In a world of allergies and questions about what chemicals REALLY go into art supplies, I was excited to try out Clementine Art products. I saw them on Amazon.com and couldn’t wait to try them out!
Here’s how it’s described by the manufacturer:
Clementine art introduces a new way of doing art with children. Our inviting, open-ended materials encourage children to create real art. Our fresh and natural art supplies support the healthy development of your child. Clementine is art you can feel good about. Our high quality art supplies are all natural, certified non-toxic. Clementine packaging is made of 80% post consumer recycled and reusable materials. A set of six, luscious, creamy tempera paints sue to inspire any budding artist, colored with Mayan mineral earth pigments, our paints are free from chemical dyes and petrochemicals. Six, 2 ounce paints are long-lasting, washable and completely natural (in the event that they inspire spontaneous finger painting). Ingredients: Mayan mineral pigments, water, pulverized cellulose, soy lecithin, citric acid, potassium sorbate, vegetable glycerin, calcium propionate, and vegetable oil-based organic deformer. As always, no chemical dyes or other additives, recommended for ages 3+, washable with soap and water.Product DescriptionNo more worries about harmful chemicals being ingested during arts and crafts time. You can let your children`s imagination go wild with Clementine Art. The Natural Paint contains a set of six luscious colors. They are long-lasting, washable, and completely natural. Recommended for 3 and up.
The color palette is heathered and earthy…not exactly what you are used to seeing with children’s paints. (Um, where are all of the super-bright colors and….black??) Well, if you want the pigments to be natural, this is the palette you get. All of the paints are made with “earth pigments” and are a much more muted palette.
Putting my expectations for “bright” aside, I got to swatch testing. Here’s how the paint looked on some white drawing paper.
I also have to comment on the smell of the paints. They are vaguely reminiscent of modeling dough. Not offensive, but different than the “painty” smell I’m used to.
These paints have a thick texture, much like yogurt, but do have some streaky tendencies as you can see in the above photo. This indicates to me that the paint is a little “low” on pigment verses binder. But let’s keep in mind that the paint is meant for kids, not fine artists.
How do they look on different paper? Here’s a little swatch testing on different colors:
There’s that streakiness again. It’s really pronounced on the black paper. So if your little artist wants to cover the surface, he or she will need multiple coats.
Next for some color mixing.
Here I tried to mix the red and blue tones….but I did not necessarily get purple! Because the pigments are not bright, color mixing was kind of a disaster. This is a sticking point for me, because I love to see kids paint and mix color and learn some color theory and mixing rules while they are at it. With this color palette, however, that won’t happen.
In the above photo I did some layering of wet on dry- looks pretty good. And I have to admit, these colors look really pretty together. Next, I decided to play around with some sgraffito (scratching into the surface of the paint.)
Because of the thickness of the paint, you can certainly scratch into the paint and get a bit of texture. It will dry with texture too- but also be aware that the finish of the paint is flat- no shine or gloss whatsoever. For some reason, it’s a little unsatisfying- I like a satin finish at least on paint. But again, that’s ME as an adult. I’m not sure that the kiddos will care one way or the other.
So…are you ready for the big test? My 7 year old painted some rocks!
She enjoyed the paint and didn’t complain a bit about the colors or finish. (!)
The most important take-away, though, is that these paints are not only non-toxic, but they are also made with natural ingredients. For a list of those ingredients, and why they use them, click this link. It’s also great to find a company that is keeping allergens in mind and making it easy for parents to find out exactly what’s in the products their kids are using.
So… I’m pretty evenly split on the pros and the cons of this product!
- all natural
- disclosure of ingredients
- poor color mixing
- uneven coverage
- flat finish
So what do you think? Is the “all-natural” bonus worth the poor color-mixing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Disclosure: I purchased this product with my own funds. If you are interested in purchasing Clementine Art products, support CTD and use our affiliate links: