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9.27.2021: Google very recently changed drive links for security reasons, so you may find that when you click on a link for one of my printables that you need to submit a share request. PLEASE only submit one share request per item! These have to be manually confirmed and I will get to them when I get to them. I promise you that sending me 12 requests in rapid succession will not make that happen faster, lol! I do not sit on my computer waiting around to send people instant shares of freebies. Thank you so much for your patience as I try to sort out this latest Google mess.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Explore Art the Fun (and MESS FREE) Way

Let's face it---my kiddos LOVE to paint. And they are energetically enthusiastic about it. The odd splotches of color on my kitchen table give ample proof of that (funny how no matter what I put down to protect the table they always manage to paint it as well). I'm not crazy about cleaning up the mess, know what I mean. That's part of the reason I loooove this product we were asked to try out: Crayola Art Studio by Core Learning.

Yes, there are oodles of other digital drawing programs out there, even some that are designed with kids in mind, but Crayola Art Studio provides your child with a virtual palette, kid friendly controls and effects that are very close to the real thing. Instead of just the run-of-the-mill pen, paintbrush and fill bucket, you have 12 different mediums to choose from, including "crayon," "chalk," "watercolor," "oil paint," and more. Take a look at the screen shot below:

On the left side of the screen you will see the drop-down list for the different mediums and the different colors for the medium selected. I painted the background on the screen using "watercolor" and my trusty Genius graphics tablet (it also works great with a mouse, too). See the boxes at the bottom of the screen? That's your "palette" where you can mix colors. You choose a color from the left then go down to the palette and "mix" with one of the colors on your palette. The kiddos had a lot of fun mixing and learning about colors this way...and NO mess!

One of the great things about this program is that each medium is very much like that medium in real life. For instance, if I load my watercolor brush with paint and paint over the screen, the color will get less and less vibrant and more and more transparent as the brush runs out of paint. Colors easily blend together on your canvas. But unlike real life, if you make a mistake, just click the undo button. No brushes to clean. And you'll never run out of paper or canvas.

Maybe you'd like to design your own border for some stationary and explore symmetry at the same time:

I drew this using "watercolor" with a 5 pixel brush and 4-way symmetry. Not only can you use 2-way and 4-way symmetry, but you can also manually choose your center point.

Not confident drawing free-hand? Use one of the many shapes to create a filled or unfilled shape in any size. Got real little ones with minimal mouse skills? There's a big collection of full-color stamps they can use to create their own scene.

My kiddos fight over this program and cannot get enough of it. Even so, there are many other features we haven't even checked out yet. It's recommended for ages 4 and up, but even 3-year-old Peter loves it. Take a hop over to Core Learning for more info on Crayola Art Studio and to download a demo. Available for Windows as either a download or on CD, the price is $24.95.

More reviews on this products available here:

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