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Activities for children: Painting with sponges

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Painting with sponges is ideal to decorate large surfaces. Negotiate with your parents a place on the wall of your room to express your art… If that doesn't succeed, you can always use a sheet of heavyweight watercolor paper (in the largest size).

Summary of materials 

  • 1 large sheet of watercolor paper (to avoid having the paint run)
  • water color paint (gouache, for example)
  • 1 natural sponge without scrubber cut to the size of your choice (small if you are painting on a paper, large if you are painting on a wall)

Here are 4 ideas, from simple to more ""expert"": little by little, you're going to learn how to handle your sponge, to press more or less firmly on your sheet (or on your wall) to obtain the gradients, the texture particular this technique.

1. A simple heart and your first name

To hang on your bedroom door.

  • Choose 4 flashy colors: put them each in a container and dilute them well with water.
  • Dip your sponge in a light color and dab on the sheet: no need to press too much, and cover 100 per cent of the surface.
  • Allow to dry: during this time, rinse out your sponge.
  • Dip you sponge into the flashy color: draw and color the heart by pressing firmly, because it must hide the background. - Make several passes: you will obtain a beautiful gradient color. To accentuate this gradient effect, make a final pass dabbing lightly around your heart.
  • vAllow to dry again, clean your sponge: draw your first name pressing lightly. Enhance your project by making little colored strokes all around: stroke lightly with a single stroke.

2. The elephant

Now that your hand is a little more experienced, you can launch into a little more complex realms!

Paint the general form in the same manner as the heart then allow to dry.

  • Add the eyes and the crown by pressing very firmly.
  • Finish with the tusks.

Some advice

No need to go over and over an area wherever a sliver of white remains! The contours do not need to be very sharp! You will obtain the relief and "visual effects" which are part of the charm of painting with a sponge.

3. A small exotic decoration

A work which would go perfectly above your bed! The ""texture"" of the sponge is ideal for painting nature.

  • Always start by sketching the main elements of the scene: here the palm trees and the sun.
  • Don't hesitate to superimpose several colors: two greens for the leaves, and a little more green dabbed slightly on the brown of the trunk, for example. Note: dab the second color lightly to give a natural and delicate effect.
  • Add the blue sky
  • Finish with the details (flowers, sun, house), always by pressing more firmly so that these colors overlap with those previously applied.

4. The tiger

And why not a pretty tiger in the bathrooms? If you have no more room on the walls of your bedroom, move on to the attack other rooms that your parents forget to decorate.

  • Sponge your feline with a light color.
  • Stroke over the contours with a darker color to make it stand out. As you see, it's not worth adding too many details!

Some advice

Make big strokes! It is better to use a large sponge to make the large stripes.