Thursday, May 30, 2019

See It! Paint It!

As in our older classes, our Little Artists have had their eyes on a few of the paintings displayed around the studio this year and have requested to paint their favorites. Our first inclination might be to try to dissuade them or move them in another direction.

However, these are my thoughts: if they want to paint the sea turtle, let them paint the sea turtle! Young as they are, I know that if you give them a chance, along with the right materials and tools, preschoolers are very capable! 

Obviously, to create this sea turtle they would not be painting with acrylic paint on a 16" x 20" canvas. I altered the project just for 4- and 5-year-olds. 

The turtle was a painted paper collage cutout that would be attached to their sunlit painted ocean. That way they were able to paint the starburst shape that is so prominent in the painting (this step was important to them) as well as create a unique sea turtle painting that was super FUN! 

We decided these paintings were even more awesome than the original canvas painting!
We also tried a few more requests. This is Georgie's version of our Little Squirrel Portrait. He needed no help, just a big piece of paper, liquid temperas, and a few brushes. I pulled the original artwork down from the wall and placed it on an easel in front of him to help him see it better.

This is Elijah's version of the Dog in Autumn. He had been planning in his head how to do this painting since last week. Again, I simply placed the original on an easel in front of him and let him go to town!

Here he is attaching a few leaf rubbings to his finished artwork.

Notes about copying art: We always encourage kids to draw what they see in their world, which is why all children create personal symbols for common subjects such as houses, trees, faces, hands, etc. It's easier than recreating these things in a new way every time we draw them. However, when kids want to draw or paint from artwork, they abandon their symbols and attempt to create "real" art in the artist's style or in their own style. This is how the Masters studied art; by studying and re-creating the masterpieces (they spent a lot of time in art museums). I think re-creating artwork is a valuable art experience for both children and adults, and I plan to offer this activity as a Painting Challenge in Summer Art Camp 2019, Session 1. Interested? The "Art Challenge" ART Camp starts June 24!

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