19 Feb 2014

Creative Canvas

What was that about life being a blank canvas and you getting creative with it any way you like? 

The scientist in me decided to test this adage in a very literal sense. Here is how I went about my little experiment.

Aim: To test the adage 'Life is a blank canvas, add colour' in a literal sense.

1) A blank canvas. I was a bit carried away, what with this being my first experiment in a really long time. So carried away, that I splurged on an expensive piece of blank canvas from a high-street store. When one from the pound shop would have served the purpose just as well. 

2) Sources of colour - crayons, felt-tip pens, finger-paint if you feel brave enough. I didn't.

3) Trusty craft box. Here's how we made ours, if you haven't got one already.

4) The Subject - an enthusiastic and curious toddler (this brief should cover most all toddlers). Ability to splash colour and stick bits and pieces on will be an added advantage, though not mandatory to the success of the experiment. 

5) The Observer - an able-bodied person responsible for the smooth running of the experiment. Able to lend a helping hand if The Subject vociferously demands it. Able to clean up a mess efficiently and with minimum grumbling.
Creating the Canvas 
Clear a space in The Subject's usual play area.

Cover the floor/carpet/rug with a protective sheet (if you feel bothered) in anticipation of colour spreading beyond the canvas to the surrounding areas. Alternatively, use an old rug.

Lay out all the materials listed above in this assigned space.

Place The Subject in the middle of all the material.

Observe discreetly if possible. The occasional directional input is permissible. 

The Subject set about the task at hand with great gusto. There was much scribbling and squiggling all over the blank canvas. The Subject did show a preference for particular colours while completely ignoring some of the others. Felt-tips were preferred to crayons.
The Created Canvas - A Work of Art
The Subject had to be prompted to use the craft box. But he soon got the hang of it. The Subject handled glue with magnificent efficiency. But there was a significant preference to use sticky-backed, peel-back pieces (shiny flowers in this case) as opposed to glueing things on. 

The Subject complied with most but not all directions issued by The Observer, and continued with the experiment for a reasonable length of time. 

The Observer could not resist the urge of doodling on a canvas. The temptation was overwhelming. Contrary to the procedural requirements of the experiment, The Observer grabbed some crayons and got in on the action.

Conclusion: A toddler can successfully colour and create a work of art when supplied with a blank canvas. The parent needs to be supplied with their own blank canvas to stop them meddling with the creative instincts of the toddler.

Note: The above experiment is evidence of why I am no longer any good as a physiologist. 

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Thank you for your support x 

Mini Creations


  1. Love both the conclusion and the outcome! How colourful! :)

  2. That's great - really colourful! I love having art like this around my house, it has great memories as well as being fun to look at!

  3. What a great rainy day activity! I'd love to try this with my Son when he's a bit older. Great canvas

  4. Aw this is lovely. My kids love creating works of art - the walls are covered in them!

  5. It is great to just leave them too it and see what they come up with isn't it, I usually end up joining in!!

  6. Aww I love it, such a gorgeous final result!

  7. This made me smile. I always have my own project on the go whilst the little one is busy others I can't help myself getting involved! I love the idea of creating a canvas. We only ever paint on paper or card, junk models and sometimes rocks and stones so I will add a canvas to my 'to-do' list. Thanks

  8. That looks great! Can't believe I never really thought of using crayons and felt tips on canvas, we always use paint! I must get some more I think - its so much fun

  9. I love this! What a great idea - I will definitely be doing it with my son.

  10. My kids love being given a proper canvas to use, it makes them feel like real artists!

  11. Oh this is fabulous, what a lovely experiment - and a great artwork!

  12. This is so cute. I have had a canvas with crayons that I have wanted to do the melted crayon thing with the boys for ages!! I should get to it x

  13. hahaha I love the way you've written this, so funny and your conclusions are excellent! Looks like a lot of fun was had by both the subject and observer! #minicreations

  14. This is great, what a super piece of art and such fun. Love the science report too, that takes me back some :)

  15. Great half term activity and I love the result/

  16. Such a fantastic idea, his canvas looks great too!

  17. This is such a great idea - and we even have a small blank canvas here as luck would have it - now to get busy!

  18. The outcome is stunning!
    So many colors and different texture... lovely!

  19. Love this what a beautiful canvas to hang on your wall.


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