All Shapes & Forms

I recently found this set of poster paints from Melissa and Doug at the back of my under-stairs cupboard.


Never used it. It looks quite pretty and the colour choice is quite nice, and I thought that would be a lovely travelling set to use. But the question was, what is the paint really like? Well, time to finally find out…

all shapes & forms thumbn

Watch it on YouTube and Vimeo (free download)


  • Melissa and Doug poster paint set
  • a pot of clean water
  • a flat brush and a round brush
  • Lyra watersoluble graphite crayon
  • Posca paint pen in white
  • a heat tool



I started with applying blotches of colour using a very slightly damp brush. This is my way of testing how the paint reacts when it’s undiluted.
I realised that the paint was not very opaque, which is fine as I was only creating a quick and easy background.

Once my paint was dry, I applied some undiluted white paint to calm down the explosion of colours on my spread. The paint, as I said is not very opaque, so it covered my colours only slightly, but I really like the effect. For more opacity, I guess I could have layered my paint (the subject for another video coming soon!).

I dried my white paint with my heat tool, as some parts were thicker than others and I didn’t want to wait too long to carry on my project.

I used my graphite crayon to loosely sketch some flowers – this was more to determine placement than anything else. I then used the black paint to go over my sketches and create my flowers. I used a round brush size 6 for this as I wanted more control than with my wide flat brush. First I started with the black paint undiluted, but I quickly found out that, for details, diluting the paint slightly is a much better option, much more manageable. I would say the ratio paint:water was very roughly 60:40 (slightly more paint than water).

My new kitten Maya also participated in the experience and created a big black splotch at the top of my page! Luckily enough that was close enough to my second long leaf/flower, so I made the accidental mark part of my middle flower. I filled in the inside of my other 2 flowers very loosely and roughly so that the original background colours are still showing through.

I fully dried my flowers and created my journaling on the right side of my spread, again with black diluted paint.

Using undiluted white paint, I created some highlights on my flowers, and later intensified them by making small marks on top of the highlights with my white Posca paint pen.

I used my graphite crayon (it is watersoluble) to scribble around my flowers, under my journaling and to create some kind of horizon line. I then activated the graphite with some water on my round brush, smudging the graphite very loosely. This give the spread a grungy look and also creates some easy shadows, defining the flowers even more and linking them gradually to the background.