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Crayon-Resist Still Life

How you can help at home: In this art activity your child creates a still life with crayons and watercolors.

By Nancy Roucher, Consulting Educator

Enhance your child's growing artistic ability and appreciation of everyday things by creating a still life with crayons and watercolors. Fun and magical!

What You'll Need

  • Crayons
  • Paper (colored or white)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Water container
  • Reproductions of still life paintings that can be found on the Internet by famous artists like Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh.

Here's How to Do It

Create a still-life arrangement, using fruits, vegetables, flowers, and everyday objects like a favorite toy, household item or keepsake. Use colorful fabric as a background and set the items on different levels, using cardboard boxes as props.

Begin by inviting your child to draw basic shapes and lines in the arrangement using a light color crayon and pressing hard on the paper. Then continue to fill the shapes with dots and patterns to create texture.

Tell your child to select bright shades of watercolors and to use long strokes to paint over the crayon, rewetting paint as needed. Compare the still life to those by famous artists. How are they alike? How are they different?

Nancy Roucher is an arts education consultant from Sarasota, Florida. For 12 years she served as co-director of the Florida Institute for Art Education, a statewide project to help individual school districts implement comprehensive arts education. She consults with schools, museums and arts councils, and has developed a variety of curricular and program materials for arts education.