Brushes are optional; use fingers instead!

When you have an art room well stocked with art supplies of all kinds, and you have two girls who love to paint as much I do, expectations are high whenever they come to visit.

It doesn't take long for them to ask me which painting project I have in mind to try while they are visiting.

And no wonder! (First published July 2019)

Since the time they were old enough to hold a brush, we have worked on many art projects together.

Below is one of the more complex projects the oldest grandchild and I completed during a winter holiday. This "surf board" was a prop for the youngest grandchild's dance concert. All three children love to create, but the oldest especially so.

No brushes needed to paint these flowers.

This summer, I am experimenting with flowers, and I have very willing and eager testers to help me in the art room.

different stages of process of painting wildflowers
Different stages of the process.

The girls react differently to the tools I suggest for painting fields of wildflowers.

The oldest is mellow and will attempt anything art related. The youngest is much more conservative and has to be encouraged to mess it up with drips and splatters.

Each layer requires about 10 minutes to paint more or less, and during drying time, we cool off in the pool.

These flowers are very impressive even though so few tools are needed.

However, a floral project such as this one can be more complex by adding various interesting layers.

How about adding collage elements that are gelli printed first? Or more mark making and scraping with different tools? Different types of colouring pencils could definitely add a lot of drama to this work. The girls had pool time on their minds and were happy with fewer layers.

Adding splatter to wildflowers
Adding splatter to wildflowers is so much fun!


Criteria for interesting art for beginners - no matter the age.

  • Must be fairly quick to achieve great results
  • Should include interesting variety of techniques
  • Should avoid too many complex art supplies

Brushes are not always the best tools...

For this little floral series, we used brushes sparingly. Instead, we dabbed paint with fingers and Q-Tips and used brushes and other tools for spattering paint. A bit of a messy process but oh so much fun!

The final composition has that wow factor and is beautiful enough to be framed, don’t you agree?


4 Responses

    • Thank you Christine. They went home with lots of souvenirs of their time spent with me this summer.

  • What a fun way to show your granddaughters the unconventional side of art! And the mermaid the oldest one painted is so impressive! My oldest grandson loves to draw and is quite talented and my granddaughter loves to paint, makes my heart sing!

    • I will never forget the look on the eight year old’s face! She didn’t want to get dirty! It’s certainly fun to get to know another side of each of my granddaughters through art. Definitely makes my heart sing too!

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