Quick Weekend Creating with Kids

January 14, 2011

As always, you all gave me so much to think about yesterday, and your comments touched me deeply. I want to respond to each of you individually, but I also wanted to say a collective thank you for your amazing words and dialogue.

The boys have recently learned about the use of negative and positive space in their paintings and drawings, and it has become a bit of a passion to my oldest to create in a way that uses both.

For Christmas gifts, the boys each gave the other a canvas with their initial painted in the negative, and bold bright colors in the positive. They now each hang above their beds, and this simple project can be done using shapes, letters or any design you can imagine. While we did ours on canvas, we have also done lots with regular paper for painting as well.

It is super quick, and even I have to admit that I got a bit into it, as my bedroom now houses three of these in geometric designs.

Materials

:: Art Canvas or Paper
:: Paints ~ We used Clementine Paint for the tutorial, but any kind of paint will work well. This is a great project to introduce the kiddos to acrylics, oil paints, etc.
:: Painters tape
:: Paint brushes

To begin, have your child choose a design that they want to make on the canvas. Cut and layout the painters tape, and press it down with your fingers to make sure that there are no bubbles.

Gathering your paints together, let you child pick and choose the colors and brush techniques for each section of the painting. Once all of the canvas has been painted, allow to fully dry,

My kids favorite part is peeling the tape off the reveal the design.

Find the perfect place to hang or display, and enjoy!

Happy weekend creating.

For more info on creating with tape and canvas, you can read Jean’s piece in Rhythm of The Home

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

GinnySheller January 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

My kids would love this! We have a set of markers that includes one that works as an eraser and they do similar things with those and love it.
Where do you buy clementine paints? They look really nice.

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GinnySheller January 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

nevermind on the paint question-I realize I saw those at our local grocery store (similar to a whole foods) recently.

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kyndale January 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm

It really makes them feel special to paint on canvas. I have my kids' art all over the house like that. We took a wonderful art class that reminds me of your technique. They used the blue tape to create tree trunks and they turned out so great. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Angela January 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Lovely, what a great art project for the kiddos. Hmm looks like we can do some of that ourselves here. Thanks for the inspiration! xo, Angela

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Tonya January 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Oh I love this idea! Maybe we could use branch slices, since we don't have the canvas.
Thanks for sharing.

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Joy January 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Fun idea! We've done that with stencils before, but not in about 4 years. My youngest would have a great time with this now that he's old enough. :)

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Michelle January 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Oh now this is good. I think even I could do it. Thanks for the idea. We will do it on Monday!

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Anna January 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I haven't done anything like this in ages. Great reminder. And I love that they gave each other a painted canvas for Christmas. It must be so cute to see those hanging above their beds.

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Courtney January 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm

That is so sweet that they made them for each other – I must say that I am excited to learn the first initial of you new little one. I love hearing how people pick out names. How did you decide on the boys'?

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becky nielsen January 15, 2011 at 1:09 am

Two of my grandchildren (cousins) are especially close and would really love this project – to use their initials and do a painting for each other. Great idea! I'll go get them some canvasses tomorrow.

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Sachi January 15, 2011 at 1:44 am

Great idea–and putting it on canvas is so nice as well.

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Luisa January 15, 2011 at 2:28 am

I saw this post this morning and loved it and had to came back again. I thought I want to do this with my kids not just them me too.

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lacey January 14, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Naomi made these a while back at the library & we even hung them in her room–i loves how they turned out!

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geepeace January 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

What a fun and beautiful idea. Noah would love to do this!

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erin January 16, 2011 at 7:42 am

So sweet. Ironically, Camille actually spent some of her afternoon painting on canvas. :-)

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Lisa Q January 16, 2011 at 2:10 pm

this will be the perfect project for my son who loves to create art! thank you so much for sharing this heather….he'll love making one for over his bed as well.

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iniyaal January 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

My first visit to your blog and I love this project. What a great idea to have kids explore colors, painting strokes and white spaces. I have always believed in different education methods and your blog fascinates me in this aspect.

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melissa January 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

super mama :) great idea – I can't wait to get into this kind of thing with my boys

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Julia January 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Ooh I like this project. One of my children would absolutely love doing this. Thank you for the great idea!

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agambroult January 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm

so cute. You have great gifting ideas. My girls always seem to love exploring negative space, too. there's something about seeing what most people may not see, I think, that they love about it.

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Shivayamama January 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

One thing that I really love is the idea of children exploring things that we \”see\” everyday, but from their perspective. The idea of negative space must be so fascinating for kids, because like you say it is something that most people just pass by everyday. I am truly fascinated by watching these concepts form in their minds, and then seeing where they take it. Jacob drew a cartoon the other day, black and white, and the whole things was about the use of negative space. He just brought it in to me with such excitement. It was cool to watch progress.
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Cari February 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for simple and cost effective crafts and activities for the kids. This looks perfect! And I can also act like I’m teaching some art appreciation. :)

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