Spider Web Art for Kids

Feb 20, 2015

The other day my mum (and the kids' beloved Nana) came over to hang out. I thought that we could all do some art, as being creative together provides time for chatting, learning, connecting and bonding. 

Not only would we end up with some lovely artwork but also memories of togetherness that will last a lifetime.

I'd been saving some watercolour paper to create something cool with for a while, and thought we could use it to paint some vibrant watercolour spider-web designs.

You'll need watercolour paint, permanent marker and paper. A ruler could be handy as well. We all used watercolour paper except for the youngest as he wanted to do multiple paintings so we just stuck to regular paper for him.

(Special watercolour paper is not super cheap but is lovely and thick and holds watercolour paintings just beautifully. For general watercolour painting we just use regular paper but for special pieces of art like this, a good watercolour paper will really make it special)

The design of your spiderweb is up to you but a simple way to draw one is by using a ruler for your straight lines. A basic web could have 4 crossing lines like above. Add extra lines for a more intricate web.

Then it is a matter of filling in the inside of the web. You can join line to line with straight or curved lines and make the gaps as big or small as you choose.

When you've completed your spider-web template, it's time to paint.

You don't need to worry too much about going over your lines as you can go back over them again when the paint is dry. The great thing about using water-colours is that you can clean areas by adding extra water and can blend and change colours easily.

When you've finished all the painting, allow to dry (doesn't take long with watercolours) and then trace back over the original lines with your permanent marker.

Both adults (myself and Nana) finished our pieces in the one sitting but they did take quite some time. 

Maddie (aged 6) did her piece over 2 sittings as she lost patience with it in the first sitting so we put it aside for her to come back to when she felt like it on another day. 

She was very proud of herself for finishing. I helped her trace back over the lines and she was completely delighted with the result.

Maddie's spider-web art. Aged 6
Noah's spider-web art, aged 3
Nana's spider web art, age category 50-60 years ;) How's that mum?
My spider web art. Aged 32 ;)

Handy Tips:

Simplify this activity for younger children by drawing their spider web for them and encouraging them to choose different colours to fill each of the gaps. Talk about the colours they choose as they paint.

Extend this activity by having children make their own spider-wed designs. They might want to try multiple spider webs or include other details like branches or insects in their design. Adding these details in 3D later to the piece could work well.

- Take it further by using books and the internet to look at pictures of spider-webs for inspiration. Do different types of spiders use different designs?

- Mix it Up. Take your art to the next level by stitching over the spider-wed lines of your finished piece. This is possible if you've used a good watercolour paper like we do as it is nice and thick and will hold your thread. It will probably be not as effective if you've just used a regular piece of paper but still doable. 

- Creating works of art that are aesthetically pleasing can give children a real sense of pride and accomplishment. Children learn a lot about complimentary and contrasting colours when faced with placing colour after colour beside one another.

- Art Teachers will love this one as it can be done by children of all ages but can look spectacular, especially if done with a whole class and displayed together. It's amazing how different all the designs end up when they often start looking very similar. As easy way to bring a very vibrant splash of colour to a hallway or classroom.

Talk with your child about what they are doing while they are creating. This will help them understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as giving them the vocabulary to describe it. While children are being creative and focused,  it can be a great time to talk about sensitive issues and their feelings.

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "space," "contrast," "complimentary colours," "design" etc. This will help with their language development.

- Still feeling creative? Here are some of our other arty ideas for kids. You can see more in our Arts and Crafts category in the sidebar on the right-hand side.

Happy creating,
Debs :)

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