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7 yr old

7 yr old

8 yr old

8 yr old

9 yr old

9 yr old

I have been spending the week with my three grandgirls again and it has been chock full of summertime fun. We used the rain day to settle in and draw and paint. The above is what they came up with. They each selected a reference they liked from wet canvas reference library and set to work drawing them and then tracing over their lines with the “Elegant Writer” I have been experimenting with.

Next, they activated the ink lines with a large round watercolor brush filled with water. The next day, they painted in their scenes. All three girls really liked working with this pen and want to do it again. It is great for talking about lights and darks with children. I also think it is a pretty good introductory exercise for teaching watercolor.

I always look forward to seeing what the girls come up with. I do have to help them with seeing angles of lines and widths of things. I talk about shapes and that it is sometimes better to break their subject into shapes and show them that the space between the animals legs or between the bars on the canoes is a shape. I try not to confuse them with too many technical terms all at once, but we did talk about shape, negative space and dark and light this time.


  1. These are wonderful. I’m especially mesmerised by the colourful water in the last one.

    • Thank you, Nicola. The painter chose that reference because of all that gorgeous color on the water. She painstakingly drew out the canoes and textured her background foliage just waiting for the fun she had painting that water!

        • Nicola
        • Posted August 7, 2015 at 4:51 am
        • Permalink

        A wonderful exercise in delayed gratification!

  2. Me too! Love the last one in particular! They have your genes! 😊

  3. Wonderful scenes and pieces of art! Got to love those grandchildren!

    • Thank you, Mary. I think watching them bring an image out is so much fun…and to help them always creates such fun memories.

  4. Beautiful colorful fun paintings by young artist with an artist start. Kudos to a proud grandmother

    • Thank you, bilomathews. Whenever there is a lull, when they visit, they are pulling out their sketchbooks and drawing. I just love it that they “want” to draw and paint.

  5. Inheritance of genes is wonderful to watch, these are beautiful works, you are lucky to have such talented grand kids Leslie, the last one could be by an adult if you didn’t mention the age.

    • I am very very lucky, Padmaja. I do not have to pull teeth to encourage them. They are always asking me, “When are we going to paint, Grandma? Maybe it is inheritance but sometimes I think our children take an avid interest in what we do and just spending the time sharing makes all the difference. Thank you, Padmaja!

  6. These 3 girls are all very talented and clearly take after their grandma. Can’t wait to see more.

    • This is the only painting they did this visit as it took two sessions to complete them. I agree with you about their talent. When it gets quiet, I can often find them on the family room floor with their sketch books drawing and colored pencil painting. The fact that they enjoy drawing is very much like me. Thank you for this comment, Carol!

  7. Just wonderful! Beautiful girls, beautiful pictures!

    • Thank you, Caroline. I had to post them so you would be able to see what they are doing with their painting. Watching them work is so much fun. Just cracks me up; the interest they have in creating.

  8. These are wonderful. What a great time for you.

    • Oh yes, Gretchen. This is always a blast. I remember you saying you enjoy sharing with your Granddaughter, also, but don’t get to since she lives some distance. Thank you, so much!

  9. Wish I’d had someone like you to give me art lessons when I was their age – it’s hard to believe that these AWESOME pictures were painted by such young ladies!

    • They are absolutely fearless about their creations, June. They each have very supportive and good art teachers in their respective schools, also. I am amazed with their knowledge of artists and terminology each time we get together and do something like this. Thank you!

  10. Wow! these girls have talent!

  11. I think my grand daughter would love this too. And I’m thinking an elementary art teacher could use this as a lesson also. Super job.

    • Yes she would! This kind of combines drawing with painting. Sometimes the drawing is a finished work in and of itself. I have two started and shaded and like them just as much before I set in with the watercolor. I will introduce this pen to my drawing students this year, probably near the end of the session when we are working with value. It is fun! I agree with you. This is not so time consuming that it could suffice as an interesting lesson for elementary art. It is good for intro to watercolor, also.

  12. Wonderfully done girls!! It appears talent runs in your family Leslie!

    • Thank you, Susan. I totally agree. I hope they rise up and surpass me. One thing I like about them knowing how to use these different techniques is that they acquire a lifetime skill to fall back on as a free time activity, if nothing else. Certainly is a way to keep boredom at bay!

      • How true. No one should ever be “bored”. Not with so much at hand and so much to learn.

  13. Wonderful paintings. They are lucky to have a talented grandma. Nice to spend time with family.

    • I love doing this kind of thing with the girls. Thank you, ssgt leslie.

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