PreK: Water Week

PreK started working on water-themed artwork last week. We started out with a crash course on value. I just introduced the basics of mixing with black and white. On our actual project, we used blue and white, but they still understood the general idea. Once the ocean was painted, I introduced chalk pastels. We kept things pretty tame at first, drawing and smudging neatly until we had a nice collection of colorful jellyfish painted on our oceans. After that, I set them free to draw on blank paper, where they explored the joys of smearing chalk. It was messy, but they had fun, and that’s what matters. This week, we started drawing a piece of art by the contemporary artist Sharon Cummings. She paints Koi fish, and we looked at her painting “Pure Koi Joi” for inspiration. The Koi fish drawings aren’t done yet, but they should be finished by Friday, so keep an eye for them in the hallway early next week!

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Preppers: Oil and Water

Last week, I starting introducing some unusual surfaces to the Prepper class. I started with plastic wrap. We painted on it and then drew on it. The drawings were much more popular, because I taught them that they could erase markers off of the plastic wrap with their fingers. Erasing is magical, making this a very exciting discovery! This week, I showed them how to use cooking oil in a painting. We started by putting a sheet of paper in a shallow bin and pouring a little bit of water on it. Then, I asked my little artists to paint whatever their hearts desired. I limited their palette to the primary colors so that they could review how to mix colors while they worked. Once the papers were all painted, I drizzled some vegetable oil onto their paintings. The paint moved! Excitement levels were high as they tried to nudge the oil out of the way, only to find that it would resist the movement. They really enjoyed the experiment, and their artwork came out beautifully, too!

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Pre-Preppers: Mixing it up

For the past two weeks, the Pre-prepper class has been exploring different materials in the art room. We started with shaving cream, which was a great success. The kids loved digging their hands through it and swirling the colors around. I gave them forks and spoons and tiny bowls to play with as well, so they got to pretend they were baking cakes while they sang their favorite song: Happy Birthday. It was nobody’s birthday, but that was okay. As one of the children told me, cake is good all the time, even when it’s not a birthday. This week, we’ve been playing with glue. I poured white glue into a couple of pans and added a few squirts of color for the little ones to mix up. It was fun to watch their reactions to the different textures. Their shaving cream had been soft and squishy, but the glue was thick and sticky. Most of them didn’t want to put their hands in it, so I offered popsicle sticks instead. They spent a lot of time watching it drip off of the sticks and talking about how slow it was. Of course, saying “Splash!” each time made it much more appealing, even if it was slow to fall.

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PreK: The Art of Heather Galler

PreK has been learning about the art of Heather Galler, a painter known for her folk art landscapes. We drew the image together and colored parts of it as a class, but most if the image allowed for a lot of individuality. Each drawing has a different set of patterns and colors, making each one unique. The students were very excited about our material choice for this project, too. Everyone loves markers!

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Preppers: Dot-to-Dot

The Preppers finished up their snail projects last week and moved on to a painting challenge. The game was a colorful version of dot-to-dot. I gave each student a paper with twelve dots on it, two of each main color, and asked them to connect the dots without mixing the colors. I was so proud of them! They did a great job following the rules, and even asked to play it again the next day. We followed up the game with a simple painting activity where they got to paint anything they wanted, but they still couldn’t mix the colors. Again, I was very proud of how hard they worked to follow the rules, and my little artists were super proud, too!

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