The Princess loves to draw, to colour, to cut, to glue, to paint. I love all of that too, but because we don't have a studio or even a corner where I can leave a project out indefinitely I don't do it very often. And I hate to be interrupted when I'm painting, which doesn't make for a very good mommy.
Sometimes though, I give in to the constant refrain of "let's do a craft Mommy! Let's make a picture!"; and on Monday I pulled out some old watercolour supplies and taught the Princess how to use them. She blew my mind.
" the sea " watercolour by the Princess, January 2009
Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? (Cheap frame from Ikea - fabulous for displaying children's artwork)
Watercolours are the perfect medium for children. The mess is minimal, and they are entranced by the way the paint glides and flows on the paper. Besides, the best results come with loose free strokes, which is natural for them. If you know a child who loves art, this is what you should get them for their next birthday.
A few tips: 1. buy a watercolour block, which is a pad of paper that is glued all around the edges except for a small section where you can slip in a knife and pull each finished painting off once it's dry. This keeps the paper stretched and flat.
2. And real paint. It doesn't have to be expensive, but get a student quality set from an art supply. Pans are better than tubes for little ones.
3. The paper can take a lot of water, have them brush clean water over the entire surface of the paper before starting.
4. The paint will dry lighter, so if they want vivid colour, have them load it on.
5. Give them some salt (I like sea salt best for this, but experiment!) to sprinkle in the wet paint to make a speckled effect.
6. Although some pigments are more permanent than others, sometimes paint can be removed from the paper by wetting and blotting with a tissue or paper towel (Q-tips are good for small areas)
Let me see your kids' best work. I love all of it.