Friday, April 26, 2013

Painting with Oscar




Oscar is 2 and a half. Generally he has a very short attention span – occasionally he will play happily, for a long period of time, alone with his trains, cars or lego. However if I give him a set task, it doesn't always last too long, painting included. Here are some simple tricks that I've found help with painting/drawing and other creative pursuits.

I don't focus on the product. It's about the process.  I've learnt never to expect Oscar to make a 'frameworthy' or even fridgeworthy artwork. If he only wants to paint with water and watch it dry then I let him. Ditto if he feels like sticking every single sticker on top of each other or ripping the paper up. Sometimes he simply likes to watch the water in the jar change colour as he washes the brush. Which of course leads to discussions of how yellow and blue make green.

In the picture at the top he simply painted the entire page brown and announced "It's the garden mum". Yes, our garden does contain a lot of dirt!

We work side by side. This is how we paint most of the time. We discuss what we are painting and colours. I generally keep it abstract and messy so as not to cause discouragement by comparison. He concentrates for longer when he has a buddy to discuss what he is doing.

Read a book first. Then keep it open for inspiration. Oscar loves doing this. Current fave book to paint is The Little Red Hen.

Expect mess. Embrace it. Yes, occasionally an art session has ended in impromptu body painting. I try to be prepared to chuck as all in the bath afterwards!

Mix it up. We have a couple of different types of paint in our cupboard – pictured above is a watercolour palette from Ikea, but we also have goopier, messier paints ideal for finger painting or stamping. Sometimes we just use crayons or textas or pencils. Then of course there are play dough sessions, a love of scissors and tearing, gluing bits and pieces ...

I also like to vary the scale at which we paint, sometimes we have a poster sized sheet of paper to cover together, sometimes we have our own little postcards, sometimes I'll cut out different shapes to colour.

Most of all I want to make sure it is enjoyable, never, ever forced.
Do you have any tips for getting creative with a slightly hyperactive 2 year old?




Here are some links I'm keeping up my sleeve for future crafting. All found via pinterest.

A spinning top pencil
Painting with balloons ... as long as I can stop Oscar from popping them first!
A tapestry table
Sticker resist with watercolours
Tape art
A tissue paper window

I also love these canvases that Sam and Bella created. I think it is fabulous that Andrea used abstract art for inspiration (Kline and Miro).

Previous Oscar art can be seen here and way back here.


15 comments:

  1. Such a great idea to paint with a book alongside for inspiration, I like that. x

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    1. It really increases his attention span and concentration. And if you think about it, makes total sense, if you sit down to create something yourself, you generally have something for inspiration.

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  2. Great tips. I admit I tend to shudder when my girls ask to do some painting. I need to dig deep more often!!!

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    1. That's why I like the watercolour palette, less mess! Rodge bought the goopier paints and everytime that Osc has asked to use 'Papa paints' this week, I've steered clear! You real have to steel yourself for the messy days.

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  3. i do the side by side with Busby and messy! x

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  4. oh so gotta do that balloon painting! x

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    1. I know, doesn't it look like fun? I would have never, ever thought of that myself.

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  5. You have some fantastic links here. I have a friend who runs a preschool here and I'm sending her these links straight away! Now to choose which window we can glue tissue paper all over!

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    1. If you do tissue paper a window, please share, I think that they look magical.

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  6. i read the tapestry table link awhile back but had forgotten about it-- thanks for the reminder, my girls would love it & then I would get a piece of artwork out of it for their wall once they're done! any tips...hmm.... nope... but an idea: we did a nail polish painting awhile back & that was fun because the brushes are so teeny.

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    1. Cute. Brave! I imagine they would be gorgeous as nailpolish is so vibrant.

      I think I'll save the nailpolish for when Osc is a bit older, we still have remnants from his last nailpolish adventures on our floors and in our bathtub (probably forever more!)

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  7. I have a fourteen year old who still makes a mess... i miss the old mess ... the old mess was (usually) followed with cuddles and neediness ... the new mess is still lovely but I sure miss the cuddles. (Even though as far as teenagers go I get more hugs than most!) :-)

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    1. Oh, I hope Osc is still giving me hugs when he's fourteen. Lucky lady.

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  8. What a patient loving mom you are! I love that you let Oscar just go with his creativity and have a bit of fun, making messes...

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    1. It does take patience and a little organisation but I think it is also totally necessary!

      I feel it is something I have to do, as Oscar is one of the only 2 and a half year olds I know who isn't in childcare - all the little ones in childcare get to do crafty activities all the time, I feel guilty if Osc doesn't get that experience.

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