Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Product Review: Master Kitz Paint Kits

I came across these kits quite some time ago at the Creative Kidstuff toy store. They looked so neat!
Source
I received one for Christmas a couple years ago and one of my daughters received one for her birthday. This summer we decided it was time to break these out and give them a try. Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of in-progress photos of both kits. But here it goes:
The first kit we did was the Starry Starry Night Kit. The kits come with the instructions, paint, applicators, paper, and stickers provided. All you add is the newspaper and creativity. The instructions are easy to follow and very visual so an older kid could definitely do this on their own without much supervision. The thing I think is really neat about this is that it introduces kids to layering paint. Admittedly, I've never actually taken a painting course (just other generic art courses) so my knowledge is limited to what I've observed. But I do know that artists paint their images in layers and this is a great way to teach kids about layering color together!

The way the Starry Night kit works is that you place removable circle stickers down, then apply different shades of blue paint with the stamped roller applicator included. You remove the stickers and tape down a stencil. You roller black paint over the stencil to create the town. Then using your own creativity you layer on pastel color to create the details of the stars and town. Here is my 10 year old's version of Starry Starry Night:
I absolutely LOVED how she didn't just copy what she saw on the box. She created her own masterpiece with her own color choices. She asked to use our pastel colors so she would have a wider variety of color to pick from than what was included in the kit.

I give this kit FIVE stars and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Here are a couple more details:
Another thing I truly love about this kit is that there is great TEXTURE in the paint application. Just like Van Gogh's work!
I visited New York City this past spring and had to see MOMA. I can't tell you how excited I was to see Starry Starry Night in person and to be able to get up close and really "see" it!
But to be honest, I kind of like my daughter's version better. Ha! ;-)

Now onto kit #2: Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. I have more in-progress photos for this one:
This kit was admittedly, quite a bit less involved. You placed the stencil over your paper to start. And then apply the included gold paint with the roller brush.
After that, you use a darker brown and stamp over the gold paint:
This created patterns and shapes on the gold paint.


You remove the stencil and add the included stickers wherever you like. And then you have a finished Tree of Life!
And here they are on our art wall:
All right, I'm going to be 100% honest here and say, the Tree of Life kit was kind of a disappointment TO ME. Now, my 8 year old daughter enjoyed it. But when the PROCESS of this kit is compared to the process of the Starry Starry Night kit, the Tree of Life kit was a letdown. There were more steps in the Van Gogh kit and there was more room for the child to be more creative.

I think the Tree of Life kit is perfect for ages 6 and younger. I think the Van Gogh kit is better overall for any age (with help). But especially for ages 6 and up. I'm glad I wasn't having my 10 year old do the Tree of Life kit or I think she would have been easily bored with it. The only complaint I had about the quality of the kit is that our black paint in the Van Gogh kit was unusable. It was very clumpy and you could tell just sort of old. Luckily I had some black acrylic paint here so it wasn't a problem for us. But for someone using this kit that doesn't have access to a fully stocked art room like we do, it would have really changed my perspective on the kit.

Overall, not a bad gift idea for a creative gift. But I definitely recommend the Van Gogh Kit over the Klimt kit. I would be curious to try the Water Lilies kit and the Matisse kit just to see what the process was like for those kits. Anyone out there try those?? What did you think?

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