Joshua loves painting. It is one of his favourite activities at the moment. He seems to find a lot of peace while painting and he loves swirling the paints in the pots, in a bowl, on the paper. The issue we faced was that Joshua flatly refused to wear a smock. Ever. I do not force Joshua to put things on if he is unwilling to so paint was ending up everywhere.
I initially purchased a standard smock from the art shop with plastic sleeves, plastic front and did up at the back. He flatly refused to put this on. After corresponding with Kylie from How We Montessori I decided to give a Montessori smock a try.
Success! Joshua can get the smock on and off himself and hang it back on the art easel ready for use next time (There is a little loop on the smock to hang it, we tend to hang it on a wooden dowel on the easel itself). It satisfies his need to be able to take things on and off himself, does not restrict his arms and gives him freedom to move. I highly recommend one of these, they enable the child to put it on themselves unassisted and take it off. They are beautiful, the smock is made from an oiled canvas material and protect clothing from paint. You could also use these for water play activity.