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Art Activities: Abstract Art

After Aristotle’s near breakdown on the need to be right all the time, I decided we needed to unwind with some creative expression. Abstract art painting is a fun and relaxing way to achieve that. You can also join in the fun and create something you might even want to hang on your wall as part of your home decor.

Below: “Circle” by Hercules, Aristotle, and Mummy.


What You Will Need:

We had to experiment a little to get a satisfying effect. If you’re stuck for ideas, Youtube has loads of videos with abstract art painting tips. Personally, I found that toddlers are naturals when it comes to abstract art. Aristotle needed a bit more encouragement to help him break away from the need to paint a “proper picture”. You will also notice his blending of colours is quite stark compared to his brother’s free form style. There was also a reluctance to try out different application methods – he didn’t like using the palette knife or his fingers.

Below: “The Big Swirl” by Aristotle.

A work in progress... "The Giant Swirl" by Gavin.

Our tips:

  • Don’t bother with a palette – just apply the paint directly to the canvas. This also means one less thing to wash, which is great.
  • If you don’t like the effect, just add more paint. The best part of using a canvas is that you can always paint over it if you don’t like it.
  • You don’t have to finish the painting in one sitting. You can let it dry and add more paint another day. The layered effect can be quite interesting.
  • You can get quite a lot of interesting effects using fingers alone.

Below: “Fireworks” by Hercules


While abstract art painting is a lot of fun for everyone, it does get messy (unless your child is like Aristotle). As you can see, Hercules really throws in the elbow grease…

Photo Apr 06, 10 46 47 AM

And his colour-mixing palette is his body…

Body Paint

Usually, when you get to this point, it means it’s time to stop because the next part is painting the furniture and making footprints. So unless you’re planning to change your colour-scheme to rainbow, it’s probably best to hose down.

The best part of it is that you’ll have a lovely keep-sake of your child’s early artwork that you can hang up…

Below: “The Rainbow Tree” by Hercules.

"The Rainbow Tree" by Gareth Goh

I should add that I didn’t name the paintings. Aristotle did.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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