LeRoy Neiman’s lions encapsulate both aspects of the theme perfectly and are bright and bold so fit the criteria for square 1 art projects.
Draw the outline of the lion’s face.
We made sure, the face was a good size and talked about different shapes for the face. This shape was similar to LeRoy Neiman’s lion and makes the lion appear as if it is looking sideways.
Draw the lions eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
We tried out different shaped eyes and noses. Once the children were happy with their drawings, they outlined them in black sharpie.
Paint the Mane. I showed them how to make sweeping brushstrokes, starting at the edge of the face and moving outwards. I encouraged them to use lots of bright colours and to try not to mix them too much.
Some used straight lines
Others chose curved lines
And some let the lines move in different directions.
Paint the face. We looked at Neiman’s use of colour – how he used light colours on the nose and chin and darker colours in the shadows. Again, I encouraged them to keep the colours distinct to make a patchwork effect.
Once the paint is dry, outline the features again in sharpie (this helps it to show up when the art work is reproduced by Square 1) and paint a watercolour wash for the background.
This child didn’t want to outline the lion’s face, preferring to let the face and mane merge into one another.
Some chose heart shaped faces
Some filled the whole page with patchwork colour
Some added ears
and some preferred lions without ears.
I love how individual they all are. Bright, bold and full of personality – perfect for a square one art project. I can’t wait to see how they look once their are printed onto keepsakes.
This month we were asked to create something for square one art using the theme of water. Square one art is an annual fundraiser to create an art project that prints onto mugs, key rings etc. Since it rains a lot here, I decided it would be apt to create a rain themed project.
For square one, I always try to make something that is unique to each child and that parents will think is cute enough to persuade them to place an order. With this is mind, I decided to ask the children to draw a picture of themselves under an umbrella. The rain would be painted on top of the picture but the area under the umbrella would remain without any rain by marking it off with masking tape.
I collected images of rain paintings to show the children different ways of painting rain. Some showed rain dripping, others had splashes or fine sprays and some just had a mix of crazy colours in streaks.
I decided to practice rain painting techniques with kindergarten before creating the finished product. When I told my daughter we were painting rain she asked, “But how can you paint rain because rain doesn’t really have a colour? ”
I started the lesson by showing the children pictures of rain paintings. We talked about some of the techniques and I demonstrated how to make paint drip down the page using a paintbrush and using a pipette/dropper. I also showed them how to flick the paintbrush to make a fine mist that looked like a rain shower.
Each child had the following materials:
a pallet with tempura paint colours
a pot of water
The children went away to practice. They tested different ways to make the paint drip. Some made their paintbrush really wet and then dipped it into the palate.
Some painted a splodge of colour at the top of their paper and then used the dropper to add water to make it drip.
Some found it worked well if they painted splodges all over the paper and then added water with the dropper.
Some used a combination of techniques.
and some did completely their own thing.
When I came to do the project with 2nd Grade, we didn’t have practice time. I decided to water down the tempura paint in advance and give each table pots to share.
The 2nd graders started by drawing a picture of themselves under an umbrella. I marked out a border so that the drawings wouldn’t be chopped off. I think with hindsight I would also have drawn a square within which the children should fit their pictures as some of them were a bit small. We then taped over the pictures with masking tape and then dripped and splattered paint to make rain. The 2nd graders loved the drippy part as much as the kindergartners and some were a little over zealous.
The next day when I came back to remove the tape from the dry paintings some of them needed to be fixed because the colours from their drawings had bled.
Some I was able to fix myself by re-colouring them but some needed to be painted over with white acrylic and the children coloured them in again or in some instances re-drew the whole picture.
The kindergartners had already drawn their pictures on a small piece of paper. When I prepared their project, I decided to measure the pictures and then place masking tape over an area of the same size. We could then create the rain picture, remove the masking tape when dry and stick on the picture, hopefully avoiding any colour bleeding.
I showed the kindergartners some of the 2nd grade pictures to show how they had chosen to paint rain and how they might be improved. We saw that the paintings needed to have paint all around the masking tape for them to clearly show them sheltering under the umbrella. We also discovered that too much paint sometimes didn’t leave a perfectly clear area; although in some cases this left an interesting effect, like rain dripping from the umbrella.
I watered down the paints and showed the children how to put the paint at the top of the paper and let it drip. It was important that they made their brushes really wet before dipping them in the paint as this helped it to drip. Having experimented with painting rain beforehand, the children had clear ideas of how they would like their rain to look. I added a yellow paint to the kindergartners colour choices, the 2nd graders had shades of red, blue and purple. Some children mixed a green shade.
The 2nd grade rain pictures were more experimental as the children explored the materials, whereas the practice session enabled the kindergartners to be more precise and have a clearer picture of the finished product. Each child found their own way to depict rain. Some used all the colours,
Some chose their own colour scheme,
Some used individual dots dripping down,
others spread paint along the top and let it drip.
Some added lots of paint splatters by flicking the brush,
Others used a lot of water to make softer colours and spread them with the brush, creating the effect of rain blowing.
One child wanted to spread paint all over the picture and made the rain by running her finger through it to make lines.
The kindergarten pictures were much brighter than the 2nd grade ones. My personal favourite is this one. I love the big splashes of colour in a heavy downpour, in contrast to the person walking in safety under his umbrella.
The colour choices, use of droppers and the volumes of paint make the 2nd grade pictures darker and more intense like that of a grey, winters day with heavy rain.
The Kindergartners are more akin to spring showers.
Perhaps a cool project would be to test out different techniques and colours to make a display of rain through the seasons.
I’m always frustrated by the infrequency of my art sessions. I can already see the progression and probing questions that might make this into an extended project.
How does the use of different colours change the way we see the rain?
What colours would you choose for winter rain, tropical rain or a spring rain shower? Test out your ideas.
Does the texture of the paint and how much water we add change the type of rain we paint?
How does the size of the brush alter the painting.
Try other ways of painting rain, use sponges, droppers/pippettes, cotton balls and what else can you suggest.
Make a giant collaborative painting of rain – what can you drop onto paper to make a splash?
How can we paint a heavy rainstorm?
What would happen if we tried a different type of paint?
Do you like rain? What colours would you use to show that you didn’t like rain? What colours would you use to show rain is fun?
Think about all the different types of rain you have in your area, are they the same or different? How would you paint each type to show the differences?
Make a list of rain adjectives or similes under the title ‘Rain is'(particularly after spending time in the rain) – choose one and paint a picture to illustrate the description.
Look in a large puddle. What do you see? Can you try to draw/paint it?
And that’s just the art – the possibilities for other areas of learning is endless. Perhaps you’d like to use my pictures as a springboard for an extended rain project? I’d love to see the results if you do.
I explained that abstract art is not about creating a particular thing but is about expressing how you feel.
Each child had a pallet of acrylic paints, 2 different sized paintbrushes, a canvas, a pot of water and paper towel to wash and dry the brushes. I showed them how to clean their brushes by washing it in the water and drying it with the paper towel.
The children began when I played the music – I chose a quiet piece to add focus, Dvorak’s Largo from Symphony no. 9.
Some children were engrossed in colour mixing, while others enjoyed layering colours one on top of the other. Some concentrated on texture and others focused on shape and colour.
The strong focus on process lead to an interesting discussion with the teacher after class. We lamented the lack of time children in Kindergarten and beyond, to experiment with paint and the impact this has on their motor development. I always feel my lessons should be in at least 2 parts, one for discovery and process and the another to create a product. I wish there was time for the children to practice skills and develop. My eldest daughter attends a school where the whole curriculum is taught through the medium of visual and performing arts – are there any creative elementary teachers out there doing the same?
Included in our Baker Ross parcel was a box of acrylic paints. I use acrylics for my painting and find that one of the key components to painting is mixing the right colours. I therefore thought it might be a good opportunity for the girls to experiment with colour mixing.
I provided them each with 2 pieces of tin foil, one had a blob of each of the acrylic colours on and the other was for mixing. I avoided giving instructions about what to paint or even that they had to paint at all. Often young children enjoy the process of mixing and don’t really want to paint with the colours. My 3 year old used up most of the colours mixing them into various shades. I explained that acrylics dry quickly so once the colours are mixed they need to be used quickly for painting
My 7 year old on the other hand carefully mixed a variety of colours, trying out the different combinations. I gave them a pot of water each to clean their brush and kitchen roll to mop up any excess water.
She proceeded to paint a picture. Half way through she ran out of one of the colours that she had mixed and was unsure what to do next. I explained that the new colour wouldn’t need to be exactly the same as the good thing about acrylics is that you can layer one colour on top of the other. She mixed another colour and came up with a pretty good match.
Today we received a very welcome parcel from Baker Ross. Right From the Start has joined their blogger network, they send us lots of goodies and we come up with our own creative projects for using them. The theme of our first parcel is painting.
We love painting. I paint when I find the time and find it very therapeutic. The girls also love to paint, in thesummer we paint outside .The girls enjoy painting on canvases and I display them in our hallway.
Today we went for the mess free option by trying out Colour Me Chubby Water Soluble Markers.
These are perfect for small hands, dry really quickly and don’t make a mess. Even better they are washable, do not stain clothes and don’t dry out if you leave the lid off (although I didn’t tell the children this). The markers are great for an early mark making tool on large pieces of paper, they are sturdy and the paint comes out easily.
My 7 Year old decided to try them with the wooden sea stencils. These are great for little hands as they have large, chunky handles, meaning that they are easy to hold in place with one hand whilst drawing around them with the other.
This non-messy option was good for the baby too. We did our painting on the floor so that she could move more freely. She loved playing with the lids, taking them on and off and enjoyed painting on the paper although it was sometimes difficult to get them upright enough to make a mark. She decided as all babies do that it would be a good idea to see what the paints tasted like. However, as they are fully washable and non-toxic I didn’t need to worry – a quick wipe removed the orange lipstick.
I was really impressed with the results and when we have limited time and I can’t face the mess involved with painting this is a great alternative.