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ELC easel - what now?

(12 Posts)
PirateMonkey Wed 15-May-13 10:18:24

I was seduced into buying an easel from the ELC sales which is now waiting in the hall unopened as yet. It has a wipe-clean chalk-board and magnetic white-board and I have also ordered some acrylic paints, paper and brushes.

Dd1 is nearly four and loves painting and drawing BUT gets easily frustrated when she is not given direction or context. Also, she has picked up some self-doubt regarding her drawing abilities at her old nursery, probably due to watching the teachers draw elaborate figures and shapes in front of her. She often says "I can't do it, you do it", when she wants to draw something.

I wish I was more 'arty' but am absolutely not, so am stuck for ideas. Can I ask you to please put your creative hats on and tell me what fun 'projects' I could do with her using the easel? Thank you!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 15-May-13 10:27:33

Firstly, acrylic paints are not suitable for a 4 year old. They stain and due to the amounts that a child uses, you'd end up out of pocket as the tubes are small. You need squeezy bottles of children's poster paint...

Secondly....flatter everything she produces, let her know that making splatters and blobs is a great way of making art as well as making realistic pictures.

Show her how to do "drip painting" where you make a runny mixture of various colours and put a blob of paint in each colour at the top of the paper when its on the easel and let her enjoy it running down...and her how to experiment with random effects such as making a splatter picture with a toothbrush...there's no right or wrong as the effect is random.

She needs to enjoy the experiment....

PirateMonkey Wed 15-May-13 10:55:04

Thank you Neo! You are right, i double checked and the paint I have is water-based poster paint, it's not acrylic. I like the idea of drip painting. Do you think that encouraging her to draw shapes (circles, basic flowers or 'stick people' etc.) is too soon and not age appropriate? I just have no experience with this at all. I have also heard that finger painting could be fun. A friend reads her dts stories asking them to make drawings inspired buy that. But again maybe this is too ambitious?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 15-May-13 11:02:59

No it's not too soon at all....though some children come to drawing whole bodies later than others and at this age, many just draw faces...sometimes with sticks to represent legs or arms.

I also suggest potato printing on the easel as once again, it cant go "wrong" cut simple shapes in halved potatoes and show her how to dip and print.

At this age an enjoyment of the medium is far more important than encouraging them to draw recognisable figures...that will come.

You can also help her to throw glitter at her drippy's very messy but imo glitter is lovely even when it's all over the floor!

Give her different sized paintbrushes, sponges...lids,...anything she can make a mark with....and let her go for it without too much involvment from you.

You can also help her to blow the runny paint around the paper with a straw.

fuzzpig Wed 15-May-13 11:10:24

Argh wrote a long post but lost it!

Wanted to say my DD went through a phase of "I can't do it" but I just compromised say by drawing a simple version of an animal so she could copy.

You can get sets like this with lots of textured brushes, stamps, rollers etc - if you use them and just see what patterns they make, there is less 'pressure' to create something of her own if that makes sense.

SouthernPolish Wed 15-May-13 11:18:12

You can buy some great brushes with ergonomic rounded handles which kids sometimes get on better with... although a 15 month old I look after works well with a very small / fine grown up brush!
I find good quality washable paint works best - paints marketed as 'kids ' is often far too gloopy and actually very hard to work with. I once bought some great tubes (washable) in a French supermarket (stockpiled!) but I've never seen similar in the UK. Good quality pans work well too (ie: dry used with water).

SouthernPolish Wed 15-May-13 11:19:53

Loads of painting ideas on Pinterest and Toucan Learn.

PirateMonkey Wed 15-May-13 11:25:06

Oh some lovely ideas! Will definitely try potato printing and blowing paint.

Fuzzpig, the kit looks good. I like the rolls to create texture.

Do you have any thoughts on how one could use organic bits and bops such as leaves, sand etc. with an easel? Thanks again!

PirateMonkey Wed 15-May-13 11:28:08

Southern, what would I search for on google in order to find these paints? Or can you recommend an online shop or a particular band?

EccentricElastic Wed 15-May-13 11:37:04

*Hi Pirate,
I run art workshops for little'uns and the adults accompanying them, and a couple of the things they love are these ......*

1) Draw 3-4 circles around each other, gradually increasing in size.

Then divide these circles into random sections. Add a head (with smiley face)at one end, little tail at the other and you have a snail!.

These sections can then be filled with patterns/shapes or different colours. If it's a big board then the adult and child can encourage/work/play alongside each other on the same piece.
Any media can be used (felt pens/chalk/colour pencils/etc) but If you use wax crayons to do this, once all the patterns etc are finished, you can colourwash over it with a thin glitter/metallic watery paint.(Lay the work flat to do this) - adds a lovely twinkle.

This can be done with any image....just draw a simple outline, divide it up, then go mad with the patterns. (look up mark making and how it explains that art is made up of lines and dots) Start with simple spots,shapes (squares, triangles, etc, then graduate to zigzags, and stars, stripes, or any other shapes that can be thought of).

2). - Take a piece of A4 card/paper and draw an outline of a simple shape (bird/butterfly/flower/car/ etc) on it. Place the drawing inside a clear A4 wallet, and place it picture side up on a flat surface.

Mix a little wallpaper paste (cupful) with a little PVA, or just use a mix of 50/50 water and PVA and gather some materials together.... scraps of coloured tissue paper (works best with this), though colourful pages from glossy mags can work too.

Tear paper into small pieces, using a little brush liberally apply glue onto plastic wallet over the drawing and start sticking, making sure each piece overlaps, keep adding glue, and ensure you stay 'within the lines'....just like colouring in!

Once 2-3 layers are done cover the whole pic with NEAT PVA (lay flat at this point) and at this point if you wish add glitter/sparkles/diamante. or any other blingfest stuff you like.

Leave to dry - this could take hours - or a couple of days depending on how generous you were with the glue!

Once dry, the whole collaged image will peel from the plastic wallet. Do this, and trim any raggy bits of glue from the edges. You can then decorate childs window with this - fixing with a bit of blue tack.

*Both of these simple techniques take the pressure off the child to draw, but they are still being creative and having fun at the same time.

Hope these help - have fun!!!

Jaynebxl Wed 15-May-13 12:38:40

Two things came to mind. Firstly show her some abstract art and tell her it's great to just see what the paint looks and feels like on the paper. Have a go with her. Sometimes I've got a long roll of paper out with my kids and we've all had a go at painting patterns or abstract blobs on it just to see what the colours look like.

Secondly some children get a bit frustrated with easels cos the paint runs down and "spoils" their picture. She may prefer sometimes to paint flat on the dining table.

PirateMonkey Wed 15-May-13 14:21:16

Great ideas, thank you everyone!

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