Natural Painting: The Process and the Product

A simple provocation of some natural paintbrushes, paints and a blank canvas were set up on the table to greet us from our morning bus stop return.

naturepaint1There was lavender, some different ornamental grasses and even some leaves from the peony in our yard.

Our 4 year old, “S” dove right in and began to create. She talked out loud, narrating as she navigated the process.

Painting with the lavender paint brush.

Painting with the lavender paint brush.

S: “The orange looks like wind. Purple is the leaves blowing in wind.”

Painting with the peony leaves.

Painting with the peony leaves.

She made observations about the brushes created from the ornamental grasses.

S: “If you shake it, all the seeds come off. This grass was long and got in 3 different colors. It made the sun.”

Creating the sun with the ornamental grass paint brush.

Creating the sun with the ornamental grass paint brush.

She also made observations about smell.

S: “This lavender smells so good! [brings it up to her nose to smell it] When it has paint on it I smell a little bit of lavender but more paint smell. [picks some of the dried flowers off of the lavender sprigs] I’m picking these off so they stick to my wet paint so my painting smells good.”

She continued to narrate her creation as it evolved.

S: “This is the grass and I’m making flowers too. The grass with the red on it makes the best paint brush because it looks like a tree.”

Painting with ornamental grasses.

Painting with ornamental grasses.

The project takes a turn at this point and S decides that mixing colors with her fingers is the next experiment. She looked to me for approval and of course received a YES! She mixes oranges and blue.

S: “Whoa! BROWN!”

S created brown with her fingers by mixing orange and blue paints.

S created brown with her fingers by mixing orange and blue paints.

S: “What do purple and orange make?

Me: “I’m not sure. What do you think?”

S then mixes purple, orange and yellow together on her finger and swirls them onto her canvas.

S: “WHAT?! More BROWN! My paper looks like a rainbow! [dabs her finger into all of the paints one at a time, layering the colors] My finger looks like a rainbow!

Finger painting and mixing colors.

Finger painting and mixing colors.

S decides that using the natural brushes is appropriate again and goes back to using one of the longer ornamental grass brushes.

S: “I’m adding greeen again. It makes cool swirl lines.”

She tries another painting technique that she hadn’t yet tried and begins to dab the grass brush instead of swirling it.

Things start to get even more interesting when S decides to fold the paper plate palette in half to mix all of the colors. Giggles begin and she dredges the grass and the lavender into all of the colors.

S: [giggling] “Whoa, this is neat!”

Creating swirls and dabs and painting with all of the colors from the mixed up palette.

Creating swirls and dabs and painting with all of the colors from the mixed up palette.

After 48 minutes, she declares that her canvas is finished! She pushes away from the table to look at her work!

What do you think?!

The finished canvas!

The finished canvas!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s