Kids Painting Ideas and Techniques

This article contains painting ideas for parents or teachers to use with children. The ideas are suitable for children for various ages from preschool upwards.

The video shows two painting techniques you can do with younger children (though older ones will also enjoy them.) The two techniques using wax crayon and paint are more suitable for kids from around age 7, though this will vary depending on skills level and some younger children may manage them. You know your own children best!


A Vibrant and Symmetrical Butterfly is Easy To Do

Source

Butterfly (from preschool and up)

Small children love this technique, probably because it seems like magic. It’s also very easy to do. This technique is shown in the video above.

Materials required

  • Paper
  • Poster paint
  • Paint brush


Instructions

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half. On one side of the paper paint a butterfly’s wing. Add colors and patterns as you like, but be sure to work quickly so that the paint doesn’t dry out. Be careful not to overdo the paint because it will spread out a little - in the butterfly above those large spots of pink started out as small dots.
  2. Fold the clean side of the paper on top of the wet painted side. Run your hand over the paper to make sure it touches everywhere.
  3. Spread the paper out and you will have a mirror image of your painting, making a complete butterfly. If any lines are not as clear as you'd like you can go over them now.

Flowers (for children from about 5 and up)

Materials

  • Paper (A3 is a good size to use.)
  • Broad paintbrush
  • Bright poster paints
  • Lentils, quinoa or rice for “seeds.”

Instructions:

  1. Using a broad flat brush, paint a few strokes to make the flower “petals.” Start at the center and work outwards.
  2. Leave it until the paint is dry.
  3. Paint the centers of the flowers.
  4. While the paint is still wet add grains to the centers to make seeds.

A variety of flower paintings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A more elaborate flower designThe painting from the video
Source
Source
A more elaborate flower design
A more elaborate flower design | Source
The painting from the video
The painting from the video | Source

Using Paint and Wax Crayons.

There are two ways to use wax crayons and paint together. (There may be more, but there are two I know of!) Both are fun, and kids will get surprises with either method.

Materials required:

  • Paper (cartridge paper will be better than photocopier or printer paper)
  • Wax crayons
  • Poster paint

For Method 2 only:

  • Washing up liquid

Method 1: Resist Technique

  • Do a line drawing with wax crayons, using a pale color. White paper and crayon is the most common way to do this, but you can use any pale color and then use a darker color for the paint. In the examples we used yellow crayon because white would not have shown up well in the photos. The design can be simple or elaborate so is suitable for all abilities, but draw with lines only – no shading.
  • Press firmly to make sure to get enough wax to form a resist. The photo below shows what happens if there isn’t enough crayon on the paper. On the left the crayon was pressed firmly and so it shows through, and on the right there was not enough pressure to create a good resist.

This picture shows why you need to press firmly with the crayon

On the left the butterfly shows up clearly. On the right the crayon wasn't thick enough and so the paint covers it.
On the left the butterfly shows up clearly. On the right the crayon wasn't thick enough and so the paint covers it. | Source
  • Using either a board brush or sponge, apply a thin layer of paint all over the sheet of paper. You can use one color only or a mixture. Suitable paints are watercolors or thin poster paint. The wax crayon resists the paint, so your original drawing will show up.

Some examples of wax resist paintings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Draw a picture with crayon.Brush with a thin layer of paint and watch as the crayon "magically" resists.A kid's design.With the paint "wash."
Draw a picture with crayon.
Draw a picture with crayon. | Source
Brush with a thin layer of paint and watch as the crayon "magically" resists.
Brush with a thin layer of paint and watch as the crayon "magically" resists. | Source
A kid's design.
A kid's design. | Source
With the paint "wash."
With the paint "wash." | Source

Method 2: Paint and Scratch

1. Color over the paper with wax crayons. You can use as many different colors as you like, and make stripes, patches or any arrangement you'd like. The picture below shows a sheet of paper that has been crayoned. You can see it is sitting on newspaper - this prevents your furniture getting messed up!

Be sure to press firmly, so there is no white paper showing.

Color with wax crayon

Press firmly to get a good coating of wax crayon.
Press firmly to get a good coating of wax crayon. | Source

2. Into some poster paint add a drop or two of washing up liquid. This stops the wax from resisting the paint. Paint all over the wax crayon.

(The usual color to use for this is black, but you can vary if you'd like - just make sure it's a dark colour and the paint is thick.)

3. Leave this until the paint is thoroughly dry.

4. Now scratch a design onto the paint to reveal the colors underneath! You can use the “wrong” end of a paintbrush handle to this, so long as it’s a small brush, or you could use a bent paper clip or a clay tool. Anything that has a point but isn’t sharp will do.

A wax, paint and washing up liquid painting

The bright colors show thorough when you scratch off the paint.
The bright colors show thorough when you scratch off the paint. | Source

Ready to start painting? Take the quiz and see if you know what to do!

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Comments 24 comments

Nettlemere profile image

Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

This is such an appealing hub - it looks beautiful and all the instructions are comprehensive but easy to understand. I'm sure will encourage lots of people to give these ideas a go with their kids.


thebookmom profile image

thebookmom 4 years ago from Nebraska

This is so creative. The explanations are clear but the picture examples really make the hub. Well done, I can't wait to try the crayon and wax ideas.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

A creative hub, that will be sure to please kids! Your video is working perfectly and explains everything. Great for teachers too. Sharing!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

What a colorful, creative hub with original, upbeat video that shows how easy the methods of painting butterflies and flowers are.

I also enjoyed all the other pictures.

The best part of these techniques is that an adult doesn't have to be artistically talented in order to teach the techniques to children.

Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Yvonne,

What a great article! I loved the video. It shows in an easy-to-understand manner how to complete the painting projects.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Great job on this Hub. Your video is great. My kids and grandkids all loved to paint. I have a great grandchild who even at the age of one loves to dabble in my paint.

I voted this Hub up, and will share, Pin, Tweet.

OOps, no share buttons...will try and catch on the feed.


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

What joyful artwork! I love the colors here, and the absolute artistic abandonment the pictures show! Now I need to go find some small kids so I can have fun with these ideas!

Voted up and up!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

You have some super kid's painting projects here. Such fun stuff for creative exploring and learning!


alliemacb profile image

alliemacb 4 years ago from Scotland

Great ideas for painting with kids. It's so much fun to do these art projects together.


jenbeach21 profile image

jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Great artwork and pictures. I have done the butterfly in my classroom in the past. Shared and voted up!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub and I pass onto my family.

Eddy.


remaniki profile image

remaniki 4 years ago from Chennai, India

Excellent hub with so much creativity that people watching the video that has clear instructions will love to do these activities. Very well presented Melovy. Sharing it across. Cheers, Rema.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Nettlemere, for such a kind comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

thebookmom, I hope you have fun with the crayon ideas. We certainly do. Thanks for your comment!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

midget38, thanks for checking out the video and glad you enjoyed the hub.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Gail, nice to hear from you. Finding Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on public domain certainly helped make the video upbeat! Glad you enjoyed this, and you are right in that you don't need to be a brilliant artist to do teach kids these techniques.

Thanks for your comment and votes.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Daisy, thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed this video. We had fun making it!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

mary615, like your great grandchild, my daughters loved painting when they were very little too. I used to take everything outside whenever I could as it sometimes got messy!

Thanks very much for your comment and for sharing.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Marcy, just go do the pictures yourself if you haven't got any kids available! I'm pleased you like the colours (so do I) and thanks for your comment.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

RTalloni and alliemacb, thanks for your comments!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

jenbeach21, I bet the kids enjoyed making the butterflies in your classroom. Half the fun for adults is watching kids' faces when they fold the paper back! Thanks for your comment and for sharing.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Eiddwen and remaniki, thanks for your kind comments.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Melovy, what great ideas - I had forgotten what great effects you get with paint and wax crayons, plenty here for me to try with my grandchildren!

Thank you and voted up


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK Author

Movie Master, it will be fun for your grandchildren I'm sure, especially if they are young - it's like magic to them! Thanks for your comment.

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