Domestic God(ish)

Art Q+A with smallSHOP | domestic god(ish)

Today starts our Q&A segment with Sage Raval for “at home” art project ideas with the kids, inside tips on art, and much more!  For our question, I simply asked Sage to give us her top “must haves” for our kids at home art box.  The hardbound sketchbook idea was such a great clutter solution and the description of “the most dangerous pen in the universe” had me cracking up in agreement…

1. Watercolor Pencils.

These range in price drastically, but honestly, the less expensive ones work just fine.  I love these. You can draw in pencil and then take your time coloring it in.  Next step, just add water to your paintbrush and watch the colored pencil drawing turn into a delicate painting.  These pencils are wonderful for the timid watercolorist, as they are easy to control and the colors look beautiful.

2. The best paint ever!

Tempera Cakes have saved me for years!  In the classroom, with private art lessons and at home. Great for younger kids, but older kids also enjoy them.  They are a thicker watercolor.  The colors are brilliant.  The clean-up is a breeze, just rinse them off, and they come in an easy to store tray.  When you run out of one color you simply buy another cake and stick it in.  But that is rare, since they last forever!  I have had some of the same sets for years!  You will become a big fan of these.

3. Keep art orderly.

A good hardbound sketch book is key.  Many parents, myself included, run into the issue of having hundreds of individual works of art lying around.  I encourage my children to create in their sketchbooks and if a special work of art is on a separate piece of paper, I will glue it in the book.  As the books fill, we label them with the year(s) they cover and catalogue them by volume 1, 2, 3, etc.  My daughter is currently on Art Book Volume 5 and my son is on Volume 1.  They are easier to look at and store and also travel well!

4. “The most dangerous pen in the universe!

This is how I describe a sharpie to my students and children.  We have all heard horror stories of a child with a sharpie.  I have one of my own:  A quiet morning, my 2 year old occupying herself, mama sleeping in, little footsteps, daughter proud of her new masterpiece… an intricate sharpie drawing completely covering my new WHITE laptop!  Mama horrified, yet somehow gathers enough parenting tact to say “beautiful drawing honey, but next time use paper, please!”  Story ends well with a google search of this scenario and a recommendation for the MAGIC ERASER, which I ran out to buy immediately.  It worked and my laptop was almost as good as new.  Now the sharpies are in MAMA’s art box.  But do not let this story deter you.  Get the dual tip sharpie and bring it out when you are watching, but definitely bring it out.  The clean strong lines of a sharpie create a much needed contrast and balance to many art pieces.  I do love sharpies!

5. Instant Frame!

Blue Painters Tape is always in my art box at home and whilst teaching.  You will be surprised how taping a frame prior to starting the piece changes the finished work.  With a blue painters tape frame in place, children can go as wild as they want with an abstract, continue a horizon line right over the tape or create portraits off center.  After the color has been added right up to the tape, simply remove it and your beautiful work of art just got its own frame.

6. Do-a-Dot Art.

If you do not already have these, get them.  They last forever.  I have the same set from when my daughter was 2.  She is now 6 1/2 and our son who is 3 uses them all the time.  They are fun, easy, not messy and travel well.  I am a big fan of a circle, this shape can start so many projects. I also enjoy mixed media (using different materials together) and using these dots as the grass or sky or a border is fun.  These are not considered Fine Art, per se, but certainly FUN Art.

7. Stick this! {Mixed media sticker art with a 3 year old- shown above}

A fun pack of stickers is key to help jump start creativity.  We have spent many an afternoon and plane flight adding a few stickers to a page in a sketch book… and then draw and create a scene or environment for the stickers.  Our animals stickers have had tea parties, lived in high-rise apartments, climbed mountains, sailed the seven seas and had all sorts of adventures in our sketchbooks.  Great for all ages, including big kids (and mom and dad) too.

8. Drawing pencils.

Get a few different kinds of drawing pencils.  Light to dark.  A pencil drawing can be so simple and detailed and with a few shades the shadows make it just perfect.

Thank you so much Sage, a pleasure featuring your terrific art tips today.


{to learn more about smallSHOP click here}