Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Kids Get Arty: Riopelle - Painting with a Knife and Fork

Kid's Get Arty Link-up is a bi-monthly linky, all about exploring art and the great artists, having fun together and there are no right or wrongs - perfect!  It's hosted by some fabulous blogs Red Ted Art,and Mom 2 Posh Lil Divas,and we're very excited to be joining in. Do stop by some of these blogs and see some amazing and creative ideas linked up.

Riopelle is the second of our artist exploring this month which was more geared for my nearly 3 year old.  See here for our project on Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

Art Themes: Action Art, Painting Utensils, Colour Mixing


Action Art:  We talked about creating the art as you go, using sweeping strokes to create movement.  We talked about the effect of adding more layers, creating peaks and troughs on the paper and how colours disappeared and reappeared when you spread through with the knife or fork.

Painting Utensils: We used plastic picnic set knives and fork to create patterns, mix colours and create patterns.  We talked about what things other than paint brushes we could use to paint with and experimented with the patterns that could be made with the knife and fork.

Colour Mixing: We talked about the vibrant colours Riopelle and the girls collected up a selection of our readymixed poster paints (including lots of glitter paint!)  As they were creating we talked about how different colours mixed, what they were like when you first started mixing and then as they become more thoroughly mixed in and also if you add another colour.


Jean-Paul Riopelle was a Canadian born artist, painter and sculptor (1923-2002).  In the early 1905s he experimented with dripping and splashing paint directly onto the canvas, an abstract style with similarities to Jackson Pollock.  Riopelle went on to develop his distinctive technique using a palette knife to apply and spread the paint over the canvas.  Resulting in thick layers of paint and a textured finish known as 'impasto' 

This is fabulous action art and you can almost see the intensity of the artist working in his works.  Taking this idea of apply paint directly to the canvas with a palette knife we set about creating our own Riopelle inspired art applying paint directly to the paper and using a knife and fork to create our art.


Squeezing the paint directly onto the paper.

Then get making art with a knife and fork!


Add more paint and get mixing!

Put it on nice and thick to create a textured finish


The colours and patterns evolved and changed as the girls added more colours and did more mixing.

Shoeshine's finished picture (above)

The detail of the colour mixing and spreading with the knife and fork.

Chick's finished picture (above)

Chick's picture was rich with texture (and yes, too about a week to dry!)

We used poster paints and watercolour paper (you definitely need the thicker paper or card to hold the thickness of the paint)  It would also be lovely to do in acrylics, particularly if you wanted to keep the picture as our poster paint ones have a few cracks in them where the paint is very thick.


And yes the summertime is a great time for art projects as all the mess can be done outside!

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