The Art Cabin kids had the fun task of painting some props for Brigitta’s Acting Club, who are shooting a mini-film. They needed 8 brains for a particular scene, so we set about painting 8 cauliflowers. The children mixed a very pale greyish yellow paint (we used poster paint for this project) for an all over base, then added a darker grey colour inbetween the florets to give their brain a realistic look. Once dried, the thick stalks were removed with a knife (the adults, did this bit).
In this project our young artists learnt how to paint using traditional Chinese brush stroke techniques. Armed with a selection of Chinese brushes and black ink the children were taught how to paint bamboo, Cherry Blossom, butterflies, dragonflies and koi carp in a simple step by step way.
After lots of practice the children designed an image for their paper lantern being mindful to keep their image simple with a thought for negative space. I created a template for the lantern shape and took the descision to trace around it and score the fold lines (this way I knew that we would have a proper cuboid with folds in the right place). We used cartridge paper for the lantern.
The students painted their designs onto the lantern pattern, cut it out and folded along the score lines. Black card was used for the top & base. We inserted a hanging loop of black ribbon in the top (puncture a small hole in the centre, thread the ribbon through & tie a knot, tape to secure). PVA glue was used to stick the lantern together and the tabs to the top and base.
This project was a hit with the kids, they really connected with the characters Keith Haring created. This particular art project included lots of different processes which the children found interesting. The end results were super pictures that the young artists were very proud of.
We started off discussing Keith Haring art, touching on semiotics, the colours he used etc. Lots of information & ideas can be found on this great site haringkids.com
As a warm up and a bit of fun I played some 80’s rap music and the children took it in turns to dance, when the music stopped others would sketch their poses. I created a worksheet with Haring inspired drawings of characters that the children could paint, this helped them to understand that we weren’t drawing ‘stick men’. Follwing on from this, the children developed their posed sketches with a view to created a couple of figures they could paint on some foil coverd board.
Once they had drawn their own characters, they needed to think about composition. They drew around the foil covered board onto some tracing paper and traced their characters in an interesting way. Once happy with the layout, the tracing paper was placed on top of the foil board and the figures traced around (this leaves an impression on the foil that the children can then paint).
Next the children used a black Sharpie to trace around their characters. Poster paint was mixed with washing up liquid and the children painted their figures. The foil board was placed on a larger piece of cartridge paper and the perimeter traced around. Using a Sharpie the children created a border of shapes & signs. The foil board was then glued to the paper with the border. Next the children covered a couple of pipe cleaners with foil pieces which they bent into the shape of another figure (some found it easier to follow the contour of a previously drawn character, using small pieces of masking tape to help the wire retain it’s shape). Small cut squares of foam-board were covered in foil, these help to make the wire figure ‘stand away’ from the foil board, most children only used two or three. I used a glue gun to adhere the foam foil squares & wire figures to the board.
Finally the artwork was mounted on black card and displayed for all to see, the reaction was WOW!
Here are some paintings that the Art cabin students have been working on over the last couple of weeks. After a brief introduction about Claude Monet and the Impressionist painting style, the young artists (aged from 5-11 years) began to paint their own interpretation of the Poppy Field near Argenteuil.
It’s worth noting that we used watercolour paper that was taped around the edges with masking tape. The children brushed clear water across the paper to stretch it. We also used an hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
For this project we worked in stages, beginning with an underpainting (this helps the children work out the composition of their painting, it’s not the finished item so adjustments can be made). The children mixed a blue wash for the sky. Using a wide brush with a side to side motion they applied the wash to the paper. Next adding yellow to the wash to make green, they applied a green wash for the grass. After this stage they added red to the wash to make brown to underpaint the trees & people.
For the middle stage of the painting the children worked with poster paints without the use of water so that the paint remained thick. Dipping a wide brush in blue paint then white, the brush was swirled & dabbed on the paper to create a textured sky.
For the grass, the brush was dipped in yellow and blue paint and swirled about as before, to create a textured field. For the trees the children mixed a dark green colour (they were given a tiny amount of black for this).
The last stage of the painting, using small brushes the children could add flecks of yellow & light green for the highlights. Adding more details to the people, house and finally the red poppies.
Once the paintings were dry the tape was peeled off to reveal a neat border. The children have had many compliments on their paintings which has really boosted their confidence.
The children loved making these little owls. They really are so cute and the Santa hats can be removed so that your little owl can be displayed all year round.
They are made from bendy corrugated craft card, we had an enormous roll of it given to the Art Cabin. The circles for the body and eyes are made from tall triangular cut pieces of card which are tightly rolled to make a circular shape. To make the eyes concave (to form an eye socket), just roll from the point of the triangle towards the wider base. To make the body convex (to form a tummy), just roll from the wider base towards the narrow point.
The dimensions depend on how big or small you want your owl to be, but roughly speaking the eye sockets are 1.5cms at the base tapering to 0.5cm and about 20cms long. The body is about 2.5cms wide at the base tapering to 1cm and about 45cms long.
The corrugated cardboard was also used for the eyebrows and small wings. To finish, wooden beads were used for the eyeballs, orange paper was rolled to form a beak and orange card was used for the feet. Raffia was threaded between the eyes to create an hanging loop, this could then thread through the Santa hat (which was made from card & cotton wool).
This is a lovely idea I saw on the internet, but I cannot find it to link to it. When I do I will!
Using Plaster of Paris, the children created a leaf impression, which they painted when it set hard. We started off with a rectangle of hessian which the children frayed, to create a decorative frindged edge. A wire loop was attached on the back for hanging purposes. Leaves which I had collected off the ground were rubbed with Vaseline on the underside where the veins are most prominent. These are then set to one side while the plaster is mixed.
Making sure that the children understood the health & safety guidelines of using Plaster (this is so important) they began to mix 2 parts plaster to one part water approx (wearing dusk masks). They mixed until the plaster resembled ‘melted ice-cream’, it was then poured in a circular shape. The hessian was jiggled back and forth so the plaster could flatten out and release any trapped air bubbles. The leaf was placed on the wet plaster and gently patted down.
While the plaster was drying, the children frayed the edges of a small piece of calico, it was glued to the hessian with PVA just below the plaster. Using an ink pad and letter stamps, the children printed an Autumnal word or their name on the calico. Once the plaster was touch dry the leaf was peeled off.
We used water based paints and the children applied the paint with a cloth in a wiping motion, this way the veins in the leaf imprint would show up. Final touches were added with pastel dust using a fingetip.
What a coincidence that someone donated these plates to the school where the Art cabin is based, and we happen to be working on an Egyptian project. They depict the very beautiful Queen Nefertiti who was the Royal wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.
The children just used ordinary poster paints (we didn’t have any ceramic paints), fully aware not to wash them or eat off of them!