September 21, 2009

Masking Technique

When I decided to do an acrylic painting for our dining room I studied a few books on painting before I began. One of the techniques I liked, but did not end up using, was called masking. This is a process that uses masking tape to cover areas that you do not want painted in order to achieve the desired effect.

Even at really young ages you can start building a bank of art skills for later use. Dabbling with a variety of art skills now can come in handy later, even though the finished product now isn't all that gallery worthy. Plus, children build dexterity and familiarity through this kind of practice.

I gave each of the kids a piece of water color paper - a big deal to them because they are only ever allowed to color on the cheap copy paper from the printer. Then I gave them each several strips of masking tape. They placed it on their paper and then painted one solid color over their entire page. We expedited the drying process with a hair dryer, peeled up the tape, and then started on phase two. Again they placed strips of tape on their page, but this time in different places. Again they were given instruction to cover the page with one color that was different from the first color. We used the dryer before peeling up the tape.

The kids were fascinated with the finished product. Hannah Jane wanted to go on and do a third layer once her paper completely dried. When they were all done I showed them the book with professional paintings done using this technique. They smiled so big and said, "We know how to do that! Ha ha!"

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