Folk Art Painting Activity

2.3 based on 3 ratings
Updated on Aug 16, 2012

If your little one doesn't think he's creative, let him know it's never too late to start painting. Grandma Moses was a famous American folk art painter who didn't begin until she was 78 years old! This folk art painting lets kids develop watercolor and painting techniques with an easy theme. Many folk artists use scenes from their everyday lives for inspiration, because even everyday tasks can be extraordinary. Have your child base his painting on a scene around your house or a daily task.

What You Need:

  • Thick paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes in various sizes
  • Cup of water

What You Do:

  1. Have your child lightly draw out the picture that he wants onto the thick paper. (Grandma Moses rarely painted what she was looking at; instead she painted out of her memory.)
  2. Next, he can create a sky by brushing on a layer of watercolor. In between different colors, it's best to wash out the brush. Remember that the more water you add, the lighter the colors will be. Once one layer dries, he can always go back and add another layer to darken it.
  3. Now he can add hills and mountains, making sure to paint all the way to the edges of the paper.
  4. Finally, "colorblock" in the basic shapes of trees, houses and animals. Remember when "blocking" in with paint, you are just showing the shapes so it doesn't have to be perfect.
  5. Wait at least an hour for the painting to dry completely.
  6. Using colored pencils, draw in the details. In folk art, details don't have to be perfect. For example, you don't need realistic faces or animals - the idea is to show your own vision.
  7. If your child is using water-soluble colored pencils, he can go back and brush some clear water over the painting to give it a more painterly look. Folk art often looks flat and two-dimensional.