Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Strewsday: May 2014

May's Strewsday is inspired by Awfully Chipper's recent post. I'm not a big fan of watercolour paper because I use watercolours for my backgrounds and do the foregrounds and details in acrylics, which, in my opinion, are far easier to control. Acrylic paper allows the water to sit on it so the watercolours can be moved around to create different effects. I really admire people who produce full works in watercolours and the post I've linked to above has the author's and her children's work in it as well as that of her father and also an Irish artist, Emily, who blogs at The Nest.

I always use acrylic paper but decided to invest in a some watercolour paper so my children could have a real go at painting with watercolours and that they'd learn a bit about the different papers, paints, techniques, etc.

One thing that Sadie mentioned to us recently is that my stuff is taking over the playroom a little so I've taken a lot of junk
out of there (and dumped it in the spare room which is always locked). Martin took the vertical shelves I had been using and made them into horizontal ones to give Sadie and Holly a bit more storage space for their stuff. They are big into organising at the moment!

I came to the conclusion a few weeks ago that I needed to start taking the girls on trips out that aren't just for grocery shopping. Since I don't always have access to the car this takes a bit of planning but we're really enjoying our days out and I think it's giving my two a lot of confidence by letting them pay at checkouts or ask for things. I've been waiting five years for us to have this freedom of being able to go places and do things without having to think about bottles, nappies, naps, projectile vomiting (the last one was a speciality of both my children). It's a real pleasure being out and about now.

So, in order to follow in the footsteps of Awfully Chipper we had a little day out in Dungarvan, did absolutely no grocery shopping but went to our favourite craft shop instead. We got a big pad of watercolour paper among other things. Sadie was in love with herself bringing the big bag in the door. I had bought the watercolour sets ages ago so, armed with my brushes, water and kitchen roll we set to work in the playroom. A talking point was the jar I had the brushes in. I have it for over 20 years, it's got a painted J on it, made for me by my cousin, Jill. I think we've found out next project!

It was quite a new experience for my children. They have used watercolours before but not on the proper paper and I had to keep reminding them that the paints don't work without water. They painted about 20 half pages each and really I could see such a difference between the first attempts and the last I was delighted we'd done it. They totally got the concept of water being the important thing: They found out what they could achieve by putting the water on the page before the paint and also by putting water into the paint first. They also experimented with every shape and size of brush and soon realised what strokes could be produced depending on what they used. They were very careful to wash their paints and palettes off afterwards and were in deep discussion about what paints they'd use the next time!


  1. Gorgeous! The concentration on their faces is wonderful.

    1. Thanks, they take these things very seriously!