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:: magic valentines ::

February 5, 2011

A few weeks ago I had wanted to create watercolour resist snowflakes with the kids, but could not for the life of me find our paintbrushes.  One trip to Wal Mart later we came home with 20 brand-new paintbrushes (for $3.00!!!). The technique is similar to what we did with the handprint canvasses in November also.  The technical terminology is called resist painting.  What happens is that the watercolour paints cannot stick to the oil in the pastels which allows the colour of the pastel to pop through the painting.

Isaac experimenting with colour blending on his Valentine

With the handprints, the kids knew what was coming as we traced their hands with the pastels.  This time, I cut out some thin rectangles of watercolour paper with decorative scissors and used a white oil pastel to draw on some hearts, swirls and other “Valentine-y” designs.  When the light reflected on the paper you were able to see the marks, otherwise it looked like plain old paper.

Ava prefers a monochromatic colour scheme

Ava was shocked when little hearts started to appear on her page.  She thought it was the coolest thing to watch the paint roll off the line of pastel and then adhere to the paper beside it.  Isaac, who I thought would be more intrigued by the ‘magic’ was stuck with trying to trace the designs (which obviously didn’t work because of that whole oil-water conflict ;))

I’ve really come to enjoy working with pastels with the kids.  In fact, I’ve found a couple more quick and easy projects to tackle before we’re into the whimsy of spring, gardening and nature journals.  Just wait until you see what sprouts up in our yard this year! 😉

Quick and Easy Oil Pastel Projects:

~Self-Portraits because it’s always great to see how children perceive themselves.

~Abstract Cats for my cat lady, Ava.

~Nature Journal sketches for all of our backyard exploring, although I believe I’ll save it for the spring…

And I think this one will be one of my favourites:  Kandinsky Oil Pastel Circles.

Isaac and I have been talking about shapes a lot during the day, so as this project has us forming rectangles, squares and many, many circles I think it will be great!

Now, for those of you who are not ‘artsy’ – neither am I.  I am probably the worst artist in the history of artists, but that’s okay.  I want my kids to see me trying and enjoying something, even if I’m not the best at it.  As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do [..]” so go ahead and try it!  (And now you know the secret as to why I only show you what the kids draw! lol)


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