Abstract Art | My Kid Could Paint That!

Abstract Art My kid could paint that

Today I’m joined by my friend, Lynda Nicolay and her adorable, artsy son Grayson. This is the first article in the “My Kid Could Paint That!” series, inspired by this crafty duo. Lynda is going to show us how she set Grayson up with a canvas and some simple materials to make an abstract canvas that looks incredible in their new home.

I love Lynda’s creative use of a recycled apple container, her tip for finding inexpensive art supplies, and how brave she is to set this up over carpet. Friends, it can be done!

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Scroll to the end for the full supply list.

Here’s Lynda…


Abstract Art Sponge Painting

So this painting was done by my 5 year old.  It was super easy and fairly inexpensive.  Michaels always has sales so we picked up what would have been a 100.00 canvas for 35.00.  Acrylics were also on sale so in this case I picked out the color palette since I knew I was going to hang it up in a specific area.

We used the plastic containers that Costco uses to sell apples.  I always save those for a variety of things, but this was great for paint.

plastic apple container store ornaments

Instead of brushes we used sea sponges and I just ripped them in half so I only had to purchase a few.

sea sponge painting

I started squeezing a color into each compartment, but Grayson decided to mix and I really think thats how the painting came out so interested.  He would make different mixes and just went to town.

child sponge painting

children art abstract painting

child painting abstract canvas     

I would say he worked on this and finished it in a few hours.
I love it because he can just splash paint wherever, and it looks good.  He would even go over areas that were already painted to add more texture.
As you can see it started out as dots and then turned into something completely different.

Supplies

Amazon affiliate links

Canvas (36″ x 36″)

Acrylic Paint (8 oz. tubes are a good size)

Sea Sponges

Canvas Drop Cloth


Lynda NicolayAbout Lynda

I’ve had a passion for the arts and for image making starting in my teens.  I was a dancer throughout high school until I was about 21.  I then spent the next 6 years studying film, specifically Cinematography and Photography at Columbia College in Chicago and then at The American Film institute in Los Angeles.

After my education I worked in the film industry for several years in the camera department and would spend my summers or off time in Rockport Maine teaching lighting/camera and general filmmaking at The Workshops.

In 2011 my husband Matt and I had our son Grayson who is now  5.  We currently live in Johns Creek, GA.  Grayson also loves to tinker and create so we are always trolling Pinterest or TinkerLab for some interesting ideas.

Painting on Wood Panel

There’s something about how the layers of paint sit on top of the wood that I find so appealing.

I had to pick up two wood panels for a baby shower gift and my three year old asked if she could paint on some too. She chose three small panels, one as a housewarming gift for her uncle and the other two for herself.

She also asked if she could have some new acrylic paint, and of course the only color she wanted was a shocking bright green. But I’m here to foster her creative intelligence and bit my tongue in favor of enthusiasm for her independent ideas.

When we got home, I taped the panel’s edges off with blue painters tape. In my own painting process I begin by drawing, and then layer the paint on top of that. In a similar fashion, her initial marks were made with grease pencils, followed by shocking green paint.

This was all set up on top of a large piece of paper to keep our table cleanish.

Oh, and the pink shirt is a smock — in case acrylic paints are new to you, they will NOT wash out of clothes! But don’t let this deter you — acrylics are worth it! They have a totally different look and feel from school-grade paints like tempera, which would be too flaky and isn’t as archival for a project like this.

When the first painting was done, she moved on to the next two. We used a variety of brushes and she had a great time sorting through the bazillion colors of acrylic paint that I’ve collected over the years.

By the time she reached the third painting, I noticed that her confidence with the materials had risen, she made complex comments about her aesthetic choices, and her ability to control the paint and execute her ideas as she imagined was further developed.

 

The next day: Peeling off the blue tape — so fun!

This became a mixed media piece with the addition of glitter, which you can kind of see up there. It was added while the paint was still wet, and sticks quite nicely to the paint. One of my favorite things about acrylic paint is how fast it dries! It almost has the look of oil paint, but the results are immediate.

Materials

  • Wood panel
  • Acrylic paint
  • Synthetic fiber brushes (for acrylic paint)
  • Water container for washing brushes
  • Grease pencils
  • Blue painters tape
Note: Acrylic paint should be used in a well-ventilated area. Follow all instructions found on the back of your paint container/s for proper use.
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If you haven’t already seen this mesmerizing video of child artist, Aelita Andre, I thought this might be a good time to share it. This gives me studio envy and has my mind racing with thoughts about how deliberate and thoughtful Aelita is, and how we can adopt some of her studio habits in our own art making practice. The more exposure children have to media and materials (in whatever discipline), the closer they come to mastering the nuances of the materials and reaching the level of expert in their work.

I’d love to hear what you think.

This post is shared with It’s Playtime.