Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pico Picasso

Have you had the opportunity to go to one of those painting studios where you can sip wine, have a snack, and bring out your inner-Picasso through a guided lesson?  Just recently, I was fortunate to be able to go for the first time, and let me tell you, it is amazing!  I know, I know, I'm a little behind the curve here.  But even if you have absolutely no talent whatsoever, the instructor takes you step-by-step through the painting and you produce something that is visually attractive.  Besides that, what could be more fun than a night out with friends, sipping wine, listening to music?  I love trying new things and places and it is a fabulous way to "flip the script," do something different and memorable. We took my friend there to celebrate her birthday. We had a blast! Here is my painting:

So since that evening, I have been inspired to paint once again.  I used to dabble a little in painting (back before having kids), but it was mostly folk art types of things for the craft business I had.  I painted snowmen, watermelons, pumpkins...that kind of stuff.  But I hadn't ever really painted much on a canvas.  And now, I'm obsessed!  LOL...not really, because how much time does a mom of 3 plus 4 fur babies really have to be obsessed with anything? Amiright?

But I have found a ton of ideas on Pinterest...here is my board if you'd like to see them.  I took a couple of the ideas and melded them together to come up with this:

I painted that one Friday evening when I was home by myself with the kiddles.  I put music on, gave each child something to paint, and we spent the evening relaxing together.  It was really something special.  Miracle Man painted the birdhouse he got for Christmas, and Chub-Chub painted on a small, flat canvas that had previously been painted on.  I gave my daughter a large canvas and she designed and painted this:

So this got me to thinking...why couldn't a child paint a nice painting with guided instruction, just like I experienced at the painting studio?  I know that some of the studios do offer family events on occasion, but I thought it would be a great idea to have Little Miss and her friends paint together on a sleepover.  Well, we had the sleeopover, but Little Miss didn't want to paint.  She wanted to just hang with her friends.  Of course, she is a tween now, so I get it.  I remember those days of girly talk and gossip!

Anyway, my next opportunity to try a guided lesson came yesterday when I was watching my friend's twin 4.5 year olds! I found an idea on Pinterest, saved it to my Paint Projects For Kids board, and gave it a go!  Since Easter is coming soon, we were painting Easter Bunnies.  Our inspiration came from here.

Here is how I managed to get two 4 year olds to paint kind of like that:

First, I covered the table with one of those plastic tablecloths from the dollar store that you use for parties.  Next, we put on smocks...I found two apron-style ones at the dollar store, too.  But I also use old shirts with my kids.

I have been saving up all of those little trays that microwaveable meals come in because they come in handy for painting and setting out materials for other projects.  So I took those out and I put a little bit of acrylic paint in a tray for each of the boys, set out a cup of water in an old cup designated for painting, and I walked them through the painting step-by-step. 

First, we painted the background and let it dry (I put my ceiling fan on to speed it up a bit).  While we were painting, I showed them how to hold the paintbrushes and load them with the right amount of paint. As we moved through the steps during the day, I used a new tray for each color so that the paint wouldn't mix into another color. I also used different paint brushes for the same reason. 

Once the background was dry, we painted the white part of the bunny heads and ears. Since the boys are so young and painting freehand is a bit more challenging for their tiny hands, I lightly drew an outline in pencil of the bunnies to give the boys a guide.  They did pretty well staying in the lines overall, but I did have to show them how to use strokes, rather than making circles with their brushes. I also took out my fan brush and showed them how to make the bunnies look furry by going all around the edges with it. 

Then, after the bunny heads were dry, we used spouncers to make the polka dots. We had to give those two coats each, which we did while the polka dots were still wet.  Once we finished spouncing with all of the different colors, we let the canvas dry again.  Later, we came back and added the pink noses and the insides of the ears.  Finally, we added the whiskers, eyes, and mouths with the black paint.  If we had had a little more time, I probably would've had the boys use black sharpies for those parts, but since our canvases still had wet paint on them in different parts and time was of the essence at this point, we just went for it with the black paint! 

The boys had a great time and I think they did a wonderful job!  And the best part was that they were so proud of their work! 

And here is my take on the bunny painting:

What do you think? Would you try to do something like this with your kids or grandkids? Post a comment or question below!

Feeling a little like Picasso,
Marathon Momma

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