Feb 24, 2023
I ran a Family Paint session on Sunday and it was a true delight, as painting with children always is. As I welcomed my first guests through the door a little girl named Izzy pressed a cupcake into my hand, homemade, but not the kind you can eat; it was made from colourful pieces of foam, stuck together with sticky tape and labelled ‘cupcac’ for good measure. Izzy nailed the brief: we were painting cupcakes that day.
As we waited for everyone to arrive my guests had time to settle into their seats, pop on their artist aprons, and get their paint colours on their palettes ready to go. We looked at the different example paintings and entertained different colour options. Some fun-sized snacks went into the fridge, and some of the bigger artists brewed a cuppa at our complimentary T2 tea station. The little artists went to town at the doodle station, a drawing table set up with brown paper, crayons and markers. There were cupcakes popping up left, right, and centre!
Once everyone was ready to rumble, we kicked off with our ‘Warhol Cupcakes’ painting. I explained how to use the different painting tools, and the kids practiced their brushstrokes in the air. I showed off Izzy’s foam cupcake, and put it next to my painting so everyone had a visual reference. Then, we put on our special ‘Family Paint’ playlist and began! This playlist is choc-a-block full of Disney, family movie theme songs, and other wholesome tunes. There’s nothing quite like getting go of all your worries and painting for fun while belting out Frozen’s ‘Let it Go‘ at the top of your lungs. Just ask Izzy.
Between painting steps there’s some time for snacks, drinks, and more doodling at the table. The kids’ creativity goes into overdrive as they flock between the creative stations, switching between paintbrush and pen. This is a great activity for children, as they learn how their imagination and ideas translate on canvas and paper through different mediums.
The creative process is full of ups and downs, and highs and lows, and sometimes our guests, especially the little ones, feel the whole spectrum of these emotions during a painting session. We can feel like our painting ‘should’ look a certain way, and then get disappointed when our brushstrokes don’t match our vision. It’s totally understandable to feel this, and we think it’s a valuable learning opportunity for our budding artists. Sometimes a child (or an adult!) will ask me or their parents to ‘fix’ their painting, but I like to gently encourage them to move through this process themselves. In my cupcake session, one little girl was upset because she had ‘too much’ icing on her cupcake. I asked her, if she were picking a cupcake, if she’d choose one with a little bit of icing or a lot. She smiled. We talked about different options of editing her painting, but in the end she decided to keep her icing in all its glorious abundance.
In my opinion, the real fun of a painting session comes towards the end, once everyone has almost finished their painting. You begin to get a real sense of the finished piece, and how all your individual brushstrokes have come together. This is where we add our final highlights and finishing touches, as well as customising our pieces with any unique additions! I added a cherry on top of my cupcake, and enjoyed painting it so much that I added two more beside it. We held a poll about which sprinkles were the perfect cupcake topper: the long skinny kind, or the round hundreds and thousand kind. Judging by the final results it seems the answer was that both kinds were better than any one, and the more of each the merrier.
Izzy’s mum added a chocolate freckle on top of her cupcake, and Izzy tried to one-up her by painting several chocolate freckles flying around the background, as well as the bag they came from, naturally. On other paintings I saw the addition of marshmallows, and sprinkles flying through the air. This is why painting with children is so much fun: you give them a chance to set their imaginations soaring, and soon discover their creativity knows no bounds.
Once everyone finished adding their final touches, we signed off with our artist signatures and I took some happy snaps of everyone’s sweet cupcake creations. While the parents packed up, the kids and I doodled on the table, adding some flowers and frogs (I think we’d all had enough of cupcakes by then). Once everyone had left, I took a moment to admire the doodle table, covered in creative expression. I always do this, and sometimes even keep little sections of it to use as wrapping paper.
Painting with children is wholesome family fun, where you can come together and create special memories (and then hang them up proudly in your home!). In one session, your little ones will learn to paint using different colours and techniques, learn to navigate their own creative process, and develop their problem solving skills.
But why just come to one session, when you can create your own home gallery? We have two brand new Family Paint options coming your way. In March, have a whale of a time painting our new ‘Whale Tale‘ piece, customising your underwater worlds to your heart’s content. Then, in April, our new ‘Funny Bunny’ painting is hopping onto our calendar as an Easter special. An all-time first, this session blends painting with crafting, where we decorate our finished bunnies with googly eyes and fluffy cotton tails!
Keep an eye on our Family and Kids Events calendar for more information about our upcoming sessions, and to book a seat for you and your mini artists (we recommend ages six and above). Meet you at the easel!