I love to make handmade prints to display in my home. Sure, you could easily go out and buy a print, but one that is handmade is so much more heartfelt and lovely. The bonus? You get to show your friends your artsy side and then you can pop it into a frame and display it for all to see. Even better, you can spend time bonding with the kids to make art together and then show off your little artist’s masterpiece.
All you need to make your own heart-inspired print is watercolor paper, oil pastels, a paintbrush, paint palette and your favorite color watercolors (a basic watercolor set will do in a pinch).
Figure out the size of your print first by measuring your frame. You can use a ruler and a pencil if you want to be exact. You’ll probably be painting over the pencil lines anyway. Lightly sketch two hearts in the middle of the watercolor paper.
With a red oil pastel, color in the hearts. Oil pastels are also called oil wax crayons and they are wonderful to color and blend with. The colors and bold and bright when firm pressure is added while coloring. Kids love oil pastels, too.
Don’t be shy about experimenting with different colors. Bold colors will make your print unique and give it a distinctively artsy vibe. I used red, pink, yellow, green, blue and coral, to name a few.
Once the hearts are colored in, fill in some of the background for more color. The oil pastel shavings will curl up on the watercolor paper — lightly brush away (be careful, they will smear). Peel off some of the wrapper around the oil pastel if need be.
Photograph by Denise Cortes
Once you are satisfied with the design, it’s ready to paint. The oil pastels will become a resist to the sheer watercolor paint. Choose one to two colors and brush a light wash over the entire oil pastel drawing.
It’s perfectly fine to paint over the oil pastels; it won’t affect your drawing. I chose the color green for my background color because it complements the red of the heart.
There are several ways to make use of this little masterpiece: make homemade Valentine’s Day cards for your loved ones, create artist trading cards for your older child to exchange at school or use it as an art print — add a mat or just pop it into a frame to display in your home.