
Taking it back to my art school days with today's DIY! When I was in college, I was obsessed with the work of abstract expressionists, which eventually led me to color field painting (where I got my love for color palettes). And one of the artists that inspired me most in school (as cliche as it may have been), Mark Rothko, is who today's Easter egg DIY is inspired by. These Rothko Easter eggs involve layers of color (similar to color field paintings that often have many many layers), but are still very easy to make.
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Ingredients
  

  • brown eggs OR wooden eggs like these
  • Easter egg tablet dye set like this
  • nail polish in at least two colors, but in the same color family
  • color art pencil a contarsting color than the nail polishes
  • paper towels or rag that can get dirty

Instructions
 

Start by dyeing brown eggs in a color similar to the nail polish colors you selected.

  • For example, I used blue and green nail polish, so I dyed the brown eggs I used blue and green. I like to use brown eggs instead of white ones because it give more unique and muted colors.
  • More about this process here: my #1 Easter egg hack.

Once the eggs are dyed and completely dry, add a layer of nail polish in one color to one half of the egg - it doesn't have to be perfect.

  • Then wipe off any excess on a rag or paper towel. The intention is to remove some of the nail polish, creating a more painterly look.

Set aside and let dry.

    Then, repeat this process with the other nail polish color on the other half of the egg, painting it on and then removing some of it with the paper towel.

    • Set aside again and let dry.

    Then, using a high quality colored pencil or pastel pencil draw a line in between the two colors to mimic a Rothko painting.

    • Or create other patterns and lines on the egg as desired.
    Did you make this?Mention @paperandstitch or tag #paperandstitch!

    Photography Amelia Lawrence 
    Crafting Emma Spear + Brittni Mehlhoff

    Are there any artists you love, whose work would make a cool Easter egg? Who are you inspired by lately? I’d love to know.

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    12 comments | Click here to reply

    Rothko is one of my alltime favorites. Last weekend I made ‘art’ inspired on Matisse with my nephew (three years old), maybe Matisse will be fun to try making eggs of to!

    Karlijn

    What a wonderful idea, and the eggs just look awesome! The colors remind me a bit of Paul Cézanne’s work as well!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

    Michelle

    Oh awesome. Happy to hear that, Andrea.

    Brittni

    I love this idea! It is so much fun!

    Andrea Porrazzo-Nangle

    Oh yay. Thanks so much Michelle. Exactly what I was going for – a painting on an egg. 🙂 Happy Thursday!

    Brittni

    Now, those are just super stylish! They look like a painting on an egg, brilliant!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

    Michelle

    Thanks Faux Sho. Let me know how it goes!

    Brittni

    What a wonderful idea with the nail polish! These are stunning and I can’t wait to try them out! Thank you so much for the lovely post!

    Faux Sho

    Thanks Rena!

    Brittni

    In love with the perfect Easter eggs!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

    Rena

    Thanks Courtney! I appreciate that. The color combo is one of my faves at the moment, especially with a little pop of pink to balance at the blue and green.

    Brittni

    The eggs look so pretty. I love the blue and green combo.
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

    Courtney
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