Do you cringe at the thought of the mess and clean up that goes along with painting with young artists? Don’t be afraid anymore! Follow our 10 painting tips and enjoy a stress free painting activity.
10 Painting Tips for Young Artists
10. Adult Supervision is needed. This may seem obvious but I think it is worth mentioning . If you give your full attention to your artist while they are painting they will most likely use the tools correctly. If you try to multi task by unloading the dishwasher and checking the latest Facebook post from Hand Made Kids Art your artist may decide to throw the brush or dump the water to get your attention. Young artists have short attention spans. Dedicate quality time together even if it is only for 10 minutes. You may be surprised at the difference your undivided attention can give your artist.
9. You pour the paint. I recommend setting up the painting area and have everything ready before your artist sits down to paint. When I paint with my little one I have the paper, paint, water and brushes ready to go and then I set my artist in her chair to paint.
8. Limit the number of colors. Beginning artists may be overwhelmed with too many colors. Try limiting the number to just 3 colors of paint. It will give them more success at mixing colors. If they have too many colors they may just end up creating mud (although, my 4-year-old loves to mix mud colors) .
7. 1 Brush per color. Instead of giving just one brush try having a brush for each color. This also reinforces color matching as they have to put the brush back in the color it came from.
6. Wet paper towel or rag. Have a towel or rag ready to go and nearby to wipe little fingers and spills.
5. Use a cardboard box lid. One way to keep everything together (the paint, paper, and water) is use a cardboard box lid to hold everything and have your artist paint right inside the box lid. This is especially useful if you don’t have a table to work at or are working on the floor. The cardboard box will contain the entire mess and make for an easier clean up. The cardboard bottom of a case of water or sports drinks also works great.
4. Tape down your paper. If you are using paper to paint on, I recommend taping down the paper to your workspace. This way it will not slip and slide as your artist uses the brush. You can tape down all four edges with painters tape and when finished gently peel off the tape to create an automatic frame or border around the painting.
3. Paper Plates. I love using paper plates as a paint/mixing palette. It gives the artist room to mix colors and provides for easy clean up. If you don’t wish to use disposable plates try reusing the same painting plate.
2. Use a drop cloth. Except it doesn’t have to be a drop cloth. An old shower curtain, plastic tablecloth (I love the Dollar Store ones) or even newspaper works great. Having something underneath will provide quick clean up once the painting activity is over.
1. Have Fun and Paint with your artist! It doesn’t matter if you aren’t Picasso, just by modeling how you handle the brush, water and paint your artist will learn by watching you. Your artist won’t judge your artistic ability but will enjoy the quality time together.