Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Holly Jolly Tree

I love creating with my children...
 especially mixed media art. There aren't many crafts I can do with my kids yet. My children are too young to sew or use a hot glue gun, but even a 2 year old can paint.

 I love mixed media at because it is so free. There are no mistakes. It is wild and crazy and creative and adventurous and freeing and fun and wonderful. I love being able to express things through my art and I love sharing my love for painting with my children. 

Children are so fun to paint with because they have no inhibitions. In fact the wilder the painting session, the more fun it is. So often as adults we get hung up on our own inhibitions- I don't know how to paint. Mine wont look good. I could never do it as good as so-and-so. Maybe we all need to channel our own little 3 year old inside who says, "I get to use all those colors? ALRIGHT!" 

When you paint with kids, I can tell them to paint the background and they dive in. They are fearless. They will break the rules, mix the colors, paint with no rhythm or reason and the best part of all is they love it. Every now and then, they might look up at me and say, "like this?" and I'll say, "that's amazing, you are doing it just perfect" and they will smile like they've just won a million bucks. 

My favorite part about painting with children is when it's done, they will run right up to someone and say, look at my painting isn't it awesome! They love it... imperfections, mistakes, and all. It is unique and fun and beautifully all there own. They believe it's beautiful, so it is!

I wanted to do a fun Christmas inspired project with the girls and here it is! Some funky, fun, beautiful Christmas trees. 

Here are the supplies I used. 
An 8 x 10 canvas, some music paper, paint, Decou-Page (or use Mod Podge), a 6 x 6 pad of scrapbook paper, (this one is Merry by My Minds Eye, I just love the pink in it!), stamps and ink, brushes, scissors or a paper cutter, Faber Castell PITT artist pen big brush, doodle pens, toilet paper roll (or some other roll), glitter, alcohol ink, rub-ons (not pictured), alphabet stickers... I hope I got everything. :) 

If you don't have everything I used improvise. 

The first thing I did was covered the background with some music paper. I used Decou-Page (or use Mod Podge) on the top and bottom. Then I gave the girls some colors that matched the papers we were going to use and just told them to paint. I wanted this to be there canvas. I didn't want to tell them to do it a certain way. I wanted them to be able to do it however they wanted! Remember there is no right or wrong way to do it!!! Don't forget to paint the sides too!

Then I had some cardboard rolls I let them use for some more texture. They could simply dip it in the paint and stamp a circle. Mine were from the inside of some wrapping paper, you could also use a toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, etc. 

Here are the backgrounds... Each one turned out totally different and unique and I love it!

After the paint was dry, I gave them a few stamps and let them stamp all over the background. They love stamping. I just used black Stays On Ink because it's' permanent and won't wash away. We used some snowflake stamps, and some stars. 

Then I let the girls pick out some strips of paper that I had already cut. I didn't want them to be the same width. I had skinny ones and fat ones. They picked them out and lined them up. Then I cut them the right lengths for the tree and Decou-Paged them on again. We also added some fun ornaments and a star for the top that I simply cut out of the same line of paper. 

Then I did all the finishing touches. I used my Faber Castell Markers to shade and outline the tree and ornaments. Then I took a fine tip black marker and outlined and doodled on the tree. I also used a few rub-ons for added detail. Lastly, a splash of green alcohol ink, some glitter, and some sparkly silver Thickers to add a fun title. 

I also had the girls sign their names. This is probably my favorite part of the canvas. Every Christmas when I pull these out I will remember when she used to write her name like that. It makes it even more special and personal to me. 

I think they turned out so cute! Great job girls!

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