Posts Tagged ‘color’

scratch drawings

on a recent trip to colorado to visit my dear fellow art therapist friends, they reminded me of a fun little activity that i used to do when i was a little girl – scratch drawings! as a kid, i loved the magic of revealing a rainbow under a dark, black veil. i thought N might appreciate this, too.

i thought i remembered painting thick paper with watercolor, coloring over it with thick black crayon, and scratching… but perhaps not. my art therapist friend (and momma) was doing this with her 3 year old and reminded me that you can color with crayons or pastels, and then put a thick coat of acrylic paint over the whole page to scratch through. so we gathered our materials (thick paper, crayons, acrylic black paint) and began…

N and i both covered a page with patches of tons of colors… i got a blister from doing this!

then we painted over the entire lovely page with black acrylic paint.


we let it dry overnight. once it was dry, we got out a few scratching tools – a wooden skewer, a paperclip, a tack, and a nail. not all of them were cool for young kids, but N seemed to do well and was careful with all of them. whew!

N drawing with a nail. (bad mommy?)

we scratched and scratched to reveal fun pictures… “nighttime scenes!” as N excited called them.

you know me and cutting things out and putting them on colorful papers as borders. (yeah, i did that again. maybe for cards?)


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beaded name bracelets

we’ve done some bead crafts before, but N wasn’t ever as into diligently stringing beads as she was today… when my self-proclaimed beader went to WURK.

we got out our trusty alphabet beads to make a baby bracelet for a newborn friend (and a big sis bracelet for the newly-minted big sis.) we like to mix these with our mish-mashed bead collection on stretch cord to make funky trinkets as gifts.

we’ve also used these same combos to make allergy-alert bracelets – remember? N picked out some beads she loved, and we also made her a name bracelet for herself today.

(knitted sweater a la my mom)

as i was working on the baby bracelet, i noticed that N was rooting through the letters, and had picked out a stash of beads and was stringing them happily on the other side of the table. honestly, this wasn’t going to be a blog entry craft until i saw what was going on.

it wasn’t until i was finished with the baby bracelet that i realized what she was doing – too sweet!

customized jewelry is quite a perk of having a 3-year-old who can spell the names of her family members.

batgirl, the beader

i proudly sported my mommy bracelet all day long!

way better than silly bandz, yo!



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water balloons!

okay, i can’t pass this one off as art, but it was so much fun that i had to share. aaaand, we checked off one of our summer activity cards today — water balloons!

we (uh, okay just me) got soaked trying to fill the water balloons with the hose, and then we had a great time with them!

the first batch

N had a great time watering the plants with them…

and¬†watering the grass with them…

watering the garden wall with them…

there was also some degree of self-sacrafice involved ūüėČ

we were sure to gather up all of the balloon pieces when we were finished so that no animals would eat them. N gave them a new life by making little blankets out of them for her marbles (creative lady.)

happy water ballooning this summer!



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digital art

i adore my iphone for many reasons, not all of them healthy. one of the more productive reasons is that it is allowing N to begin to make digital art.

surely, in her generation, she is likely to draw with pixels of light moreso than we ever did as kids. i mean, litebrite is as close as we came to light pictures, right?

i am a fan of digital art, myself. and it’s so fun to have N ask me if she can write and draw on my phone. we did a post on this same thing a little over a year ago, so i figured it was time to revisit this medium.

she loves picking her own colors and trying to create little scenes. the ones shown here are made my a free iphone app called scribble lite.

we also like colortilt. what are your favorite artsy iphone apps? comment (by clicking top left) to let us know! i’m always looking for a good free download.


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true to life

this post is basically an ode to a material i have come to love – the crayola true to life series of dry media. no, they don’t pay me for this (but they totally should! right?! come on, someone send us some art materials to review…)

seriously, their crayons and colored pencils make the art look so cool! N came home from preschool one day with the fish below and asked, “can we get some swirly crayons for home?” um, yeah!

so we did and she went to town in her coloring books making all sorts of rainbowy creatures.

N says, "the bottom butterfly is sad because she's just purple."

wait, what you do mean it's not a sno-cone fight?

then she got her hands on some the true to life colored pencils, and after a trip to the local yeti museum (yep, she’s a fan) she got to work coloring a tree-hugging yeti.

i mean, does this bigfoot look real or what? someone call the tabloids!




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colored paper drawing

this one began as a simple request by my little artist in residence: “last night i was thinking about drawing a ballerina using white and peach crayons, but those colors never show up!” so i suggested that we get out different colors of paper and she could draw with any and all of the drawing tools she has.

i brought out many colors and sizes of paper i have stashed. some construction paper, some were those little packs of card stock scraps you can buy cheaply. i put her crayons, colored pencils, and oil pastels out on the table.

then she got to draw the ballerina she had imagined… and said,¬†“you know, if i think hard enough, i can see what i want to draw in the air before i draw it.”

another dancer came after that (which she said is an image of herself)

then she changed themes and drew a very cool picture on black paper that she titled, “night surfing”

and made an image of a chocolate ice cream cone as a gift for our friends.


so as simple as this blog entry is, it is merely a reminder that it’s fun to switch it up sometimes and bust out all sorts of papers to draw on… it inspires kids’ imaginations in different ways and new images arise. try it out and see what emerges…



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beaded suncatcher

there’s a window in N’s playhouse outside that gets amazing afternoon light… it was begging for some prismatic suncatchers!

i found these cool crystal pieces from an old chandelier ages ago at an antique flea market for maybe a buck each, if that. they seemed like perfect little rainbow-making charms to drop from the bottom of each of our three light-catching strands. because we used nylon bead cord, i just tied a knot to the little loops at the end of the chandelier pieces, and added beads from there. (if you use bead wire, you can rig it like you would the end of a necklace.)

being a formerly avid beader, i have a stash of bead string and wire around the art room, as well as plenty of random cheesy plastic and glass sparkly beads that little girls like to play with. if you head to michael’s or check on, you are likely to find a large pack of plastic sparkly beads for a few dollars. mirrored pieces are nice, too, but i didn’t have any for this.

one night, after dinner, N and i made a bowl of the most colorful and reflective beads we could find. (because we did this in the evening, the photos look darker. sorry. i’m not a fan of using flash.) N had plenty of fun just putting her hands in the bowl to feel the beads – like a tiny sensory table.

she searched for treasures to thread onto our bead cord.

we made three strands of totally random color order and all different lengths.

we tied loops in the top of them so that the next day we could hang them from nails in the wall of the shed-turned-playhouse above the window.

they’re already making rainbows all over the walls in the afternoon sunshine… love it!



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we paased

i entertained the thought of naturally dyeing easter eggs this year. i’ve wanted to every year, and even found a great tutorial on martha stewart for veggie dyed eggs, but then we paased anyway. 99 cents for a paas kit is hard to beat, especially when compared to purchasing beets, yellow onions, cabbage, etc.

we did, however, try out some new strategies we saw all on the web this season. good stuff.

like using a rubber band on the egg (and double dipping) to block out certain areas:

and criss crossing electrical tape to make a grid (yellow and blue make green lesson here.)

i also tried to make a “cracked egg” effect on, well, a cracked egg. kinda cute.

as stepford as i feel saying so, martha is a genius. (or rather the people who work for her at her empire are geniuses.) i mean seriously,  look at this slideshow of eggs!!!

we did the usual crayon resist thang.

and all in all, we had some good springy fun together!¬†happy springtime of blooming and rebirthing! it’s an egggggscellent time of year, isn’t it?


and they made for a wonderful breakfast —

especially when all dolled up like chicks paired with lemonade scones… thanks to just jenn’s recipe blog.


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springtime magic

after making so many wooden easter and springtime friends, N really wanted to make more out of “clay.” since we don’t have a kiln over here, i busted out the model magic, and she got down to business.

N made lots of eggs and a caterpillar. i also helped her make the 2 spring chickies you see above, and a bunny.

it took two days for the model magic eggs to dry (they’re dense, even though they’re lightweight.) when they were ready, we painted them with acrylics. we first had a lesson in what-happens-to-each-color-of-the-rainbow-when-mixed-with-white-paint? PASTELS FOR SPRING!

we had a little painting party…


we probably got more paint on our hands than the figures and eggs, but it was all good clean fun.

we loved decorating our home with our new little spring sculptures…



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pastels aren’t just for baby clothes

the other day i decided to bust out the pastels on N… oil pastels and chalk pastels, both. just because they are called pastels, doesn’t mean they’re always pale and muted — these art materials make vibrant marks!

if you’re not familiar, oil pastels glide across a page much like a really slick, smooth crayon might. (kind of like N’s creamy crayons, which we love, but they’re more narrow. kind of the diameter of a crayon.) they smear and blend together really nicely, unlike crayons.

chalk pastels are like a higher quality chalkboard chalk… they have a finer dust particle that makes a total mess for really pretty smudges when blending. so we just spent the morning playing around with these new materials, which are usually reserved for mommy, so that made it exciting for the little one.

oil pastel image of a person & duck (labeled!)

N made a few cool pictures with each medium. with the chalk pastels, we practiced smudging and blending colors with our fingers. some kids (uh, and adults, including me) may not enjoy the dry, dusty feeling of the chalks, or may become frustrated by the way their picture changes, smears, and becomes littered with fingerprints while working. other kids (and adults) really delight in this sort of mutable material. chalk pastels are great to use for learning how to mix primary colors together to make secondary colors.

flower study in chalk pastels

i brought the chalk pastel piece outside (without her) to spray it with a fixative spray (see link at the bottom of this blog for product info.) if you make art with the chalks, it will continue to smear and smudge unless you use some sort of fixative on it, but be sure to spray it where there’s good ventilation and away from tiny lungs.



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color wonder

we’ve been traveling for the holiday, thus we haven’t been crafting at home or updating this blog as often. hope you all had a wonderful holiday! we did, however, find a fun, travel-friendly art material on our vacation. how many parents out there hover while your kids are creating with markers, for fear that your couch and walls will soon be decorated with doodles? well, have no fear – some clear markers are here! i know they’re not that new, but they’re new to me and N as of this trip: crayola color wonder!

crayola color wonder

crayola color wonder magic markers is sorta more like… “i wonder where the color is.” these seemingly clear markers show up only on the special paper that crayola also provides. these were absolutely perfect for the airplane, especially the travel pack that we got with (who else?) the tinkerbell fairies all ready to be colored by my little fairy.

color wonder tinkerbell


she had a blast on the plane with her new “magical markers!” after she got over the lack of instant gratification — it takes a wee bit of time before the color shows up.

color wonder tinkerbell

bonus: she didn’t scribble all over delta’s lovely seat cushions (though she totally should have! grrrrr, airlines!) and if she had, no one would have known.

color wonder



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color saturation

my artsy-momma-friend just posted this paper-towel-art project on her pink & green mama blog, and i knew that we had to try out right away. anything having to do with markers and rainbows makes N squeal with glee! (if you’ll recall our last wet marker activity, she was quite excited!)

paper towel art

it’s like a little color-science experiment at home. all you need are markers (we used my faaaav mr. sketch markers so i could sniff the turquoise one like a freakshow,) paper towels, and an eye-dropper. then have your little one draw small circles onto the paper towels. (you’ll probably have to hold the paper towels in place and taut as s/he draws. otherwise there could be some frustration.) then show your little one how to use the eyedropper to drop some water into the center of the circles s/he has drawn. then let the ooooo’s and aaaah’s just come…

as my friend said in her blog, this exercise is a cool way to show how to separate out the primary colors that make up a secondary color marker. (for example, the green marker will separate into blue and yellow after the water bleeds for a while.) for us, it was fun when this worked in reverse. we drew concentric circles of two primary colors, like yellow circle inside of a blue circle. then when she dropped water into the center, they blended into green.

a tie-dye cat's eye?

a cat's eye?

mostly my little one was just psyched to “watch the rainbows grow!” and learning how to use a water dropper.

be sure to watch closely

and i couldn’t help but get in on the action with a little chakra aura image of my own. (gosh, i can’t wait to practice again!)





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