A dot story

It all started with a nice invitation from Marie Savart, a French illustrator that I’m following on Instagram:

(sorry, I didn’t succeed in displaying the image properly with the script given by Instagram, an old fashioned screen capture with a link to her post will have to do…)

She kindly offered Easter drawings to color, and suggested to use Q-tips to add paint dots on them. Okay, Q-tips are not very eco-friendly and will soon disappear, one will have to find another solution in the future, but I thought it could be an interesting and fun activity to do with my kids, especially the like one who doesn’t go to school yet. It was a nice and poetic way to prepare for the Easter week-end.

On Friday morning I printed an egg for each of my two kids and then got out Q-tips and gouache paint tubes and explained to them the point of these tools. Since my daughter had decided she wouldn’t color the rabbit I had printed for her the day before, I was happy to sit and do the activity with them on that drawing. I added paint dots behind the dancing rabbit before coloring her with pencils to go with the softness of the drawing.

I surprised myself by how fun I found it. Working with the Q-tip is quite relaxing and playful. And of course my love for dots in general probably helps. Since my children where still occupied when I finished, I ended up printing another egg for myself. I filled it with paint dots also. Turning to the ribbon, I didn’t want to color it in full with paint, but I didn’t want to use the same dots as for the egg either. I started by adding dots in a contrasting color, and then to try something different I tried to add smaller dots in various sizes. And it turned out great! I love the result. It reminds me of vintage flowery fabrics.

I then had to leave the table to make lunch, and since my daughter was very focused on her painting I didn’t have the heart to stop her. I figured it would be okay, and I went to check on her regularly. But of course at some point she didn’t have enough paint left and she decided she would refill it by herself! And of course she didn’t tell anyone, so I had the nice surprise of discovering soon after she had emptied half of the green tube on the palette… -_- As soon as lunch could be left cooking alone I tried to use some of it on other paintings to make sure we didn’t loose too much. Since I really liked the motif I had made on the ribbon and thought it would look great on a dress or skirt, I sketched a quick vintage-style dress to follow this idea. I’m not used to color roughs sketches like that but I didn’t have much choice. My husband saw it later on the table and said it was nice. I feel that the dots in this spring-like color give a very fresh look. That said, I think I like the blue ribbon better.

Dotted dress sketchSo here is my story of a morning spent playing with dots. I found it amusing how an activity suggestion for Easter turned into me designing fabric. ;) I’d like to explore this a little bit more in the future.

So what about the kids? Well, as kids do, they didn’t following the given “rules”, of course ! XD That said, they weren’t exactly rules in the first place, just and idea of something to try together. But I like how situations like this can make you rethink you position and change the way you look at things. You come with an idea of what could be good for them, but they use the tools and materials you provide to make something that’s relevant to them at that moment. And in this case, it was perfect! My intention was to spend some time together and do something fun and relaxing for everyone, while getting in the spirit for Easter. My daughter spent so much time focused on her painting, I’m sure she really enjoyed it and what she did was the thing she needed to do at that time, probably more that what I had imagined. You have to be adaptable and listen to your children, even though it’s clearly not always easy to do (or not always possible, but for activities like this it should be).

So little Miss E. quickly decided to use her Q-tip as a brush and proceeded to cover her drawing with thick layers of paint. As I hadn’t expected that, the paper I had used was way too thin for this treatment, and quickly disintegrated. Since she was desperate I printed another egg on thicker paper and she started all over again. Of course after the green paint incident she painted the whole thing green. I find it a bit sad because there were some very interesting colors underneath.

My son painted a few dots, then decided to totally fill the ribbon with color, maybe influenced by his little sister, and then to pain numbers on his eggs instead of adding dots. Since the Q-tip wasn’t a very practical tool for that, he soon asked me for one of our brushes. And of course in the end he decided to add dots around the egg, with the brush. XD

I’m also sharing the two rabbits he colored for Easter (with felt tip pens this time) because I like the colors he used. I’m often quite impressed by his colorings, he tends to make interesting color choices that work quite well together.

I hope you had a nice time last week for Easter and that you had (or are having) a nice week-en this week also. And that you can find joy and have some peaceful times despite the circumstances. Take care!