Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Art Lessons - Getting Started!

On Monday (6/6) I started my Art lessons for kids ages 6-14. My first session (4 lessons) I have one 7 year old, and the other 4 are about 9 to 10 years old. It's been really good so far - and almost relaxing! That is something I don't think I've felt from teaching. Or maybe this venture isn't hitting my "anxiety" brain centers that the public school system creates. Who knows.

We began with one of my most favorite and successful lessons from my Heartland K-8 days: Watercolor Discovery. I mentioned it back on this entry with some examples from those classes.

Most of the students from the other day didn't finish yet, except for my 7 year old student. His "Watercolor Discovery" is found above, and here are the other students still working on theirs. They'll finish their Watercolor Discovery tomorrow.

There is also a Foil Relief Project in the works, so we'll see how that turns out.

Tomorrow, we're also going to begin another familiar watercolor lesson involving only the analogous warm colors (red, orange and yellow) to create a desert landscape. This was also one of my favorites that included back on this entry.

Today I had Christian making a new one to use as a demo.

First, you just concentrate on a background pattern of the warm colors. Here is Christian making his, and you can see my completed one to his left. His expression doesn't look too thrilled, but trust me, he was enjoying this project. (As always, click on any picture to see in more detail.)

Then after the full background with the pattern of warm colors dries for a bit (it doesn't have to be completely dry, but it shouldn't be too wet), the desert elements like cactus, bushes, and other things are added. To his left you can see some of my desert elements on mine. I love making the same projects too, but the kids can get overwhelmed. I tell them I didn't paint (or draw or do the project) that way when I was their age, so I want them to do well for their age, and not get overwhelmed with my years of experience. I saw more of that kind of discouragement with my high schoolers. They would like what I did, but then get mad when they couldn't do it the same way. That is SOOOO the opposite of what art and inspiration should be about.

Here is Christian adding his desert elements:
Then after the painting completely dries (putting it outside in our hot dry air helps), you add your ink pen to it, just like the Watercolor Discovery.

Here is Christian's just about completed! he was particularly interested in putting the "spikeys" on his cacti.
Here is Mikelle's that she did later today, followed by mine. I love the character that the children's artwork shows as evident in Christian and Mikelle's today, and the examples from my students in the 2009 Desert Landscape project. I can't wait to see the desert scenes that emerge tomorrow!

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