Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mixed Media Art for Kids

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The end of the school year is fast approaching.  Even though Bear will have only been in his preschool class for 2 months, we still plan on making end of the year gifts for his amazing teachers.  They welcomed him into the classroom and made his first school experience an exciting and happy one.  Each day, they practice saying Matthew 5:16, as a guide for how we should spend our days. 
I love to create mixed media art when I am inspired or need some stress relief.   Bear has come to love doing it as well because it allows us to be free and create with no rules as the piece takes form during the process.  As a thank you gift, I thought it would be a great idea to make a special mixed media plaque for each teacher with Matthew 5:16 on it. 
For this project we used:
  • a 4" square wood canvas
  • Apple Barrel Paints in Pool Blue, Banana, Candy Pink, Lime Tree, and Petunia Purple
  • Mod Podge Washout for kids
  • scrapbook paper
  • various paint/ink stampers and textured items

To start off, Bear painted the entire wood plaque using the Pool Blue paint.  Once the paint was dry, we ripped up pieces of patterned scrapbook paper and he coated the plaque with the Mod Podge.

After the plaque was coated, he stuck down the paper wherever he wanted.  You'll notice that the papers around the edge are straight (or as straight as he could make them).  When we ripped up the paper, we left some with straight edges on one side so that the edges of the plaque could be clean.  Then the whole plaque got another coat of the Mod Podge Washout to make sure it was fully adhered.

When creating this type of art, we generally go over it with paints, stamps, and ink to create depth, texture, and an overall mix of the media used (hence the name).  To do this, I set out Apple Barrel paints (colors listed above), paint and ink stampers, as well as various items with texture.  Then it was up to Bear to experiment and add as much or as little as he chose.

For the final step, I printed off the quote onto paper and tore the edges to make it fit more with the piece.  I rubbed the edges with an ink pad to give it a little bit of character so it didn't stand out on the piece.  Bear used the Mod Podge Washout to adhere it down.  Then added a bit more texture using the stamps.  Once it was all dry, he put a final coat of the Mod Podge Washout on it to seal it all up.

Mixed media art is a great way to allow children to explore using various materials, techniques, and tools to creatively express themselves with out guidance or adult interjection, giving an end result that is purely their vision.

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