Depth on Canvas - from guest blogger Megan Harper

Depth on Canvas - from guest blogger Megan Harper

    Hello and welcome to another blog! I hope you are well and enjoying your creative life. This week we are revisiting the canvas idea. Expanding upon the creative possibilities you and your little artists can explore!  As always, be sure to check out The Smiling Hippo shop for all the beautiful colors used in this blog, and check out the other blogs by the rest of the Brand Rep team! On to the art! 

    Last time on my blog, I talked about watercolor canvases and how different they are than paper. This time, I used regular acrylic canvas for some neat tricks to create more depth in your art. For this you’ll need some plain black acrylic paint, something round- like a lid, yarn and your favorite Smiling Hippo paints! 

For this painting, I used an old medicine bottle lid coated in plain black acrylic paint to make circles all over the canvas. 

This will give you a base to fill in for a fun abstract project. Now, acrylic canvas is a little harder to get watercolor to stick to. It kind of bubbles and pools up in weird ways. If you wait for the paint to start setting, you can move it around better to get more coverage. Personally, I like the way it lumps and clumps, it adds character!

    For the background I used my blue glow-in-the-dark pan. The gritty texture made this paint help  it stick to the canvas. I didn’t have to wait for the paint to set at all! The big chunky glitter pans also were easier to use on this particular material. Now for the big reveal! I love the way the paints clumped and pooled, the texture is so neat! The glow paint makes the outline of the bubbles pop in the dark.

Sorry it’s a little blurry. Getting good pictures in the dark is tough sometimes! I can’t wait to see this during the night when there isn’t any sunshine peeking through the curtains. The glow-in-the-dark paints are some of my favorite Smiling Hippo creations.

    Now, without further adieu, Kids Corner!
This week I followed the same kind of idea, black acrylic to make outlines to color in. For my little’s painting, I used string covered in acrylic to make abstract flowers. I recommend using gloves for this, because you will get messy! I took about 18 inches of yarn and coated it in paint then laid on the canvas in wavy petalish lines. After a minute or so, I lifted the yarn off and ended up with this:


There were some areas where the yarn was moved, little hands love to help! And I wiped away some of the excess in others. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the result, now let’s get painting!
Once again, I let her pick the colors she wanted. I helped a little by getting the big glitter chunks out and scooting them around to separate the pieces. Look at the concentration! She really liked the chameleon color shift pan, she used a TON of it on her art. 

    I’ve said this before but I’ll say it one more time. Over the course of the summer and this wonderful Brand Rep opportunity I have watched my little artist grow and learn. From messy uncoordinated slapping the brush wherever to carefully placed strokes and thinking about what colors she wants. She carefully selects her paints and gets irritated with me when I offer different options. I wish I could read her mind, toddlers are such funny little people!

Here is her final product! She did a great job coloring her flowers and proudly announced “All done!” 

All in all, acrylic canvas is an ok  material to use watercolor on. It was a fun experiment to see how it would react. The water doesn’t sit in one place on the canvas, it needs to be coaxed into place. But the way the water pools on the uneven surface makes it easier to keep the chunky glitter on, where as the watercolor canvas and paper lets the glitter slide around. I challenge you to try both kinds of canvas out for yourself! As always, stretch those creative muscles and try something new! I hope you enjoyed this edition of my blog, as always, stay safe and enjoy your week!

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