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Creating a family canvas...

Get the creative juices flowing and fill that empty wall in the process

Do you have a large blank wall someplace about the house and lack the budget to fill it? We do...

For a few years, we've had this grand plan to create a gigantic piece of artwork as a family. Lacking a garden and the nerve to set the kiddos loose with a paintbrush indoors, we've yet to press go...but, a little inspiration gathered from works at the recent Affordable Art Fair in Battersea makes us think our crew (children aged 4&6) may just be ready for the challenge.

A quick visit to the local art supply store gave us extra courage as a GIGANTIC canvas was on sale for £20. What's to lose? So, if you also have a large blank wall a can spare the change to buy a canvas, here's a little family-friendly artwork inspiration we gathered from the show...

So, that lovely mouth could be a bit ambitious, but surely your crew could manage a brightly coloured heart star surrounded by glitter. In fact, glue could cover any mistakes. Glue at the ready!

For us, this piece works due to its composition and contrast. Carefully mix 5 colours for a palette you adore. Getting the colours right is half the battle. Don't like the result? No problem. Cover it all with a layer of gouche and start again.

Abstract all the way. Go for fuzzy and forgiving rather than primped and pristine.

Who doesn't love this little pup--and surely, this something similar could be drawn large with the help of a cheeky drawing book, no? Mix the palette, have the kiddies help draw an animal or object you love and then hand everyone a paint brush. What could go wrong? [famous last words...]

So, we snapped this work because the pairing of the kitten with the rainbow reminded us of a t-shirt we wore until it was stringy and ragged circa 1984. A tad ironic. Bright and somewhat forgiving....and the kiddies would love it. Why not?

It's trite, but true that the devil's in the details...patches of bright contrasting colours, simple forms, meaningless patterns here and there. Lovely. Fish, birds, flowers and beautiful leaf shapes could work well as inspiration.

This work was painted on a grey linen canvas--somehow the darker backdrop makes it a bit punchier to our eye. You could achieve a similar effect by opting for a less-expensive standard white stretched canvas overpainted with a warm shade of grey.

If you find the thought of a large single canvas intimidating, why not go for a large work made up of many smaller works. Paint a few bits of mdf (be sure to buy a few extras) with white gouche and give one to each family member along with a bit of paper trimmed to the same size/shape. Draw. Then paint. So, first, have each family member draw whatever they would like on their bit of wood onto the paper. Then, without drawing onto the mdf, have each family member recreate whatever design they've created on the paper on the bit of board.

Remember. Whatever you do, if you mix a nice palette of 5 colours at the start, you're almost certain to like the result.

A big thank you to the lovely and ultra-talented Angelique Hartigan for our tickets to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea. We love her work and were honoured to receive gratis tickets to attend. Thank you!!

Bumble Box kits are designed to bring families together. We catch animals' footprints in the sand, give the trees a shake to see what's living in there, host a Family Olympics, plant a fairy garden, race homemade boats in the stream...you get the drift. Together, we'll make it through your family-time bucket list.

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