So now you know why you haven’t heard much from me…yep, I’ve been teaching art to kids!
I offered a 5 week sketchbook class for children ages 7-14, I was an assistant for pottery camp for kids and I was part of an art collaborative camp that offered pottery, fine art and crafts. WOW, there was so much going on! Of course I only remembered my camera about 4 times total, but I still captured some fun projects.
At the beginning of every sketchbook class I would ask them to create contour drawings or detailed sketches of the craziest still lives I could come up with!
One day we created Miro Drawings. We looked at Miro’s work and then focused on straight lines, curved lines and geometric shapes. After the drawing is composed, you cover the board with tin foil and rub the lines on the surface. This gives great guide lines for then adding color with Sharpie markers. Kids love the brightness the foil provides.
Straight out of the recycling bin comes soda can portraits! Of course the kids take pleasure in smashing their own can, but then they have to look within all of the crevices to create a work of art.
Here are some examples of printmaking in it’s most basic form. You take a block of wood, cut out an image from craft foam and glue it to the block. I then had a print making station with black ink, a brayer and plenty of paper to try to make a print. I generally offer 5×7 inch blocks reminding the kids they can use these over and over again. Think thank you cards!
I am not sure why, but I’ve never met a kid that wasn’t obsessed with creating spin art (um…adults too!).
When my kids were little we’d take out the tiny plastic spin art machine and play with it for hours.
I always wanted bigger spin art. I couldn’t find an old record player, I thought of repurposing some power tools, but then I finally found it. It was a decade ago, but it was a you-tube video on how to convert a box fan into a spin art machine. Let’s just say by nightfall, I was up and spinning! I’ve brought this machine to fairs and as soon as the kids try it, I can’t get them to do anything else! I think it’s the element of surprise. You never know what you have until the wheel stops spinning!
One of the final projects I caught on film was a pastel project I found on Pinterest. Click here to see the blog post for Spencer Loomis’ Art Class. I found these giant black poster boards at our recycling center and knew this project would have amazing results. I pulled out about 6 books from the library on sunflowers and Van Gogh. I emphasized the fact the Van Gogh painted every stage of the flower’s life, not just it’s perfect state (for those of you that don’t know, people believe this was a metaphor representing birth to death). We talked about withering, how we could capture the look of wind blowing through the petals and the final big lesson was the use of warm vs. cool colors. If the flower’s center used cool colors, then the outer petals need to be warm or vise versa. Either would create enough contrast while still using every color under the sun!
The results were simply stunning. Plus I could see smiles, confidence and pride in how fantastic they came out. Totally a fun teachable moment.
Other projects that were tackled consisted of mine craft portraits, story dice, leaf comics, animal mash-ups, weaving and a sketchbook favorite, zen tangles.
Classes finished up Friday and my kids start school this upcoming week. I’m gearing up for my own personal art time!