One of the many reasons I love finally having a dedicated studio space is because when my two-year-old comes to me and says, “Paint!” it is easy enough to meet her request right away. And since his sister brought up the idea, my six-year-old (home again from school today) also wanted to paint. Because my daughter has seen me set up her easel often enough by now, as I set up the paper (she can’t reach the roll), she began taking the covers off the paint jars.
When she was done, she pointed out the swirl to me, making the motion for me with her arm. This swirling is new to her in paint, and she was pleased. She showed me what brush and color she used for each part of the painting.
Meanwhile, my son asked for red, blue, and yellow. We have lots of other colors of tempera paint, but that’s all he wanted. And from that, he made this.
He began with the green stem and then started trying to mix more colors on the paper. I suggested he mix on the plate and gave him a jar of clear water for rinsing. (He began with a brush for each color, but he ended up with far more colors than brushes!) My role here is not to launch into an explanation of secondary colors, something he already knows about anyway; my role is to quietly provide what he needs to accomplish his goals.
As he worked, he commented on the colors he was creating.
“I really like yellow mixed with green; it makes almost an army green color.”
“This is where I mixed all the colors together. It’s brown.”
“Look at this color purple!”
And I love how he filled every inch of that paper with color.
When my daughter saw her brother working at the table, she decided she wanted to get up there too. I gave her a big piece of paper and asked what she’d like to draw with, and she decided upon colored pencils. When she saw me using the scissors, she asked for those, and once she had cut a bit into her drawing, she asked for tape.
I really enjoy watching my children explore, and helping them on their way.