These have been our young artists’ favourite tools recently. For a couple of weeks we left several samples of Da Vinci’s brushes for children on a table top at the shop and we encouraged the curious to try them out. It didn’t take long before all the kids were trying on the finger brushes to find the one that fitted best. The paints on the side would then be damped and colours quickly spread around as drawings, signatures and messages.
The experience is close to painting with fingers, highly tactile, but it also introduces basic brush techniques. That makes finger brushes great for learning how to paint from an early stage.
Later, the exciting challenge is getting used to holding a brush in a tight but comfortable way that will let the child explore and enjoy painting more. But just like pens and pencils, brushes too can be shorter, to assist a small hand. And less round, to avoid too much rolling away – it takes a tight grasp in order to respond to a young creative mind’s artistic adventures!
There are some purely technical advantages as well – the length and fibre of these brushes allow just the right amount of water to carry, as children, often driven by their high creative enthusiasm, tend to take up too much paint or water. The handle is flat on one side and it secures the grip. This makes it useful not only for children but also for anyone who might be having difficulties with finger-coordination.
Touch, the sense of the skin and particularly the hand, is not purely tactile, just as painting is never purely a visual experience. When exploring an unknown area, we tend to focus on the senses we need to acquire certain skills for with. But, with an interplay of the senses, in this case visual supplemented by tactile, a strong mental image is composed and it reflects the experience back on a whole new level.