Dave, that's wonderful! Bonus points for doing it plein aire!!
OK, time I posted the last two trials with the kiddy paint.
So, just for this challenge, I went to Walmart and purchased two sets of paint from the kid's section. One was Cra-Z-Art Washable 16 colors and the other was Crayola Washable 16 Colors. Both of them together were under $5 - a steal of a deal!
To start, I took a look at the boxes and brushes. The boxes are both nice hard plastic cases with removable paint trays. The Cra-Z-Art one has one molded plastic tray for all the paint:
While the Crayola box has two removable trays and a built-in brush holder at the center:
It occurs to me that each of these would make fine palette boxes for half or whole pans. They are light but sturdy, and hold a LOT of pans! The Cra-Z-Art box will take 46 half or 37 whole pans, of course you could leave some out to make room for a brush or other supplies. The Crayola box has the molded brush holder, so I worked around it. That box holds 44 half or 28 whole pans assuming you use the brush holder as intended. There would probably be room for another row of pans if you knocked the pegs off and sanded the box smooth.
As for the brushes themselves, hmmm. The Crayola one looks to be natural hair, probably squirrel or some similar varmint. The Cra-Z-Art brush is just
. I did not try either one.
Now, to the paint!
The Crayola set was the more costly of the two, at a whopping $2.97. The colors were easy to wet and brush up, though they have this odd shininess that really turns me off:
That's *dry* paint. Yuck. Anyway, here's the full set:
Bright and cheerful they are! And shiny finish aside, they do work up nice on some quick-sketched birds. All the samples in this post are after Peterson (Field Guide to Western Birds), Strathmore Windpower9" x 12" pad. Painted with a waterbrush and drawn rapidly with a Kuretake #40 ink brush. That's the strong blacks in the wings and all, the kit black paints were both too wimpy for more than gray tones.
This time I did some w/w tests in the backgrounds and the paint flowed well for some nice effects. These are not chalky at all, offering strong pure color. The almost-identical red-oranges paint out as very different tints, so there's more color variety in the box than at first glance. I could see kids being very confused with this, but I got a beat on it quickly. Since I overshot the beak on the Western Tanager, decided to try the white paint the way a child might use it: like Wite-out. It does not cover very well. Better than the Cra-Z-Art set, but still pretty worthless.
The Cra-Z-Art set was cheaper ($1.64), but surprised me with the intensity of the paint. Pretty, pretty colors!
None of that shiny medium either! Nice and matte.
Odd thing with this set was the black. Take a look at this - the left, rectangular patch was wet when I took the photo. Notice the color? I thought it was some kind of forest green, but then when it dried, it looked like the swashy swatch above and to the right. Green paint hue-shifts to black upon drying? Poor kids are going to be so confused!
But, other than that and the utterly worthless white, it's actually kind of fun to paint with this set. The paint was harder to scrub up than the Crayola set, but once I got it going:
I'm getting tired of the relentless gray/green/blue in the corporate landscaping where I paint plein aire, this has been a refreshing change! Unlike the Prang paint, these two sets are ultimately a little too cheap-and-nasty to make me want to keep painting with them. I'll probably give them away to kids and let them enjoy.
For our playtime though, it's been very enjoyable research. Do I get a terminal degree in kid paint now?