Saturday, May 8, 2010

Go On! Let the Baby Spray Paint!

What harm can it do? It's not like she going to sneak out after you put her to bed with her lullabies and stuffed lovies and go out to tag the city.

And if she does do that...well, at least she'll have mastered proper spray paint technique. I HATE it when I walk by some graffiti and I see those big splotches with drips coming down, like the tagger accidentally got the spray paint too close to the wall. Amateurs, seriously.

To teach your baby to spray paint, you will need:
  • BIG paper. Seriously, spray paint is not a miniature art. We use those big pads of Strathmore drawing paper, but rolls of newsprint would also work awesomely.
  • spray paint
  • a vertical surface, not an easel. An easel just isn't big or vertical enough. Find a clothesline or a fence to clip your paper to, or attach it to the backs of a couple of chairs that you've got outside. You are outside, aren't you? Because you also need to be outside.
1. Show your child where to stand to maintain the proper distance from the paper. This is really important, because it's instinctive, it seems, to want to creep in closer and closer as you work, but that's not how spray painting is properly done. Spray paint a line on the grass for the kid to stay on, perhaps.

2. Depending on how strong your child is, the proper form that you show them for holding the spray paint will vary. Spray paint actually takes a bit of strength to use. Willow, who is five, can easily spray paint by holding the can in both her fists, fingers toward her paper, and depressing the nozzle with both her thumbs together.

3. Set your kid free!

For us, spray painting is a nice large muscle activity, one of those things that it's fun to do when you want to do some art but you're tired of the kid being a couch-lump in the house all day. Because the spray paint doesn't cake up on the paper, the artwork itself also remains a nice background medium for additional artwork. Will turned the particular piece of art that she created on this day into a sign for the craft fair, and it worked very well.

Next I think I'll have her spray paint her name real fancy across the side of the garage.


Anonymous said...

Like! ;) You have the coolest kids in town. Mine are teens and still can't spray paint.

cake said...


Kimberly said...

Do you mean like, "Use"? I love graffiti as an art, but I just want to spray paint that kid in the face whenever I've seen him tag something in Bton.

julie said...

I don't know any specific taggers in Bton lately, although when we lived in the McDoel neighborhood I did like to keep an eye out for this amateur Dogpiss guy, just because he'd tag such weird and obscure places that it was like a game. I like decoration and embellishment, so I like graffiti that's well done and in places otherwise dull or ugly--sides of buildings sometimes, or bridges sometimes, or abandoned buildings that you have to walk past everyday sometimes. I hate random and unartistic tagging, though--I have a secret plan to go out one night and redecorate the stop sign at the corner of our yard that got tagged.

And also grow some clematis up it.

Kimberly said...

At the corner of Kirkwood and Rogers (on the car part place), someone climbed up high and tagged the building with "Crime" and a dollar sign underneath it. It was well done and very artsy looking. I thought, "Man, not only is that guy brave to get up there, but he's witty too." It made me laugh.

I remember 'dogpiss'. I always laughed at that too!