How cute is this canvas art? With the long Summer holidays upon us there is so much pressure to keep the kids entertained. Unfortunately days outs and kids clubs are so expensive. This cool activity is fairly cheap, will keep you all busy for a few hours and and will result in you owning a cool piece of art.
All you need is paints (let’s face it, if you have children, you’ll probably have a stash of art materials in the cupboard), canvas and permanent marker pens. The pens are the magic tool in this project as they will turn a picture into a masterpiece.
Here’s what you need
PLEASE NOTE, THIS ACTIVITY IS NOT SUITABLE FOR SMALL CHILDREN DUE TO PERMANENT MARKERS AND SMALL PARTS BEING USED.
canvas boards (we used these from the works)
permanent marker pens
pencil and rubber
something to mix the paint in
ruler (if you want to draw a grid as a guide)
Heres what you do
We used a canvas board. They are ideal for kids as they are rigid and easier to draw on. You can use stretched canvas, but bear in mind that the surface is under tension. Although you will get the same result, you may find it trickier to work on.
Draw your picture onto the canvas using a pencil. A couple of points to note here are, don’t press too hard. If you make a mistake it will be difficult to rub the lines out, and they will show through the paint. And keep your design simple. It’s easier to paint, and will give your piece of art the “wow” factor.
A point to note regarding the paint is, you don’t need to buy lots of colours. If you want to keep the cost down, just buy the primary colours (red, yellow, and blue) white and black. That way you will be able to make a huge array of colours by mixing them together. This is a great way to teach children their colours and how they are formed.
Soft thin pencil lines are the best. They are easier to rub out if you make a mistake and are less likely to show through the paint.
Once you are happy with your design, it’s time to colour it in. We used acrylic paints as they give a good coverage. Before you start painting, protect any surfaces with a cloth or newspaper. Find something to mix the paint in or on. We used tin foil but you could use an old plastic table cloth or a tray or container. Just make sure you get permission to use it first.
Squeeze the paint onto the mixing surface and mix with your brush. You can decide the size of your brush. We use a fairly large one for the big sections and a smaller fine tip one for edging.
How you apply the paint will determine the finished look of your picture. If you paint a thin layer, you will see the canvas peeping through. We like a more solid colour so painted a thick layer. Try to blend it slightly so that there are no obvious lumps. You will find that as the paint dries it evens itself out. If you are unsure as to how you want yours to look, try experimenting with your paint on a spare piece first.
We painted a thick layer as we wanted a solid colour.
Try to be economical with your paint. Think what colours you will be using and work in an order. We wanted green as our second colour and knew if we used yellow first, if there was any left over, we could add blue to make green.
You can change the colour shade by adding more of one colour. We wanted a lighter brighter green, so added more yellow.
Another point to remember is to be careful what order you paint in. Try not to paint colours that are next to each other one after the other. Wait for the section to dry or your colours will merge together and look messy.
Take extra care not to lean on or smudge your picture as you are painting. You can place a sheet of plain paper on the area next to where you are working to protect it, just make sure that it is completely dry first.
Once you have painted all the sections of your work, lay it down to dry. This is the most important step, as if you are adding marker pen lines, they won’t work on wet paint.
**This bit should be done by an adult as permanent markers are used**
Permanent marker pens are the best ones to use. We love Sharpies. These ones have a fine nib and needed two applications to give the best effect. Don’t be tempted to press down hard to get a thick line. This will have the opposite effect and the pen will not work. Very light short strokes will give you the cleanest lines. As the pen is permanent there is no going back if a mistake is made. Don’t attempt this part if you are not confident using these pens. Your picture will still look fab if you decide not to do the outline.
These pilot pens are amazing too. They have a thicker nib and glide over the canvas with ease.
To get a colouring page effect picture, draw round the edge of your sections. It instantly brings your image to life.
It’s up to you how much detailing you add. We added lines on the leaves and petals.
You can let your imagination run wild with your designs. As we mentioned, try and keep the design simple. To get a proffesional look on your image or scene, use things to draw around for a neat finish. We used pom pom makers and scissor handles on ours. You can use lids or plates, just make sure you check with an adult first.
A bold simple design is just perfect for these pictures.
We worked from the centre of the canvas outwards with the giraffe as we didn’t want to smudge our picture.
A great way to add texture to your picture is to create a 3D effect. We did this by attaching pom poms on the top of the horns. We pierced a hole in the centre of the horn circles using a bradawl. This part must be done by an adult, as it will require a sharp point.
We made a pom pom and threaded the ends through the canvas from the front to the back.
We secured the ends at the back so they wouldn’t fall off.
The pom poms add texture and definition to the picture are add a bit of fun too.
The great thing about these is they are inexpensive to make. Perfect to give as gifts and will look great hanging on the wall.
It’s amazing how by outlining the picture instantly makes it look neater and cartoon like.
So next time your gang shout “I’m bored” get them creating their own art gallery.
We love seeing your creations and makes, so don’t forget to tag us #CraftyCoCreations
The Crafty Co