Why the Tree of Life?



Still not thick enough. Will have to add even more color next time. We used two blues and just one yellow this time. You can't tell in the end product, but Kirven mostly painted lines, declaring them to be 'L', and then 'E', and then he ended up with a grid of yellow and blue.

Dunagan was very upset again during painting time. I had envisioned the two of us sharing materials, but he really, really, really, wants to do it by himself--- no touching, no telling. The problem is that we're sharing paints with Kirven, and the paints would quickly get all mixed up into three pots of green. Last week, Dunagan was upset, but didn't tantrum, and we fingerpainted afterward. This week, he had no interest in doing any other type of painting, wanted to be left alone to paint his way (and who wouldn't?) with 'his' paintbrush and paper, and cried the entire time. Of course, our windows were open, so the neighbors probably got to hear the whole thing, and Dunagan can (and did) cry for a very, very, very, long time.

So, I'm planning on buying a third paint board and brush. I have some children's watercolor paper already. The only thing I'm not sure about is the paint. I think I could maybe get away with diluted tempera for him? Because, really, the Scuola paints are not non-toxic, so I don't really want to let him paint with those unsupervised. But, I think that I need to include him with his own set of materials and give him his own space at the table to do them in, otherwise, painting time is going to get to be too hard on me between him crying and Ayla fussing on my back in the Ergo. Kirven had a grand ol' time despite the hysterics, and really sank into the activity.


  1. I am not sure exactly what type of paints you need for Dunagan, but we made paints with unsweetened KoolAid and the kids had fun. You can make it thicker like poster paint, but we liked watery better with the brushes. The best part is they smell good, too. I was really surprised how colorful they were. http://the6kaisers.blogspot.com/2008/06/wonka-paints.html

  2. Thanks, Sarah! That's a good idea. I dyed our playsilks with koolaid, but never thought to paint with them. I'm going to try the tempera first because I'm hoping that it will mimic the watercolors well, but I will definitely be trying the koolaid paint when Ayla starts wanting to paint, too.

  3. I mix the watercolors up twice a thick as I think I need to, and they come out just about right. Which reminds me, I need to place an order for more paint....

    For Dunagan, when my kids were little I used those watercolor paints that came in wells on a strip -- crayola makes a non-toxic set -- the paint is a dried block, then kids dip the brush in water, then wet the paint with it to get the color, you know the kind I mean? The other possibility is finger paints mixed with a bit of water, which should give you the effect you're looking for I think, in a pretty securely non-toxic form.

  4. Hey Shelley!

    I had thought about the dry watercolors, and we have some, but Dunagan is wanting exactly the same set-up. I've ordered three jars, a paint brush and another board from Enki Supplies. I hadn't thought about diluting fingerpaints, though. That might work better than tempera. My husband mentioned last night that he thought tempera would dry on top of the paper and not really soak in. I think he's right. Maybe the fingerpaints would tint the paper more like watercolor paints. Thanks for the suggestion!