Monday, March 11, 2013

The Masterpiece

This post is sponsored by STAEDTLER. Yes, they were lovely enough to pay me to paint with my kids.

Art making with the kids is one of my favourite things to do. Much like the garden, It gives us a reason to come together and work on a common goal. The perfect  excuse to get dirty and make a creative mess, to tell stories and listen to one another.

On this occasion we talked about the deep expanse of ocean that we spent our Summer splashing in. We mixed hues of blue and green before dipping our brushes, fingers and hands into the pots.

I watched as masterpieces emerged from the efforts of my little ones. Free flowing, uninhibited abstractions.


I thought I'd share a few tips on how to provide materials and experiences that allow our children to succeed when painting, keeping in mind that Art is always about the process- not the product.

I like to restrict the colour palette to around 3 colours to avoid that well know mass of brown that often appears once a child really get's stuck in. I find that mixing a generous portion of white to each colour helps considerably with the blending process as does customising hues.

Our best crafting sessions come as the result of a good conversation or story telling sessions. If we're talking about fires and fire men (as we invariably are) I'll mix a range of deep reds and oranges and provide a small amount of black paint. Often we add some glitter, stickers or tissue paper to the mix also.

Large scale paper, fabric or stretched canvas allow for some pretty serious creative expression if you're up for the filth. Do make sure you use non toxic paints that are suitable for your young ones. We use Noris Club Finger Paints by Staedtler  as they wash out with ease and trust me, you're going to be doing some serious washing, which brings me to my final point- Do let your kids use their hands and their arms and their noses should they chose to. Art should be messy and clean up should absolutely take longer than than the actual act of making art.


  1. I love this - don't know why I never thought to limit the colours to avoid the browns what a clever chicken u are!! ;-) will we be seeing tandem photies of u and ur bestie pregnant together? I'm super jelouse as my bestie is pregnant with her first and with my baby days looong past me I only get to watch as she experiences this time of her life. Also love seeing picks of ur home it is a masterpiece!!

  2. We're on the same wavelength over here Em! Have had a lovely week of painting with my little people. Love that seafoam colour xx

  3. Gorgeous! I love the "cleaning should take longer that the art itself" part - I absolutely concur...but add that that philosophy can also be applied to meal times too! xx

  4. love this little article. as being a mom to three boys and having taught pre-school I loved the inhibition you invoke and encourage. I also adore your closing line: "Art should be messy and clean up should absolutely take longer than than the actual act of making art."

    just perfect.
    have a lovely week.

  5. Wonderful tips Em. I will have to keep these in mind.
    I also love how the colours of their masterpiece matches the green outside the house as well as their little outfits! :)
    Ronnie xo

  6. This is cool, great tips. Might even be enough to prompt me to get some paint out tomorrow. And then pay myself with wine ;) (I wish I loved it like you do, truly I do!) (the painting, not the wine) x Sarah


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em