In theory I love the idea of painting outside. You get to be out in nature, in the sunshine, painting from observation. In reality it never is actually so nice, you have to carry all the stuff, contend with bugs and inevitably discover that you forgot something you really needed. All of this was before I had kids so the thought of going outdoors to paint with the kids was just more then I could wrap my brain around. Until one day I saw this brillant idea on Think Craft and thought maybe that would work.
Think Craft used a bound watercolor paper book but I thought for our sake it would be easier to just use watercolor paper. I bought a cheap packet of watercolor paper at the art supply store and to make them even more portable I cut the papers in half, so they would be easier to carry. I then found some old tubes of watercolor paints (which you can also get at the art supply store) and laid the papers out on the table. I went through and put a little dab of each color in a row along one side of the paper. The best thing about watercolors is that a little bit goes a long way so just a little dab is plenty. I left the papers on the table to let the paints dry overnight.
This morning we woke up to discover that the weather today was perfect, mid 70's and sunny. So we took our watercolor papers, a plastic bottle of water, a little plastic cup and a few brushes and headed to Oregon Ridge Park and Playground. After playing for a while we found a nice shady tree to sit under and got out our stuff. While we still had to bring a few things to carry it was a lot less stuff and a lot lighter. I showed the girls how they could add water to the dried paints to bring them back to life. We all worked for a while on our own paintings, the Bee made a rainbow, the Bean painted lines and I worked on a little leaf study. The paints worked great and were perfect for painting on the go, but would also be great for painting anytime, even at home.