My 2 year old comes into my studio everyday to peruse the merchandise. He is endlessly fascinated by MY long-handle paintbrushes, MY expansive collection of acrylic paints, MY heavy papers & oversized canvases. Turning the crank on the behemoth of an easel is also a favorite pastime. I’ve tried to redirect him to his smaller, tidier (and cheaper) kid-friendly art materials many times. But he scoffs at the age-appropriate, stain-free stuff made for little hands.

So I gave in and let him play with my “big kid” supplies….with supervision, of course.

Know what? The kid has it all figured out! He holds the brush well. He knows to rinse and blot it between colors. He has opinions on which colors he wants on the palette and makes it known! In short, crayola doesn’t do anything for him, but he’s a master with the right materials. Who knew?

Lesson learned. I need to give my kiddo more credit. He really does watch everything I do. Geez, no pressure there!

So now I’m enjoying the creative license he is taking when I give him a squirt or two of paint. I’m relieved to have found out that he’s ok mixing cheap craft paint with my good stuff. And we are even collaborating these days on some nifty watercolor backgrounds that I like to use in my illustrations. We paint together and then I scan and save our work digitally. He gets so excited when he sees it on the screen!

To watch him mimic me when I make a row of dots with my brush is just incredible. No words are needed. He just follows where I lead and vice versa. It’s awesome bonding time for us and pretty emotional to see something we created together and will have forever when we’re done. There’s nothing like it.

So go buy a big canvas and some long-handle brushes. Trust me. It’ll be great. Don’t worry of you feel clueless as to where to begin. Your toddler will know what to do.


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About StephanieC

Stephanie Corfee is a freelance artist and designer living in Malvern, PA. She has a colorful, whimsical aesthetic and loves painting on large surfaces, and illustrating on tiny ones.
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