Sometimes we’ve used art to reinforce concepts we’re learning about (like Scripture!), and sometimes we just try new techniques. My kids each have an art journal to experiment in. For projects, I like to have them spend time creating work we can put on our walls.
Sounds expensive, right? It’s really not. Your kids don’t need professional-quality art supplies to create fabulous art. In fact, they don’t need much at all. There are a few items I think all budding artists need. I’m going to list them for you (with links so you can find what I’m talking about). I’m also going to take you on a little mini-tour of the art we’ve done in our home…..
Note: Some of these were inspired by kid art sites, but it’s been several years since we did the projects, so I’m not able to credit the source of my inspiration in each case.
Art in Our Home
Each of my younger two boys chose a major city. I helped them sketch the building on newspaper. They cut the buildings out and glued them to a piece of canvas they painted with acrylic paints. For this project I showed them how to take a wide brush, mix colors, and paint a background. When the glue dried, they used a black permanent marker to trace their buildings. I painted over it with a few coats of polyurethane. I love polyurethane for preserving projects.
I saw this as a class project, and adapted it.
For the project on either side, the boys were instructed to paint a fanciful landscape with cheerful colors. They each chose an animal and I cut out the animal’s shape from black cardstock. We then glued the shape to the canvas board, and I polyurethaned over the whole thing. I saw something similar to this–I think on Etsy.
The beading was done when we studied the Hammurabi civilization. Surprisingly, they both loved this and made many more necklaces for every female family member they could think of.
We used paper maché over formed modeling clay (which doesn’t dry) to make these Egyptian death masks, then painted them with acrylics. The clay has to be covered with petroleum jelly so the mask can be removed once it dries. The boys loved this project.
The maps of Israel under different kings were made using paper maché over modeling clay, acrylics, and black permanent markers. That was a pretty involved project, but the boys learned a lot about the tribes of Israel, and about how the obedience of the Israelites had a direct impact on their territory as God allowed them to be invaded by surrounding tribes. I absolutely love these maps. You can see more pictures of them in our library.
All the Tools You Really Need
You’ll notice that above I linked to a few specialty art supplies–like polyurethane, modeling clay, and polymer clay. These items are useful for specific projects (and I just personally love polyurethane for kid projects), but they’re not necessary to do art in the home.
Here’s a list of the essentials you’ll want to add to your home art setup. I’m giving away a beginner’s art kit as well at the bottom of the post with $63 worth of these items!
Every artist needs a sketch book, and young artists need one with thick pages that are large enough for developing skills (young artists need to do work on a larger scale than an adult artist). We love the Pentalic 8 1/2″ x 11″ Sketch Books.
You can also find canvas panels in other sizes, including variety packs that contain several of each size.
Young artists need a pack of colored pencils, but they want a lot of colors! This set is highly rated, has 120 colors, and is really affordable (right now anyway).
When your artists are older and more serious about their art (such as a high school student working on a portfolio for art school, for instance), you’ll want to invest in some Prismacolors or Derwents if colored pencils are their preferred medium.
Every young artist needs their own set of watercolors. For young students, I think a pan set with lots of colors is the way to go, like this set from Loew-Cornell. We also love pearlescent watercolor sets.
Other basics you’ll want to stock:
Find Inspiration for Projects
I love pinning art projects! It’s my favorite way to come up with new ideas. You’re welcome to follow my art boards and find some inspiration yourself! I have a bunch of them. Or just follow me on Pinterest for all my pins.
- Homeschool Art – Lower Elementary
- Homeschool Art – Upper Elementary
- Homeschool Art – Middle School
- Homeschool Art – High School
- Homeschool Art – Crafts
- Homeschool Art – Sculpture / 3D
- Homeschool Art – Photography
- Homeschool Art – Clay / Ceramics
- Homeschool Art – Polymer Clay
- Homeschool Art – Printmaking
- Homeschool Art – History
The Giveaway Has Ended ~ subscribe so you never miss another one!
Giveaway open to residents of the U.S., age 18 and older. Winner must respond to email within 48 hours. Giveaway will end on Friday, June 3, 2016 at 11:59pm PST.
Reminder: This is an electronic raffle system. Every entry gains you more “tickets”. If you aren’t able to participate in one of the entry points, no worries! You still have a chance to win. Entering all entry points just increases your chances. Enter below:
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.