Pass It On: trying to teach my daughter

It is Spring break here in Oregon and what better way to celebrate than to paint flowers. With extra time on her hands (Courtney, not me), I wanted to inspire her to paint. She loves art. Our quick sketch idea turned into quite an ordeal—five hours. First we looked for inspiration at—a great site of royalty free photos by creatives for creatives. We picked a flower we both liked and sent it to the printer. Easy, right?… No. The printer was not going to cooperate. An hour later, with printer “woman handled” (ugh), we had our inspiration printed out.

Inspiration Photo from

Now, to transfer it onto the paper. I like to use the grid method in order to enlarge (see earlier post of “June Foxglove”) the picture. In this case we decided to paint it at actual size, so we used graphite paper which allows you to trace right over the printout, thereby transferring the image to the water color paper. Place the graphite paper under the print-out and over the paper, trace the drawing.


Because we were using my old college art supplies that are over 20 years (yes, I attended college when is was 5 years old) we thought it would be great to do some test painting. This is always helpful to get a feel for your supplies. Simple enough for Courtney, my ten year old. Supplies include Dr. Ph. Matins liquid water colors and Dick Blick liquid water color magic, graphite paper, pencils, vinyl eraser, inexpensive practice watercolor paper, water, brushes, paper towels. As we improve, we plan to purchase better quality supplies. The Dr. Martins Dyes are actually very good quality, but mine are old and have separated from sitting.


Test colors

Next, we started on our background. Courtney and I have different plans on what to do. I love that about creative people. We all have our own ideas. I find that this is when most creatives get stuck. Either they are afraid to put the brush to paper, or they don’t like how it looks at first and get frustrated. Artists CAN NOT be fearful or they will never improve.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”—Pablo Picasso.

I noticed CJ (Courtney) getting very frustrated as I looked on thinking what an amazing job she was doing. She had an idea, and I couldn’t help her create her vision—she was frustrated. I encouraged her to walk away and come back to it later. She is a perfectionist for sure. Here are our backgrounds that are drying completly before we move on to the next step of painting the flowers.

Holly’s background

Courtney’s background

So why write all this and call it “Pass It On”? Because as parents, adults, teachers. aunts, uncles sisters, brothers, friends—whatever we call ourselves, we owe it to the future generation to pass on our skills. I encourage all of you who read this to pass on the talents the Lord has given you—to not only your own children, but also, to other people’s kids. Whether you teach sunday school, art, horse back riding, chess club, cooking or gardening classes, I encourage you to volunteer in your community. Pass It On!

P.S. Jacksonville Elementary will have their Annual Art Exhibition in the gym on April 6, 2010. Hope to see you there.

Starting the flowers.

What we ended up with today. I celebrate young artists. CJ did a great job overcoming her fears. Pass it on.

2 thoughts on “Pass It On: trying to teach my daughter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s