We’ve spent a lot of time painting over the past few weeks, so I thought I’d share some of our favourite painting activities.
Experimenting -trying something new or different (whether it be painting a scene that you have never painted before, exploring a new technique, introducing different elements to your artwork etc)
Miss Six has been experimenting with splatter paintings and turning her artworks into scenes.
One of our favourites is this one – “Butterfly in the Woods”:
The minute Miss Six opened the splatter painting pictured above she was delighted to instantly see “a butterfly in between all the trees”. She was so excited to ask me if I saw it too. She had such a clear vision with what she wanted to do with this piece of art. Miss Six wanted to add some gems to the butterfly. She then used a black pen to draw around the tree tops. Miss Six wanted to use some wool for the tree trunks and then add some pom poms to the tree tops. One of my favourite things about this artwork is the name she gave to this piece, “Butterfly in the Woods”.
Some more of our mirror image paintings from earlier in the year can be found in this blog post.
At the moment, Master Five has been experimenting with all things rainbow – lots of colour. We have a stack of rainbow hand prints currently drying in our kitchen which he has some plans for!
Miss Three is always keen to explore painting with and on a variety of different materials – at the moment her preferred painting instruments are cotton buds, sponges and her hands. She likes to paint on bubble wrap, foil and rocks.
2. Sand Painting
These photos are from the archives – they feature our first ever attempt at sand painting and there have been countless experiences with this since then! That’s Miss Three as a baby cuddled up to me! I think this activity is such a hit with my cherubs because there a lots of fun elements to it – colouring the sand, painting, drizzling glue, scooping and pouring coloured sand. Lots of enjoyable experiences to create a masterpiece.
Colour sand – We placed some sand and food colouring in sealed bags and then you need some helpers to squish the bags to disperse the colour.
Paint on paper.
Place paper in tray. Drizzle glue over painting.
While painting (covered in glue) is in tray, invite child to sprinkle sand over painting.
Shake off excess sand into tray.
Enjoy your masterpieces.
3. Chalk Painting.
Similar to sand painting in that there are lots of enjoyable elements for children to experience with chalk painting – crushing chalk, adding water to chalk to create paint and painting outside.
Once again some photos from the archives – oldies, but goodies taken on a rainy day (perfect weather for chalk painting)
The first time we made our chalk paint, my children brainstormed different ideas about ways in which they could crush up coloured chalk (that was contained in sealed plastic bags). My daughter tried crushing the chalk with a small rock and my son felt that jumping on the chalk would do the job. I can report neither were very successful.
The first time we did this, my son was very much into hammering, so he was very excited when we discussed the idea of using a hammer – it was a winner.
Once the chalk was crushed, we poured the contents of the sealed bags into cups (one chalk colour per cup). We placed our cups in the light rain and waited for about a third of the cup to be filled with water.
A quick stir to mix the crushed chalk and rain water. Then it was time to paint.
A large area outside seemed like the perfect canvas to unleash their inner Jackson Pollock.
4. Rock Painting
Painting outside would have to be an all time favourite activity for each of my children, whether it be painting on an easel in the great outdoors, painting on the driveway, painting at the beach or painting on a rock wall.
Our boulder wall has inspired several artworks over the years, the most recent being a colourful display where my older children used the shape of the rocks to inspire a creation. I wrote a blog post about our rock wall paintings here.
5. Squeeze sponge paintings
Squeeze sponge paintings are a little messy and a whole lotta fun. The beauty of these is the beautiful and striking patterns that the bubbles make.
6. Wax resist paintings
We have used wax resist paintings to make some stunning creations such as beautiful shadow puppet boxes as well as gorgeous fairy wings and eye catching dragon wings.
The materials required to create a wax resist painting include: watercolour paper (or thick paper), watercolour paints, crayon shavings, grease proof baking paper and an iron.
I wrote about the process for wax resist paintings in this blog post.
Some of our much loved and enjoyed pieces using wax resist creations include:
Shadow puppet box (there are more details about the shadow puppet box in this blog post which is about using children’s art and creative pieces for storytelling:
Fairy wings and dragon wings (which you can read more about in this blog post)
7. Box creations – using a box with some “modifications” as the canvas.
A box makes for an inexpensive canvas. To add some interest to a box create some space and means by which materials can be threaded and poked into the box. To see more about our mesh box canvases visit this blog post.