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Picturesque Picnic: Immortalizing Summer Moments

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When the final bell of the school year chimes, your child is given freedom that can be stifling if not utilized. Giving your child an activity to get some fresh air and the opportunity for artistic expression makes painting landscapes on a picnic or stroll through your local park ideal.

Here's how to help you immortalize a moment outdoors this summer:

Choosing a Canvas

All great paintings start with a black canvas. However, not all canvases are perfect for beginning painters.

  • Size: There isn't a perfect size for a beginning painter. For younger painters with limited dexterity, however, bigger is typically better. Giving them more canvas to work with can enable them to better capture a summer landscape.
  • Type: Untreated canvases, although typically less expensive than treated canvases, can be a disaster for young painters. Not only can untreated canvases take longer to dry, but they also may struggle to hold up to the acrylic and/or water-based paints typically used by younger painters. If you're looking for a bargain, you can often purchase treated canvases in bulk for much cheaper than individual canvases alone.


Aside from packing your picnic with snacks, a light lunch, or an early dinner, you'll need a few essentials to help your younger artist capture their moment of summer splendor.

  • Easel: Your child will need an appropriately sized easel. Because most easels are made for adult painters, you should look for an easel with telescoping legs. In addition, a collapsible easel will be easier for you or your child to transport.
  • Cardboard: Packing an old cardboard box with you can serve many purposes. From serving as a stable platform for your child's easel to creating a disposable palette for your child's paints, a cardboard box is cheap, light, and easy to bring along.
  • Pencils: Graphite and charcoal pencils are critical for beginning painters. Sketching the scene in pencil before your child paints will help them create their nature scene more accurately. When choosing pencils, be sure that they can be sharpened on the go.
  • Brushes: For the most part, three brushes can generally get the job done. Having a small, medium, and large brush can help your painter layer their scene, fill out objects, and create edges. To make three brushes work, however, you'll need a large glass for water when your child switches paint colors.

If you would like to see some examples of how canvas paintings of nature scenes can look, contact a company like Minnesota Nature Canvas Art, which sells canvas art prints.