Watercolor for kids (and parents)

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Try painting with your kids.  They will love it and you may too!  Find your inner artist.  Grab a bowl of fruit, or just an apple, and paint it.  Add a little shadow.  Use unconventional colors.  How many famous artists draw brown and green trees?  None!  Grab that photo you’ve always wanted to have painted and give it a shot. 

You may surprise yourself!  The more you paint with your kids, the better you’ll get.  Like anything, drawing and painting just take a little practice.  We all need a little more art in our lives (especially those of us who spend our days carpooling and serving food to less-than-appreciative audiences.) 

Usually, my children do thier drawing and painting on recycled printer paper or construction paper, but they absolutely love it when I let them use my “real” watercolor paper to paint on. Since my paper is pricey,  I recently invested in some kids’ watercolor paper.  It has been a huge hit at my house!  You can find it almost anywhere.  I ordered some large pads of the paper from the Dick Blick (art supplies) website.  Don’t buy expensive paper- it should just be “watercolor paper”, which is thicker than notebook paper and may have a little texture.

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Let them experiment with it.  We just use the washable watercolor palettes that you buy your kids for school.  I do love to have a few bigger brushes around for them to play with.  It’s hard to put lots of paint on the tiny brushes that come with the paint.  Most craft stores carry watercolor brushes.  Once again, don’t buy really expensive ones unless you want to use them yourself!  I love the brushes that are medium sized and have a tapered end, so you can paint big or small and do artsy-looking strokes!  Buy one huge brush for wetting the whole page with water so you can play with painting wet-on-wet!

Have them paint different color spots or lines right next to each other and then load their brushes with clear water.  When they paint the water between the colors, they can watch the colors bleed together and make new colors and pretty designs.  Some kids I had at my house the other day let their paintings dry, cut them up and glued them onto another piece of paper to make a collage.  They were suitable for framing!

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Have fun and watch what evolves.  Paintings have a way of changing into something unexpected. Enjoy the process! 

I’m working on some great Thanksgiving craft ideas, so keep posted!

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