Monday, August 16, 2010

Art class: collage with painted paper

Wow! This art class had so much energy! It was so lively and busy that we didn't even have time for snack until the very last minute. That's huge, people.

We read a fantastic book called The Lion and the Little Red Bird. The watercolor and mixed media illustrations in this book are colorful and inspiring. The story is great, too - about the friendship that develops between the two creatures, even though they don't speak the same language. The lion's tail is a different color each morning, and the girls enjoyed trying to figure out why.

Part of the reason this class was so energetic was because they were moving the whole time. Instead of having them sit at the same table for the entire class (like they usually do), I set up four painting stations. Each station/table had a different colors of paint and the girls would move to the next table after painting a sheet of paper (or two or three…). Table one had brown, black and white, table two had orange, red, yellow, table three had blue, purple, green and the last had yellow, white and pink.

They were so into it that I had to keep an eye on the time and move them along after a little while. I think they would've easily filled four or five sheets of paper at each table. My intention was to have them paint one sheet per table, but that didn't really work out. They tended to do two sheets on average and some were constantly asking for more paper. How could I say no when they were so inspired?!

In addition to painting the papers, they could use things to make impressions in the paint, like plastic forks, bubble wrap (the favorite), sponges and brushes. I need to get more bubble wrap - it's art class gold.

While they worked on painting their papers, my assistant Tessa had to start drying them with a blow dryer. I realized halfway through that they wouldn't be dry enough to complete the project. Once again I was so glad that I had an assistant.

After the papers were dry and we found the owners of them, I handed out bird body templates. The girls traced the bird body onto their painted papers, then wings, tail feathers, and head. Some girls went further and created nests, the sun, leaves and branches. I gave each girl a googly eye for their bird. I also let them use the oil pastels to draw on them. They cut out their drawings and glued everything onto blue construction paper.

I love the way these turned out! This, to me, was the perfect art class: there was tons of energy, the process was fun and the product looks great. Most of the projects we do are more about process than product, as it should be at this age. But it's a plus when pieces like this happen!

This project was adapted from one I found on the Deep Space Sparkle blog. She has lots of great art class ideas with excellent instructions.

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