Collaborate on a Painting
Two people, three colors, four layers—and a lot of fun!
Photo Courtesy of the Author
Explore a relationship and expand your comfort zone with this cool collaborative exercise. Follow the simple, directed steps, trading the canvas with a lover, friend, or child—and enjoy the surprise that unfolds.
What you need:
- Stretched canvas or canvas paper
- Acrylic paint
- Paper palette or coated paper plate
- Paint pens, black or white
1. Choose a three-color palette with your partner. The first partner paints a few shapes with the first color; the second partner then adds shapes with the second color for balance. One of the partners fills in the remaining white space with the third color.
2. Choose a companion color for each of the first three colors. Here, red is chosen for the maroon, hot pink for the coral, and sky blue for the gray-blue background. Add these companion colors around the edges of the large shapes to blend and soften them a bit. Both partners can work simultaneously, blending wet into wet paint, using quick, light strokes. Just play with the paint. Let dry.
3. Use a black or white paint pen or a fine paintbrush to add quirky, personalized doodles to the painting. Work together from both sides of the canvas, rotating it as you work. Add lucky numbers, initials, and favorite hobbies.
Add color to your doodles. Use thinned paint for transparent tints and full-strength paint for more opaque coverage. This is where your painting really comes to life.
4. Sign your collaboration and make a color copy so you both have one.
This is a wonderful project to do with a small child. Allow the child to take the lead and you finesse the details. Let the child choose the colors and paint the first layer. Then you work on the second step and smooth out the edges. Let the child draw adorable doodles and the adult can add color to make them stand out. The paintings you create are always a source of pride and bonding.