Family and friends activities with acrylic paints build relationships and joy!
Acrylic paints are very versatile…they stick to anything when dry, and wash off with water when still wet. You can add materials to the paints to get a whole lot of textures, from a paint like watercolor to a viscous oil. They are safe for children and clean up with water. Play with your family and friends with acrylic paints, and have fun! What about in a holiday season? Or for a fun party – and get this- with family or with friends??
Idea for Fun With Family
Because acrylics are water based, they are safe to use with children! Here are some ideas:
Get small canvases, a basic set of student level paints, and a set of basic brushes for each. Set up a jar of water for each, and some paper towels. Pick out a picture of a snowman, like this one perhaps. I put some links here to help you locate some inexpensive paint and brush options. You can get the canvasses on Amazon, too. (I will be paid a small commission if you buy from Amazon using these links. I appreciate you helping me support this website.
You will want to break it down into segments for everyone. Start with the background. The upper 2/3's are snowing with a darker sky. You can make the sky any color you want.
The one in the picture is a greyed purply-bluish color. The darker value is good to balance the picture. Then the snow that is on the ground and the snow flakes in the air are all a purply-bluish white.
You may want to give each participant a paper plate or use a palette and pour some blue and white and a bit of red onto it, and encourage them to mix the sky color and put it on the top 2/3'rds of the canvas with a larger or flat brush.
Then clean off or switch plates, while giving your paintings some dry time. Wash the brushes in the water cups and dry them somewhat on the paper towels.
Pour out more of the same for them, but a lot more white, and less blue and red this time. A little of the pigment goes a long way! I would suggest you tell them to use the flat brush for the bottom third of the canvas. Notice how the horizon has a curve to it for some interest?
And then use the filbert to put in nice fat snowflakes and add some texture to the snow on the ground. If they add in a tiny bit more color to the white they can create some texture and shadow.
Again, let it dry. And using a pencil, draw in the shapes for the snowman. The circles for his body, rectangles and two ovals for his hat. Don't worry about the scarf, and buttons and facial features at this point.
Then some black and red and green, a bit of pink, to add all the features.
A couple of hours of family Holiday fun, and everyone has their own piece of art to hang in their rooms, or give as a gift. Or if you do really tiny paintings, you could hang them on the tree.
A couple of helpful hints: use drop cloths- you can get inexpensive ones from Home Depot's paint department.
Make sure everyone is not wearing their holiday best. While the paint is water-soluable, once it dries it will be really hard to get out of the clothes or furniture.
Acrylic Paint Additives
There are a lot of gels you can use to give different effects with your acrylic paints. To go thicker, use a gel medium. It makes the paint thicker and also increases its transparency by diluting the pigment.
A heavy gel medium will make your paints very thick so you can apply them in peaks and valleys on your surface.
For thinner applications, more like watercolor, water is one choice, But what I like better is using a blending medium. It not only thins the paint for more movement and flow, but keeps it from drying as quickly.
To get more shine, something I like a lot in my paintings, use a gloss medium. For a less shiny look, use a matte medium.
What Else Can You Add to Your Paint?
Artists are experimenting with additives all the time. You can find glass beads and metals that can be added. You can add sand and selenite.
I advise getting your additives from the art supply store, so they are not contaminated with organic matter. It would not be fun to have your painting break down as your additive decomposed! Yuck!
Other Family and Friends Activities With Acrylic Paints
Now that you and all your family members have a basic acrylic painting set, what else can you do together?
You can buy plastic ornaments to paint. What about small dolls and then paint on features and clothes? During good weather, you can collect interesting rocks and decorate them with paints. Could you make these into a cat for instance?
How about hand prints on an apron. For holiday cooking apparel? Just put your hands right in a small paper plate of paint and use your hand instead of a brush to transfer the paint. As I said, it is really hard to get acrylic paint off clothing once it dries, so the apron will keep its hand painting for a long time.
Art Should be Fun
I think so. I know when I take a bunch of supplies and an idea to my grandchildren, they really look forward to it. My grandson recently wrote a paper for his 6th grade class that he wants to grow up to be an artist like his Grannie. I know that will change dozens of times before he gets through school, and it does not matter a bit. What matters is that he thinks I am a great Grannie and we have fun together.
Try this with your kids or grandkids. Or throw a painting party with some of your friends and do the same thing. Painting is fun, creative, and freeing. Do it. You will be glad you did!
Let me know what kind of painting party you have and how it goes!