Bright Colours for a Rainy Day

What a boring, rainy, half term! We’ve all got coughs and colds with a hint of miserableness. So I decided that it was time to start a project.

The boys recently expressed an interest in studying rain forests with me so I decided to take them up on their interests. A friend introduced me to this wonderful book called The Tree by Tim Vyner, and we read it together. The boys loved it, and especially loved the facts about rain forest animals at the end.

Having read about the animals and the different part of the rain forests in the book we took a look at some fun and interesting websites. Check them out here, here, here and here. We decided to focus on the toucan first as it features in the book and is full of such bright colours.

I got the boys to draw a toucan image with charcoal (I sprayed it with hair spray to prevent the boys from rubbing it off with their sleeve). Then they used chalks and water colours to capture it’s rainbow beak and vanilla yellow chest. We talked about the direction the feathers grew and how to use the chalks to show the feathers. We decided whether the colours we could see were warm or cool before we mixed them.

Here’s the picture (above) we used to inspire us taken by Nina Stavlund (posted here with kind permission). And here are their drawings, we worked on them for about an hour and a quarter without a break.

IMG_1247 IMG_1248 IMG_1249

Hope this helps inspire anyone struggling to find something to do on a rainy day.

You could have a go drawing these huge, you could try collage, acrylic paint, or what about painting them on a t-shirt, or maybe a mural? If your kids are a little older and more able than mine then sponge a mottled green acrylic background first and then work with acrylics over this background when its dry. If your kids are less able, then try talking them through each step picking out the big shapes. Talk about shapes, curved lines and sizes of things rather than naming the parts of the bird, it helps with encouraging your child to access the right side of their brain. Ask them simple questions like ‘is this part bigger than that part?’ or ‘is this bit as fat as that?’ If you don’t have posh paper then cut up a cereal box and use the large inside area to do your painting. Nice idea to encourage recycling.


7 thoughts on “Bright Colours for a Rainy Day

  1. What a wonderful thing to do when boredom steps in. Nothing like a good dose of creativity to perk the spirits. Well done.

  2. Hi there, I’m a professional photographer and you’ve used my image as your inspiration. I am not very happy to see my work here, especially as I was never contacted to be asked for permission to use my work, nor have I been paid for the usage of it. It’s illegal to download any images from the internet and re-post them, like you have done here. But, the fact that you have used it to inspire your children and learning them about the rain forest, this one time only, I will look the other way and let you use the image as shown here, and I’ll let you keep you BLOG entry. Note that it’s still illegal to reproduce any more copies of this image, and certainly not for printing on T-shirts or any other media. Please learn about international copyright laws before you download anything form the internet, as one day, it could cost you dearly to steal someone else’s work. All the best Nina Stavlund

    • Hi Nina, firstly thank you for pointing this important point out to me. I have absolutely no intention in purposefully copying your image and didn’t quite understand the laws on this. I would certainly never down load an image to print off onto a t-shirt. Your gorgeous photo was a way of looking at a toucan as we weren’t able to get to the zoo to see a real one.
      Secondly, I appreciate your understanding of our use of your photograph and for allowing me to keep this BLOG post. I would love to mention your name alongside the photograph if you would be happy with that.
      yours sincerely

    • Hi Nina, I have added you to my blog post and linked a website I found through searching your name. I hope this is ok. Please let me know if you are happy with the link, do message me if you would like me to add any thing else to the post about you.
      I appreciate your understanding concerning my error and have learnt a great deal from it. Hope to hear from you soon.

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