If you’re looking for new art ideas, then try this egg art for kids and paint with egg yolk.
First, let’s tackle the obvious question: Why on earth would you choose to paint with egg yolk? It sounds weird. True, but it’s also different, creative, long lasting … and you might just happen to have broken or old eggs in the house which are no longer good for consumption. That’s exactly what happened to me. And although my husband was reluctant, painting with egg yolk seemed a better idea than simply throwing the eggs away.
In fact, some days ago my youngest was checking out the fridge and demolishing half of it on her way in. Some days later I realized 2 eggs in the carton box were broken and I suspected they had been there broken in the box for some days. So I didn’t trust to use them as food anymore. Instead of throwing them away, I thought of an egg art for kids, and invited my little artists to paint with the yolk of my broken eggs.
But there’s more to say for it than just having some broken eggs. There are some interesting differences between painting with egg yolk and the “normal” painting techniques:
- With egg yolk the colors stay vibrant and shiny, making your painting look smooth and shiny and giving similar results as when paint with oil based colors.
- The paint is thicker than normal paint and dries very fast. To avoid ‘cracks’ in your painting, I suggest you use a stiff material to paint on (cardboard, wood or glass rather than plain paper)
- I’m not sure you care about this, but egg yolk makes your paint longer lasting. So much that some past and present painters make their own paint using egg yolk and build societies around that.
- In the kids version (combining egg yolk with washable paint), the egg paint is water-resistant, but not waterproof. So the painting will be ‘safer’, but you can still wash off any stains from your kids clothes or the table-cloth 🙂
A side note for doing egg art for kids: The “real artists” who paint with egg separate the yolk and white of the egg. However if you do this with the kids, you can use the whole egg content (yolk and white). Just mix mix the yolk and white together, like you’d do for an omelet. The colors of the painting will continue to be vibrant and shiny, but the paint itself will have a slightly different texture than if you’d paint only with egg yolk.
On this close-up picture you see the vibrant, shiny colors even though the paint is completely dried
What you need for this egg art for kids:
- one egg yolk (we used two because we had two broken eggs, but one would have been more than enough)
- liquid watercolors or poster paint or other washable liquid paint
- brushes (you need one separate brush for the yolk and some other brushes for the colors)
- containers for the colors and the egg yolk
- a palette for mixing the colors (or you can substitute it -as we did- with a white box)
- something “stiff” to paint on (we used a thick sheet of paper, but it was not such a good idea. You’ll see later on why)
The technique is simple: When painting, you substitute the water with egg yolk. That’s all 🙂
This is how we did our egg art for kids:
First, my 3 artists (age 6, 4 and 2) decided what they wanted to paint and made their drawings on a sheet of paper. Victoria chose to make a scene with chickens, eggs, stars and other details while Lukas and Elena did their best to draw Easter eggs.
Then, once the drawings were done, I explained that we will use eggs instead of water. I could see the “what?” on their faces. What they had to do is to take some egg yolk from the egg container and put it on their “palette” (in our case a white box). Then with another brush, take the color (or colors) and mix them with the egg on the palette, and paint with that. The only time we’d use water was to wash the brushes so that they could paint with another color.
Finally they painted and painted, and in the process learned a couple of things!
Victoria (6 years old) learned a couple of painting techniques: how to paint using only the tip of the brush rather than the whole brush – that’s how she made the grass and the flowers. She also learned how to recycle the paint from the end of the brush back to the top of the brush (by twisting the brush against a hard surface).
As a result we have a nice farm scene with the cock and hen looking at their chickens that are getting out of their eggs. And all of this in the night while other hens are sleeping.
Lukas (4 years old) enjoyed experimenting. He started his painting adventure by examining a real egg, and then experimenting with how different painting with egg is compared to well … normal painting. Soon he decided that painting with egg is so much more fun. It’s shiny and yellow … according to him it makes no sense to even use other colors! So before I could react, he took his pot of egg yolk and poured the whole content over his sheet of paper. Then he just painted with that, and the result was a yellow and shiny Easter egg painting.
Elena (2 years old), just held on to her painting pot and enjoyed mixing colors and tracing shapes. She had fun and it was a good exercise for her fine motor skills. With or without egg yolk, painting made no difference for her. But that’s ok, because for her age painting is all about mixing colors and getting dirty 🙂
I was telling you that making this painting on paper might not be the best thing to do, most of all if you want to preserve and display the little pieces of art. If you use a sheet of paper or canvas and your kids are generous with their egg usage (like Lukas was) you’ll very soon get cracks in the “painting”. That’s because the egg paint is not a flexible paint and the paper is not stiff enough. So if you want to have something more long lasting, then paint on something that does stiffer like wood for example.
As a proud mother, I’ll of course put these masterpieces on the wall.
Just a thought: if you’re doing blown up egg crafts with kids for Easter, besides making an omelet, you can also use the yolk and white of the egg to do some egg art for kids 😉
I hope you enjoyed our egg art for kids as much as we did!. If you paint with eggs and have pictures to share, I’l be curious to see them on the creatifulkids facebook page.