Painting without paintbrushes

Child painting with natural objects

If art is all about process, why limit creativity by limiting the tools? Add an innovative twist to your next painting project by omitting the store-bought paintbrushes.

On an outdoor table or painting easel, provide paint, paper and clothes pegs. Demonstrate how clipping a flower, leaf or bunch of grass in a clothes peg instantly produces a natural paintbrush. Then send the children off in the yard to scavenge for their own unique collection of bristles.

Your budding artists will be quickly captivated as they discover how the patterns and textures of nature can be incorporated into their masterpieces. One child in my class was fascinated by the splotchy print of a clover flower, another by the firework effect of sweet gum seed pods. Another child spent most of his time simply clipping his large collection of brush-making materials in and out of the clothes pegs – the actual painting was merely an accessory.

Enjoy the summer!

P.S. For outdoor art projects, the Help yourself trolley can be wheeled outdoors.

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