Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Art Class: Printmaking, Chalk Pastels, and Drawing

Today was the second art class of the semester with our friends. In my first post about art class I explained that the plan is to complete some art each time we meet and begin other projects that will be completed at a subsequent meeting. This plan seems to be working well. A few other things I did differently today were:
  • Begin with our messiest project of the day and work toward our cleanest.
  • Only schedule one painting project for the day.
Today's first project was to use the flower collagraph plates they had made with cardboard and foam last time to print flowers. The process is simple. Use a paintbrush to apply paint to the foam flower. Press the flower plate onto your paper. Wipe the foam off with a baby wipe. Apply more paint in new colors to the foam and stamp again. And again. And again.

Some of our youngest children chose to just use paintbrushes and skip the printmaking. The youngest child to choose to do printmaking was my 4 year old Mason. The kids liked this project more than I expected.

Our second project was to finish up the value jellyfish. Last time we painted papers with increasing color values. Today we pulled out the chalk pastels to layer jellyfish on top of the dry background. My 15 year old taught this lesson to the rest of the kids (ranging in age from 2-11). She demonstrated step by step how to make a jellyfish, how to layer deeper values of color in the jellyfish itself, how to blend, and how to outline for more definition after blending colors.

The kids had a lot of fun with this project! Chalk pastels make it easy for even a novice artist to be successful.

Today's last project was new and only partially completed, with no pictures to share yet. We are making castles using template shapes to layer in towers all willy-nilly. These will then be colored with watercolor pencils, painted with water, and outlined with sharpie markers.To help the kids picture the many possibilities for a castle I had printed about 20 coloring pages of real castles. We had these spread on the table to look at, talk about, and enjoy.

Children decided if they wanted a tall castle or a wide one and turned their paper accordingly. I then demonstrated the beginning - tracing the squarish fa├žade (center where the door goes) onto paper. We added towers by tracing tall, skinny, short, and wide rectangles all over the page, always touching the side or top of another tower.

The kids looked at detail pages to get ideas on ways to draw a portcullis or gate, add rock/stone details, windows, flags, and more. Then they started adding details.  This is a big project (11"x18" paper so the kids decided to bring their paper home to finish adding details in pencil and bring their castle back to watercolor for our next meeting.

This project was really only attempted by kids ages 5 and up. The younger kids weren't interested. At our next meeting I will simply let them choose a castle coloring page to paint instead.

It was a wonderful morning of art, playtime, and shared lunch!

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