Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Falling Leaves -- Autumn Prints

Kindergarten Fall Leaf Prints 

This week, as the leaves are beginning to turn and fall, the kindergartners made prints using fall leaves!  We began this week with a question:

What is a print?
Hand prints and foot prints were examples that came readily to mind. From there the children quickly uncovered that a print (in art) is when you press a painted/textured object onto a piece of paper to make a copy of that object.

The kids began by creating their own printing block using a small wooden block and wrapping it with a long piece of yarn. Then they rolled green paint over their printing blocks with a roller and then pressed the block onto their paper to create green grass along the ground of their pieces.

They were also free to use their rollers to add large areas of color to the black paper. Many chose to fill their sky with blue and white using the rollers. The texture and color variation they achieved was amazing!

And finally, the kids were supplied with red, orange and yellow/gold paint along with a selection of maples leaves. They went to work painting the back (bumpy) sides of their leaves and pressing them onto their blue and green backgrounds.

The final pieces were absolutely stunning. They will be on display later this week in the halls of MMS!



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Self Portraits!

It's ME! Early Year Kindergarten Self Portraits

Today we did our first structured drawing class -- the theme was self portraits!

During today's class the children drew and then painted self portraits. When finished, these portraits will be displayed around MMS. They will also be on display at MMS Kindergarten graduation alongside a second self portrait that they will make at the end of the year. You won't believe how much they will grow as artists!

We began our class with some warm up drawing exercises. These are intended just to get the hands moving and to introduce the children to some of the shapes we will be using to draw the features of the face.

Then the kids drew a quick practice portrait. This is where we observed and discussed how the features of the face are arranged. Using a center line and two horizontal lines we divided the head into sections to make it easier to know where and how to add the features.

Then we worked as a class to create the portraits step by step. We began by adding the features one by one using pencil. Then the children traced all their lines with permanent marker to prepare their drawings for the addition of watercolors.

After that the children were introduced to using watercolors. We prepped our watercolors by wetting the paints and then began! The kids were encouraged to paint one space at a time and try to fill the whole page with color.  Beautiful results!

And finally, the children received their sketchbooks today! This is a space where they can do free work after they have completed their classwork. They were so excited to try their sketchbooks out, and the drawings were so lovely, I just had to share a few!

Parents: a note on viewing your child's art work.
I know that it can be very hard to refrain from comparing your child's work to others. In fact, it may be impossible. I volunteered for my daughters art class in kindergarten and had a terrible time not intervening to "correct" her when she started veering off the task the teacher had set.

Don't judge like I did! Just remember, when viewing what your child has created that the process and experience the children have while making the art is more important than the final product. They are just begin their journeys into creative expression and the most valuable thing that we can do to help them on their way is to truly value their experience and to support them as they explore new ways to express who they are.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Creating an Art Quilt with Hand-Mixed Colored Squares

Two weeks ago the children got messy mixing primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and discovered what secondary colors they created. They also got to experiment with mixing based on their own color choices. They could choose from both primary and secondary colors for this. This fun class project left us with sheets and sheets of beautifully painted paper of all different colors. This weekend I cut these up into squares of varying sizes so that the kids could make art quilts this week.

The children began by filling their paper with a checkerboard of the largest squares. They were asked to really notice how the colors looked together and to choose combinations that they liked.

Once the paper was filled, they layered a second smaller square on top -- again with an emphasis on personal color preference. Finally the children were asked to add a third very small square on top.

Here are the results! Please try to ignore the glue-- I took these pictures in class today and the art was not yet dry!

As you can see there were a wide variety of color preferences in general -- as well as quite a variety of what the children liked in terms of color combinations. It is amazing to see how strong and unique color preference can be, even at such a young age.