Category Archives: Rain-beaux

Under the sea nets

Rain – beaux ( art project)

I taught an art and craft class to a group of young kids recently.
We did an under the sea theme and had collected all the plastic sacks that oranges come in. Often red onions come in them too.

It was a delightful little class project and ideal as an idea to do with younger kids or preschoolers.
I wish I’d saved egg shells and washed and crushed them. I once did an under the sea project as a kid and I vividly remember the teacher sticking down the egg shells as the murals sea bed.

Masking fluid is great way to do sea weed. Blow it with a straw on the canvas. Then dry with hair dryer. Then wash over it with blue ink or food colouring. Dry it again. Peel off the masking fluid as seen above. It is liquid latex that dries and comes off like mozzarella cheese.

Just before Christmas I did a huge birthday mural for a pre-school in the Hunter Valley. One of the themes was ‘Under the Sea’. I blew the masking fluid in this way to create sea weed.

But that’s a bit complex compared to the simple under the sea craft we were tackling in the little pre-schoolers art class.

First each child drew with a white wax crayon on some paper. Making all the marks for sea weed and the ocean floor and the outlines of fish.
Next step was to wash through this with blue food coloring. The painted wash resists the wax and creates a lovely effect.

While still wet, get the kids to paint in darker blue at the bottom of the picture to signify the sea bed.
Next step is to dry the back ground. I always use hair dryers in my classes as its quicker than waiting for the sun to dry it and lately there has been sooooo much rain here in Sydney.

Next step was to use the plastic orange sacks and begin to put them over the fish to indicate fishing nets.
The kids used split pins to press through net and paper to attach.

I gave them fabric to cut up and use as well as leaves from the garden to make fish (as seen above).

This is an octopus caught in a net and a sword fish. Love it.

This was one of my favourite ones. Five year old Annabel did sea urchins out of fabric and overlaid a net.

The boys loved doing all the fish and collecting leaves in the garden and sticking netting over “their catch”.

One of the girls did a mermaid with scales. Love the coconut bra. Lol.

Another simple idea is to do this same concept but do butterflies, blue sky and nets.
Very simple but an effective craft they love to do.

So next time you get a bag of oranges or onions, save the plastic netting for your kids next craft.
Love to see photos of what others come up with if you want to send them to me.
Welcome also to all my new blog followers recently.
Happy crafting
Xxx Jo



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Painting tulips in a vase (kids)

Rain- beaux ( art for kids)

How absolutely gorgeous are my tulips!!!
As the sun shone in my front door I took the above photo of the stunning tulips a friend of mine ( tara) gave me.
They inspired me to do a class on still life and tulip painting.
Although we have explored the whole ” flowers in a vase” in a previous blog or two …. It’s still such a winner as a composition for kids, and I hadn’t actually done it with my home schooled art students class.
I took in the vase of tulips for them to paint.
The results were sensational. Especially given that some of these students are only ages 3-6!!!

Here’s how they did it:
Firstly we worked off a cream/ butter coloured cardboard.

The students printed down a textured wallpaper print onto the cardboard with grey paint.

I’ve got lots of these, they are so great for printing textures down on art works.

My friend tara found 40 books of these wallpapers in a throw out pile from a wallpaper shop. They were all deleted ranges.
Going to a wallpaper and fabric library is a fantastic place to find deleted ranges and bits and pieces for craft for free.

Love this piece of fabric (above).
Next we painted black onto a kitchen sponge and painted half the cardboard. A piece of masking tape or paper is a good way to tape off the table section before sponging on with black.

Next the students cut vase shapes out of bug paper. Any paper or wrapping paper will work for the vase.
Before you glue the vase shape down, sponge grey paint on one side to shade the vase and make it look more 3D.

After the vase is glued onto the surface of the art work, get a ruler and print down green stems with the edge of the ruler or a folded piece of cardboard.

Printing skinny shaped flower stems often looks a lot better than letting the kids paint in flower stems with a brush. They always tend to paint very fat, sausage looking stems on flowers, I’ve found over the years of teaching. And this often ” ruins” the look of the art work.

Next : paint leaves into the stems with a yellow-green.

Lastly: use a spatula or palette knife to dab on orange and red tulips, thickly onto the top of stems.

Big, swirley roses looked good too!

Wonderful art work for a Christmas gift – especially if framed!!
Op shops have great 2nd hand frames. Just pay for matt boards to be cut to fit size of 2nd hand frame, from any local frame shop.

Art and craft is the new black…..
Happy painting everyone. Xx


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Kids Flower Painting

Rain- beaux ( art project)

One of my most favourite things in the whole world is the ” proud as punch” look on little kids faces when they have done a stunning art work. It lights up my world as a kids art teacher.

I’m just in the process of planning our school holiday programe, Art Station for kids. Last year the classes were full and at the end of all the classes we put an art exhibition together of all the kids work through the year

170 people attended the opening.
There were many proud little faces that day.

This was another one of my favourite pieces.
Anyway – back to the flower painting Eden did.

Firstly she painted a canvas lime green acrylic.
Dried it with a hair dryer between each step. Then pasted red circle stickers along the bottom of the canvas and painted the foreground of the painting in teal green, over the stickers.

Next she peeled the stickers off and circle shapes were left in lime green as shown.

Next was the exciting bit – painting tulips over the top.

Eden painted the tulip petals on clear cellophane and then printed them down onto the canvas surface.

Next she printed down an orange daisy shape the same way and then the stems were roughly painted on by hand.
She finished off with a navy blue daisy – all painted on cellophane first and then printed down.

Note: she has painted her name totally backwards and not realised it. That made me laugh.
She finished off with white dots all over.
But she is so proud of her artwork and it hangs proudly by her bed with another two pieces which are all done using this similar technique.

Cellophane creates a lovely printed effect that hand painting doesn’t achieve. It’s very effective and I highly recommend it.

This is ¬†another one of Eden’s I framed. It was done in the same way.

Proud little sisters at the opening of the Kids Art Station exhibition. ( my Eden and my Jessica).

For those who may live in Sydney and want dates for holiday classes
Tues 27 sept. 10am & 12
Wed 28 sept. 10am & 12 o clock

Please email enquiries to

I know I have alot of blog readers all over the world. So for those in uk, nz etc etc. I’ll be sure to post more art ideas from the classes at a later stage.

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Painting – flowers in a vase

Rain -Beaux. ( art project).

How wonderful to have a big painting on the wall done by your child / children.

Right now I am sitting in china town in a little hair salon getting my hair chemically straightened by the real pros at this game…. And writing my blog at the same time. My untamed lions mane will be dead straight locks of hair in a few hours. Why not use the time to blog!!!!

My niece and nephew (4 yrs & 8yrs) did this painting for their new house last week with me when we were on the gold coast. My girls and I flew up to the Gold Coast in Queensland last week for $35 each. I love a bargain. I’m nic named the ” bargain queen”. Gotta love those cheap flights on jetstar.
Anyway – we decided to do mum ( my sister in law) a painting. Here’s the Prelude:

I went into this cute florist to buy my sister in law some real tulips. A small bunch was $35 !!!!
I nearly choked with shock. That bunch of 7 tulips was the same price as my air ticket from Sydney to the Gold Coast!!!
I smiled politely and quickly popped the tulips back in their bucket in the shop and hurried out.
Let’s rather buy a canvas and 5 tubes of paint for $30!!
And paint the tulips in a vase and then you have them forever.
So that is what we did. It looks gorgeous.

I also did this same project a couple of weeks ago with an even bigger canvas and 4 kids.

I got the kids to lie next to their black canvas to show just how big it was. This painting was their pressie for their mum ( my lovely friend Claire from Zimbabwe ).

First step: was to cover the back ground with neutral coloured paint using large kitchen sponges. Little Zara ( 4yrs) really got into this part and loved feeling included in this big project with her older siblings.

We used masking tape to section off the table part of the painting. They used burgundy and purple paints to do this with big brushes. Each step was dried in between with hair dryers.

Next they masked off a simple vase shape with masking tape. John painted in the vase with white paint. ( as seen in pic above).
Once dry, before removing the masking tape from around the vase shape, they sponged a grey shade down the left hand side of the vase. This gives the 3D illusion that the vase is a cylinder shape.
Then the masking tape is removed. Next they got a tube of olive green paint and squeezed the stem shapes straight out of the tube. Down the centre of the canvas and into the vase. Time for the flowers.

I got some cellophane and the kids painted the tulips onto that first and then printed them down onto the surface of the canvas at the top of the flower stem.

Flowers look better in odd numbers than even numbers. 3 or 5 often looks good and makes a complete composition.

Rough leaf shapes were dabbed onto the stems using a lighter green and a kitchen spatula.

Once the flowers are dry, the kids used their fingers to smear on darker shades of red over the orange.

This is Ben drying the painting while on the wall. The excitement of seeing it hung…. Big smiles and a wow from dad when he came in the door.
My brother was the same – most impressed with his kids art work.

Needless to say… So was I.
We then sprayed over the whole canvas with 3 coats of hair spray to give it protection and a glossy sheen.


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Marbling with paints

Rain-Beaux ( art project)

This is such a fun project……
But so, so messy. So I’ll state that right from the outset.

We ended up hanging all our marbling art works on the washing line to dry to get them out the way.

Firstly you need some old baking trays with about an inch of water in each.
Mix jars of oil paints in different colours in each jar.

The oil paint needs to be very thinned out / runny so you can pour this on top of the water. I used thinners and linseed oil to mix the paints and thin them down.

Swirl oil paint droplets around to make patterns.

Lay paper flat on the surface of the water and the oil marbling effect sticks to the paper. The kids were stoked with the outcome and we decided to laminate our art works to make sets of place mats for the table

Here are all the laminated art works below.

Next we tried another form of marbling with milk, dishwashing liquid and food colouring.

Fill the trays with milk instead of water. Drop food colouring into the milk.

Once that is done, put little drops of detergent on top of food colouring.
Colours begin to swirl on their own.

Dip paper on top of the surface of the milk and lay flat.

The results were truely amazing and great to do with really young kids too.

A nice gift for Grandparents, to do a set of laminated place mats done by the toddler. Tie up with a satin bow and place in gift bag.

I do recommend art smocks to be worn especially when doing the oil paint version of marbling. And have a large ream of paper and a large surface/ table covered in newspaper ready to place wet art works.


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Melting wax crayons

Rain- Beaux ( art idea for kids)

On Friday night we had our first official Stanes family art night!

The girls were excited to not have to go to bed after dinner and could stay up ” late” and paint with mum and dad.
Very excited …. When they heard they could play with candles!!!
Under strict mum and dad supervision we allowed them to melt all the wax crayons they wanted to, onto thick water colour paper.

Jessica getting into it.

Dad lighting the candle with Eden.

Then they washed through the melted wax with inks. ( food colouring or any other water colour inks work fine).

The effect is beautiful. Above you can see how dropping rock salt ( or table salt) onto the wet ink causes an amazing effect.

Because the girls had SO much fun I decided to teach this technique at my home schooled kids art class on Wednesday.
They loved it too. A bit scary with 11 kids and fire!!!
But I got the mums to assist me and each child had a cup of water close at hand in case they quickly needed to snuff out the flame.
Oil pastels don’t work by the way. We found that out the hard way.

Jessica was most proud of her art work and told me it was an outerspace galaxy.

The salt dries crusty by the morning after. We then dusted it off onto the grass outside the next morning.

These were a few pieces from Wednesday’s class. The photo does not do the work justice as the detail and colours are so vibrant and intricate.

I thought 3 yr old Zara’s one was very mature and sophisticated. Framed up in a huge frame and Matt board this will look stunning.

A great way to be creative WITH your kids. Matches are now safely put away. Or my girls would be up at the crack of dawn before I’m awake trying to recreate this technique.


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Masking fluid trees

Rain- Beaux ( art project for adults or kids)

Tree scape in chocolate tones:

This is a lovely and effective , yet simple art project.
Doing a tripteche ( a series of three canvases that go together )

You need:
Liquid latex/ masking fluid
A drinking straw
Hair dryer
Brushes and acrylic paint

Art spectrum make a good masking fluid- under $10 per bottle and this will last ages.

Decide on a good colour scheme, that tones well with your home and wall colours. The above canvases will be hung on a chocolate/ mocha coloured feature wall in a foyer of a home I am helping to design.

Firstly: Pour masking fluid on canvas and tilt up to allow the fluid to run down the canvas to make the trunks / stems of the trees.

Begin to blow the masking fluid to create tree branches

Do all three canvases in a similar way and then use hair dryer to dry the masking fluid completely. It won’t work if patches are still sticky and wet.
Once dry, paint in the hills with a large brush. Dark brown was used in this case. Paint must be watered down – not too thick.

Next use the lighter tones of watered down paint – in this case creames, beiges and mocha colours.
Fade these colours up the whole surface of the canvas in big horizontal brush strokes.
Best to do all three canvases at the same time so they match up when hung on the wall together.

Don’t forget to paint around the edges of the canvases too.
Then dry all the surfaces with hair dryer. The masking fluid is basically “liquid plastic”- therefore it resists the paint. ( provided paint is not too gluggy and thick. !!!)

Now the fun bit: use the eraser and rub off the masking fluid. It pulls off in long strands, like mozzarella cheese.
This will expose the white canvas and tree shapes start to emerge.
When all the masking fluid has been removed, you have your tree scapes.
I always say, “Less is More!”
I think the simplicity of these three simple trees makes such a striking art work for a wall. I don’t think it needs any thing more ( ie: if you are doing this project at home with your kids, they will want to add flowers and leaves and a rainbow etc……) no, don’t wreck it – please. Less IS more!

A simple coat of varnish or a glaze or even three coats of hair spray will seal the canvases nicely and give a satin sheen to your work. Hang on a coloured feature wall if you can.
Have fun.

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