It sure seems that every Thursday (art class day) is 95 degrees or above with at least 90% humidity! It's been a hot, dry summer. The dry part is good (for art class anyway), but it's a little tricky to stay cool outside while making art. Maybe I should invent some kind of art-making class we could do in the pool…
Last week we did some printmaking. The kids enjoyed making their own printing plates from foam plates after I read "Swimmy," a book that features illustrations created by printing different materials. First, the girls created a background on their paper with watercolors. They really like using watercolors (or paint of any kind). I did have to remind them not to mix too many colors together or else they would end up with "mud." I don't usually tell them which colors to mix or not to mix colors, but when they've created a beautiful color by mixing two paints, I hate to see it covered up with a muddy brown.
While the backgrounds were drying, the girls created their printing plates by drawing images of fish on foam plates (cut into squares). Some tried their hand at creating their own, but other wanted me to draw the outline for them, after which they filled them in with patterns, eyes, scales and fins.
We put those aside and went back to the backgrounds, printing with doilies, bubble wrap, rolling pencils, the lips of cups, pencil erasers and even fingers! The bubble wrap was probably the favorite material, and it was really tempting to pop it while painting on it!
Ideally, the printing plates would have paint applied to it with a brayer, but in this case we used tempera paint with a somewhat dry paintbrush. I had them test their plates on a separate piece of paper first to make sure the lines they drew were deep enough to resist the paint. (A few needed to be re-drawn.) This was Malayna's favorite art class so far.
After the underwater scenes were finished, we worked on artist trading cards. I gave each girl 8 small cards that I had cut from heavy paper and told them that they could "print" each card and then at the end of class everyone would trade cards, so we would have a card from each person in class. They loved this part! I was really impressed with the ideas they had for printing. One girl even did her own version of monoprinting - she painted on one card and then made several prints from that one image. They were so creative!