Posts Tagged ‘still life’

still life watercolor

it’s been a while since we’ve formally done still-life art, and given N’s recent interest in drawing what she sees, as she sees it, i thought we’d expand this into a different medium: watercolors.

on a chilly august morning (yep, we have those here in the bay area) we went outside after breakfast and found a lovely┬álatana flower in the yard. the pink, orange, and yellow little blooms just remind me of faerie magic – such sweet flowers! we brought our watercolor paints (and watercolor pencils – i heart these!) outside, along with our hoodies, and settled into paint.

the difference here is that i actually painted my own art alongside N this time. i generally don’t make art with her because i am hoping that all of her marks are authentic and uninfluenced. when i do, i make my marks in her “handwriting” so to speak, as i discuss in this article. i’ve never shown her how to draw any of the things she draws. this time though, N set the ground rules: “we can’t look at each others’ paintings until they’re all finished!” and lemme tell ya – she was serious about this! i had to pretend i was photographing just the actual vase to take some of these pictures. ­čśë

we spent the time quietly talking, discussing how we could each see different subtle colors in each tiny flower. we talked about she could see things from her angle that i couldn’t see from mine, so our paintings would ultimately look different.

here is N’s lovely creation — she so enjoyed using the watercolor pencils before she painted to outline her image, and then she loved how “chalky” they felt after she applied them to the wet paint to add in details at the end.

we sat our paintings up behind the actual vase of flowers during lunch time and continued to discuss (while rotating the vase) who could see which flowers from where we were sitting. N’s piece now resides on her art gallery wall in her bedroom., though i will be finding a frame for this masterpiece soon!

do you create art alongside your child(ren)?



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watercolor crayons

a few days ago, i brought out one of my favorite art mediums to share with N: watersoluable crayons. oh, caran dache, how i love thee! and apparently, my little one does, too!

when i lived in new york city a decade ago, i took a “dry media” art class where i discovered the wonders of the watersoluable world of art materials. i spent five months creating images with only these crayons, by choice.

seashell, summer 2001

i had to share the joy with N. first, i demonstrated (on my own piece of paper) how you can color with these “special artist crayons” first, and then use a wet paintbrush to go over your drawing to magically turn it into a painting! this was met with some “ooooh”s and “aaaah”s and an immediate desire to try it herself.

N created several “paintings” during the time it took me to make broccoli cheddar soup for dinner.

she practiced layering the colors and watching them blend together when she added water.

i showed her the technique of using a wet wipe wrapped around your finger to blend the pigment (instead of a wet paintbrush.) she giggled at the thought of “wiping” her picture. she loved how the colors popped once they got wet.


N made many masterpieces this afternoon… all with watersoluable crayons, using different blending techniques. here are just a few: (click the image to see it larger)

she also made this picture of our cat eating her dinner, which i just love. she didn’t use water on this image, but i had to share.



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still life drawing

i always try to follow N’s lead when it comes to the art projects we do around here. her natural inclination lately has been toward the realm of still life drawing.

the other day she picked up a pen and drew on the back of a cardboard notepad, and then came and showed it to me. she said, “these are all of the tummy-symbols of the care bears. it’s so much fun to draw what i’m looking at!”

love-a-lot bear wasn't available for the photo shoot. he might be busy under the couch.

so, of course, the following day momma whipped up a pretty bowl of fruit for N to draw — i mean, why not start out in a classic way? the little one was thrilled!

she wanted to draw a few objects by themselves, as well.

the apple

the tomato

a few tomatoes as a thank you to our neighbors who brought us some from their yard

next, N said she wanted to draw “a different bowl of fruit that i’m thinking of in my head.”

the bowl of fruit N pictured in her head


we had such a fun morning! so sweet and quiet to draw together…


(so quiet that even i got in on the action a wee bit…)


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