Art, Peace and Justice

Night Stories

This week, Monika wrote a story about the tragedy behind armed conflicts. A few of the illustrations from this story were supposed to be dark because even if the sun shines cheerfully and the sky is blue, the inner anxiety conjures up dark, sad colours in humans’ minds. This is how we imagine something disturbing, something that haunts us, something that we are afraid of. Working on these illustrations, I came up with an idea to create a ‘gloomy’ picture with a child. Maybe you will not agree with me, but I believe it is good to talk to children about various issues, not sending them to their rooms when we discuss the flaws of our world. This is my personal opinion but certainly you know better if your children are ready for such discussions. I think this will help you understand today’s activity, which is interesting and opens child’s mind to an honest conversation.


  • a sheet of thick paper
  • a candle
  • old brush you won’t regret to dispose of
  • black paint (gouache, poster paint) or black ink
  • tools to mould/toothpick/old pen that no longer writes

Step 1


Before you start, you need to prepare the sheet of paper on which you will draw. To do this, light up a candle and when the wax starts to melt, pour it on the paper. The layer should be thin, remember to work fast or else the wax will harden before you finish. The layers should be even – this will facilitate the following steps.

When the whole sheet is covered with wax, move to the next step – cover it with black paint. Dense and quick drying paints will work the best here. However, the layer of paint should not be too thick.  After applying the black paint, leave the sheet to dry.

Step 2

Now starts the fun part – making a picture appear from underneath the black paint. Children love it! I really liked it myself when I was a child. Take an old pen or any other sharp tool and simply begin to draw.

Technically, this is it. In the sample drawing created by my child and me, you can see bats, a little owl and an evil princesses . Our work displays themes of fantasy and a Halloween mood (not the one of armed conflicts) but what matters is your child’s idea and their satisfaction from the work. And this is what I wish you!


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