Thursday, 7 February 2013

Fun with Colour & Marbling

I've just completed my first two art classes and I must say they were fun yet exhausting! I think I learnt more than the kids!! Both classes were on beautiful sunny afternoons and what I hadn't taken into account was that the kids might want to play in our back garden rather than do art (we have a large back garden complete with in-ground tramp, cubby, fort, slide, swings and a trapeze). Needless to say when I went inside on Tuesday to fill a bucket during clean up I came out to find them all on the tramp!  On Thursday I actually made a jump on the tramp (after clean up) part of the class. That way they got a quick release of energy and I felt under control.  

This weeks theme was COLOUR....

I wanted to ensure they understood what the primary and secondary colours are and how to mix them to get new colours.  It's really important kids grasp this concept early on and understand they don't need to be supplied with lots of colours.  As long as they have red, blue, yellow and white they can make any colour they wish.

We started with an afternoon tea including rainbow biscuits (use standard sugar biscuit  recipe, colour with food colouring, roll into sausages and squash together, then cut into rounds). During this time we read one or two of the very inspiring books by Peter H Reynolds (The Dot, Ish and Sky Colour).  We discussed how art doesn't have to be perfect and there are no right ways and wrong ways. Some of the children had already heard the books and we discussed the Ish like drawings they had done at school.  Sky Colour is about a little girl who has no blue paint so she paints the sky all these wonderful colours after realising the sky is not always blue.  On Tuesday the children really took this on board and felt quite liberated painting things whatever colours they wanted during the class.  We had a very colourful guinea pig and discussion on different colours for grass, sky and dirt.

Rainbow biscuits

Next we did a little science experiment (as we all love science) to see the primary colours mixing to secondary colours.  I got this idea from All For Kids.

Mixing Yellow and Blue to make green

Step 1. Place some blue food colouring into a glass of water
Step 2. Place a rolled up paper towel into glass and into empty glass next to it
Step 3. Place some yellow food colouring into a glass and place a rolled up paper towel into this
Step 4. Place the other end of the yellow paper towel into the empty glass next to the blue cup.
Step 5. Watch the coloured water get absorbed by the paper towel and mix in the empty cup.
When the experiment is finished the water level will be the same in all three cups.
Repeat with blue and red, red and yellow.

On Thursday we also added another experiment (so all children had something to do) also from All For Kids and it also features in the Osbourne 100 Science Experiments book.  It showed that different coloured textas (eg green) are made up of different colours (eg yellow and blue) and that some colours are more readily absorbed in water (due to their chemicals) and travel further on the sheet of paper.
Texta Dots separating out through absorption

The children loved these experiments and they checked on their progress all class.

We then moved onto the MESSY part of our class - Shaving Cream Marbling.  There are lots of sites on how to do this.  I particularly like the directions on  The Imagination Tree

Shaving cream marbling - Tuesday
It certainly got messy there was shaving cream EVERYWHERE!  Yet that's what art class is all about getting messy at my house rather than theirs... The children really liked playing with the shaving cream at the start and end of the session.  I learnt from the Tuesday session to put out only a few paints and to encourage putting on small amounts mixing a max of 4 colours at once.  As you can see from the Tuesday photo we had lots of colours to choose from and it was probably a bit too much choice as the kids wanted to use all the colours and sometimes mixed too much and got brown! We also used my fluro liquid watercolours on Tuesday yet I put them away for the Thursday class  as I think the result is better with the normal liquid watercolours.   Below are some of the results - I think it looks really beautiful.  We will use some of the paper for a collage in a later class.

Shaving cream marbling results

Our second activity was a painting to practise mixing of the primary colours to get different colours.  Each child was given an A3 piece of paper and a black permanent marker to draw a picture. I let them draw whatever they wanted since it was the first class.  I did suggest a sea scene or an abstract painting so they could practise drawing different lines.  I then gave them a palette with the three primary colours (and white).  I asked them to colour some things with these colours and then to mix the colours to get the secondary colours (as discussed from the science experiment).  There were quite a few crys of excitement when they made colours they liked.  There were a few children who didn't mix much at all yet this was mainly on Tuesday when I was still in the midst of hanging up the marbled paper and didn't get time to go around class to inspect what they were doing.
Tuesday class paintings

Thursday class painting

Thursday class painting

Our artist of the week is VINCENT VAN GOGH.  The children left with a print out of his "Starry Night" painting (below) and were asked to look at it and think about it and we would discuss it at the next class.  I hope to introduce the concept to them that there are many different painting styles, some they will like and some they won't. It's always interesting hearing about the lives of the famous artists and how they became famous and what makes their artwork so special.

Cheerio till next week.

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