Here’s a fun project that you can do with your kids or even for yourself! Make some wall art that speaks to you!
- canvas paper (it comes in pads and is very economical) or a stretched canvas if you prefer
- Gesso (read my primer on gesso if you are not sure what that is or why you should use it
- white glue or gel-style glue. I found that the glitter glue from Elmer’s worked best. (affiliate link)
- Faber Castell Gel Crayons or Gelatos (I’ve included links to my reviews.)
- water brushes and/or paint brushes, wide and detail
- clip art printed from your printer, if desired.
- sealer and/or picture frame, as desired.
First, prime your canvas paper by applying a generous coat of gesso with a paintbrush. Don’t be skimpy, as the gesso provides a nice surface for our watercolor media to slide around on! And you’ll definitely notice if you miss a spot. Let it dry.
Next, trace your design onto your canvas paper. My print out was dark enough that I could see it through the canvas paper to trace lightly with a pencil. OR you could cut out your word/ initial and trace it on top. OR you could just create a free-hand design. It’s up to the artist, of course!
Then you’ll apply glue OVER the pencil lines. Now, I used white glue but I discovered that the gel-type glues (oddly, the ones with confetti in it) worked even better. Let this dry completely.
Next, apply some color using your Gel Crayons (or Gelatos, if you have those- they are lovely too!) Add more of the light colors than you think you will need, and less of the dark ones. The dark blue, for example, is VERY saturated and can take over if you don’t keep it on a leash.
Don’t worry about being too neat. We are just laying down color! This is a great step for the kiddos as they can have free reign and not have to worry about being too fussy.
Then we’ll add some water to blend it all together! I try to blend the light colors first, then work into the darks. If you have too much water and things get too soupy, you can just blot it up with a paper towel or a rag. Take off too much color? Scribble some more back on! The gesso allows us to add and subtract color to our heart’s content.
When you get everything “just so,” let it dry a little. You don’t have to wait until it’s bone-dry- as a matter of fact, it’s better if you don’t. While the page is still a little damp, peel up the glue. You’ll see a white outline.
If you like, you can touch up with a bit more color, add glitter glue, or even paint markers. But I think it’s cool enough to pop in a frame or even use as a scrapbook layout.
Of course, things are easier when you can see it in action… so here’s a video for you!
This technique is SO much fun…. very open-ended and personalizable…. and great for all ages. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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