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Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Turkey Painting Play Date

Disclaimer - I did NOT grow up drawing or painting and tried my best to stay as far away from visual art as possible.  I loved performance art and music.  I did not enjoy coloring and used to have a hard time drawing a stick figure.  Thankfully, things have changed.  A few years ago, I took a painting class and fell in love with painting.  I write all of this to assure you that no your art background, you can absolutely pull off the following. 

The 'Sample' Painting (I wasn't at all happy with the feather colors & created some different colors for the girls)

A couple of weeks ago I let the Princess invite 6 classmates over for a 'Painting' play date.  The Princess and the Baby LOVE to paint and I had been wanting to have them paint Thanksgiving Turkeys for a while to hang in the house during November.  Having a big group paint would be fine, right?  Thankfully, it was.  The girls had a blast and were so very proud of their creations.

First, I purchased eight 16 x 20 canvases from Hobby Lobby that sells 2 packs for $8.  I also purchased acrylic paints, foam brushes to paint the background color, and a few small brushes (I already owned several medium sized brushes).  You will need the following paint colors, Burnt Orange or Georgia Clay (background), Dark Chocolate (Turkey body), Medium Green (Feather), Santa Red (Feather), Banana Cream (Feather), Jack-O-Lantern (Feather), Black (eyes and outline).  The paints I chose were all 'Americana' brand simply because they were the cheapest.

I set the paint area up in our garage with four card tables.  Thankfully, the paint came off of my tables but, in hindsight, I should have placed cheap vinyl tablecloths on top of each table.  Mom fail!  Each place had a canvas,  cup of water, 3 brushes (foam, medium brush & small detail brush), a paper plate with the globs of the paints needed for their painting, a piece of white chalk, and several paper towels for dabbing.  I also had a hairdryer plugged in close by to help with the drying process at the end of the paint session.  Everything except the paint was set up and ready when I left to pick up the Princess and her friends from school.

 As soon as we arrived from school I had the girls deposit their backpacks, quickly get aprons on, and sit at a place for instructions.  I showed the girls the 'sample' and explained how they would paint their turkey.  The first step was to paint the background color.  I went around to each girl and squirted some of the burnt orange color directly onto their canvases and had each girl use a foam brush to paint the color all over the canvas and onto the sides of the canvas.  It is important to have your painters spread the paint out or you will use a TON of unnecessary paint and it will take forever to dry.

Have each painter paint the background color all over the canvas
Once the girls were finished painting the background color, I had them come inside to have an after-school snack.  I then prepared each girl's paint plate with all of the colors needed to paint their turkey.  *Note - Acrylic paint dries very quickly which is good for quick drying on the canvas, but that also means you can't prepare paint plates too far in advance because the paint dries on the plate making it harder to use.

Paint plates

Before you use chalk to outline the turkey, you will need to make certain that all of the canvases are dry.  I had a couple of girls who had a few spots on their canvas that were wet and used the hair dryer to quickly dry the canvases.

Next, I had the girls use chalk to draw the circle for the body and a smaller circle for the head.  You will need to use one canvas to show your painters where to draw their circles.  I also went around and checked to make sure their circles weren't too large or too small.  The brilliant thing about using chalk is that it wipes right off after the painting dries!

After each painter has draw the turkey's body, have your painters start at one side and draw feathers on the turkey.  They will need help getting started but it was fun seeing their creativity take over!

Use chalk to outline the turkey and feathers
Now the fun begins.  Have your painters paint the turkey's body with brown first using their medium sized brush.  They need to try to get two coats of brown paint on their turkey's body to cover the burnt orange background.  Next, have your painter use their medium sized brush to paint the turkey's feathers.  My group wanted to paint the feathers in a pattern like the sample, but I did give them free reign to paint the feathers however they felt led. 

Please excuse the garage.  :)  A garage overhaul is planned for early spring with much better organization. 

Once all of the feathers were painted I had the girls draw the turkey's legs and feet (yellow), eyes (black), beak (yellow), and waddle (red) with their detail (small) brush.  I also taught them how to roll the brush into a point after you dip it in a small amount of paint to create a finer point.  My painters were only 7 years old but were very attentive, except when they were giggling about this or that.

The last detail to add to the painting is a coordinating color outlining each feather and black outlining the body of the turkey.

The Princess, the Baby and their friends has a really great time.  I won't lie.   It was slightly stressful at times, but I was so blessed to see them interact, have fun learning, and hear their sweet laughs.  I am very glad that I hosted the painting play date.  In fact, the Princess has asked for a Snowman paint next so stay tuned.

Their masterpieces
The Baby's Turkey has a super hero mask!

Simply Gloria

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