I thought I’d do a follow up post to my last one to show some of the tools Boo uses when painting. The process I go through with Boo definitely changes as she gets older…..I’ve written several posts over the years with tips on painting with children….I linked them all up at the bottom of this post.
As I was collecting photos together for this post I starting making a collage of Boo painting over the years…..she was so tiny!
So onto the topic of this post! I love giving Boo all the tools she needs to be creative as possible. I give her tips and pointers along the way….teaching her how to use different techniques. What we are always working on though is the building up of layers. The more layers…..the more interesting the painting.
I always make sure to have lots of paint and oversized brushes. We mix the paints with water so that it’s easier to apply to the canvas. The faster she can cover a canvas with paint…..the more likely she is to paint multiple layers:
Gesso is key! It’s a white primer……but great for painting an opaque layer over something. She mixed it with different colors to lighten them:
Willow charcoal is great for drawing lines as guides onto a painting. I usually draw a few lines for her when she wants to write something on a painting. After the paint dries the charcoal can be wiped off with a damp cloth. Willow charcoal is the only thing I draw with with painting….if you use a graphite pencil no matter how many layers you keep painting over it….you’ll keep seeing it! I like the way it crumbles and mixes into the paint as well. To make a charcoal drawing permanent you’ll need to spray the drawing with some matte varnish in between layers.
When painting with multiple layers I teach Boo to “deconstruct” her layers. A mouse sander is a pretty safe tool for her age if I’m supervising her. All it does is vibrate back and forth….I just keep a close eye on her to make sure she doesn’t sand right through the canvas and weaken the fabric layer.
I love mixing different kinds of paints, markers and crayons. The rule is: start with water soluble mediums and move up to oil based. Once you add oil based mediums you can’t paint over them with water based mediums. But sometimes we cheat…. and use spray paint in between layers. Spray paint is pretty permanent.
Examples of water-soluble:
Examples of oil/wax mediums:
Oil Based Varnishes
I love aqua crayons because she can draw and then use water to turn the images into water colors:
Stencils are an easy way to add texture and design to a painting. I let Boo use spray paint when I’m watching her. If you let a young child use spray paint make sure to put goggles on them just in case they happen to spray the wrong direction! Boo just uses swim goggles. We use all different types of objects to create stencils….cut paper, glue gun stencils (click here for a tutorial), and letter stencils. When they are covered in spray paint they become great stamps too!
We always take advantage of excess paint. Anything that’s left over is used to create layers….by pouring paint, dripping, or even using bubble wrap and other items to print patterns onto the canvas:
Here’s the video of Boo’s process all wrapped into 3 minutes:
Value Pack Flat Brushes (Dharma Trading)
50 Pack of Brushes (Dharma Trading)
Set of 12 Brushes (Dharma Trading)
Black Fabric Marker (Dharma Trading)
White Chalk Ink Markers