How I Encourage and Teach Painting in our Homeschool

The older two boys finally decided it was a crafty/ painting kind of day.  I was an art minor in college and always wanted to be an art teacher so I don't find teaching art all that intimidating as part of our homeschooling.

I know I'm pretty fortunate that way and not everyone is as artsy.

However there are wonderful computer programs and websites that teach all sorts of art techniques to kids and adults alike so that shouldn't stop anyone from allowing their kids to be creative.  I have a few tips for encouraging creativity and painting in your homeschool too; they're all italicized throughout the post.

After thinking about it and talking it over we decided we all really wanted to paint.

I began looking up pictures of Aurora Borealis Paintings on Pinterest and we were all blending colorful background together.

I wasn't sure if this would be too difficult to walk the boys through verbally so I decided to paint alongside them and show them how I was working my paint.  We mixed and blended until we had backgrounds we really liked and then set them aside to dry.  

Again they each had their own way and I assured them that no way was the wrong way.  When they asked for help I offered it but try to keep any of my critiques to a minimum.

My background
Alec's background

Ian's background

Once our backgrounds were dry we started painting in our trees.  

I showed them how I make conifers by using a fan brush and rotating my wrist.   We were only using black paint for a silhouetted look so we didn't have to worry about shades and highlights.  

They were coming out wonderfully when Alec decided to fill in some of the white still showing behind his trees by painting in a big black mountain... and then he didn't like it.  I had him stop what he was doing and go back to the computer to look up some ideas on ways he could fix his mistake; we always look for inspiration and ideas when needed.  

He was worried his picture was ruined but I assured him that we can usually fix any mistake but the key was to make sure we knew what we wanted to do before we started to do anything.   Painting while panicked usually does not end well. 

Adding in trees 
After looking around at other paintings we decided to just make a wavy line around the same height as his mountain and make that the ground while extending any trees higher to make them look natural.  

He LOVED it and was so happy I was able to help him fix it.  I try so hard to make sure they love their project when they're done.  

Ian decided he wanted to add some snow to his project.  I taught him how to dot some white paint onto his trees and then when he was ready I showed him how to use a toothbrush to flick the white paint onto the paper to simulate snow.  

Sure it was messy and it was close to dinnertime and I really just wanted to clean up but I knew it was important to him.  I also know that art can be messy and I don't want my kids to worry about making a small, easily cleaned up mess, when they're in the creative zone.  

Flicking snow 

His snow scene

I quickly put in the rest of my trees and we cleaned up the kitchen together.  I love that even though we all worked side by side all three of our paintings are completely unique.   I think it's important for the kids' ideas to be encouraged and nurtured.  

Linking Up:

Awesome Life Friday



  1. So pretty! I love seeing how unique my children's art projects turn out.

    1. I do too! It's neat to see everyone's different styles.

  2. Wow, their backgrounds are beautiful!!! They did amazing jobs and I love that they made it their own.

  3. I love your method and how you dealt with what he thought was a mistake. So much more than an art lesson. #FabFridayPosts

  4. This turned out so great!! You are such a good teacher!!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I am with you! I love how differently they all turned out. They are all very pretty too. Also, encouraging your kids to do things differently is something that is definitely, and sadly, not encouraged in public schools, at least in all of my art classes. It was kind of implied that "Yes, I know they will all turn out differently because we can't all paint the same, but...don't get too crazy with uniqueness." Which is really unfortunate, I think. #fabfridaypost

    1. I remember feeling that way about art in school too; all our paint colors were poured for us already and the assignment was to follow along. I wanted my boys to be able to express themselves with their art since I feel that is a huge part of why we do art.

    2. Exactly! I took art to be creative and because I enjoyed learning new ways to create things, not copy what everyone else is doing.

  7. Beautiful! I so appreciate how you took the time to explain to them (and us) not only what they might do, but why. Thanksfor sharing with Awesome Life Friday.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Prime Purchases I Made in March

Alec's Accepted Student Day at JWU

Day in the Life: Friday Favorites