Bring out your child’s inner artist with this fun, self-esteem boosting activity. And get some art for your home in the process!
This idea came about because I decided I wanted some abstract paintings in my house. Maybe it’s just a phase I was going through. So I started shopping for abstracts, when something dawned on me. Why should I buy the work of strangers to hang in my home, when I’m raising gifted, brilliant, aspiring artists?
R.J.’s Masterpiece (Age 11)
My children were delighted to be treated like “real artists” whose work would be permanently displayed. This is a terrific self-esteem booster for all kids, but especially those who struggle with disabilities.
The art of four of my children
- Acrylic or Tempera Paints
- Paint Brushes
- Mini canvases (available at most craft or art stores)
- Smocks and newspaper
- A blow dryer
- You will need to purchase stretched canvases where the canvas is its own frame. (Where you paint around the edges.) The smaller ones are about eight to twelve dollars each, found at most craft and art stores. Larger ones, like “R.J.’s Masterpiece” above, are more expensive. But remember, the goal is to make real art that you want to hang somewhere in the house. So the cost is justifiable.
- Get prepared: Smock-up your child, put down newspaper, and add a little classical music for just the right touch!
- Teach your child(ren) about strokes, blending colors, dabbing for different effects.
- Before painting, try looking up abstract art on the internet, to help spark your child’s ideas. Ask about emotions associated with colors. Red=anger, blue=sadness yellow=happy. (No wrong answers here.)
- Note: The paintings turn out better if the background is painted first, covering the entire surface, and then drying with a hair dryer. (Otherwise, you’ll have white canvas showing through your child’s shapes and strokes.) Then, start the design work.
- Proudly display your child’s masterpiece! My kids will announce to all visitors, “I did that one.”
My next phase of this project is to buy an enormous wall-size canvas, and let my super-artistic R.J. create something for my kitchen wall.