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!

Kids Get Arty: Van Gogh Sunflowers


Kid's Get Arty Link-up is a bi-monthly link up, 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.


This time we've had a look at two artists, one chosen by Chick, my 5 year old and one more geared for my nearly 3 year old (post to follow for this one.)   The Katie series of books exploring some famous artists have been very popular with Chick and she's been asking for ages to have a go at painting the sunflowers.
Art Themes: Colour Mixing, Brush Strokes and Positioning/Size

  

Colour mixing - with mainly yellows, oranges and bits of green it was a great project to explore simple colour mixing and making different shades of the same colour.  I gave Chick yellow, blue, red, white and brown paint and helped her when needed, to mix the colours, helping her look back at the painting and asking questions 'what colour is that flower?' Is that a darker or lighter shade of yellow on this bit?'

Brush strokes - We talked about the type of brush strokes Van Gogh made in his painting and we explored using different size brushes and doing short and long flicks, smooth or choppy stroke overlapping each other.  We talked about trying to brush the paint across the page and how our brushes can create different effects depending how we use them.

Positioning and Size - sometimes a blank piece of paper can feel overwhelming and it's a struggle to get started.  Van Gogh's sunflowers lends itself really well to being broken down into a simple background, the vase and the individual flowers as I helped Chick think about where the next flower needed to go relative to the one she'd just painting and what size might it be, again giving suggestions such as drawing the size with my finger over the area to help her. 

We love process based art and sometimes the finished piece is nothing more than a brown, muddy, gloopy mess of too much paint but other times it is very much a finished piece of work to be proud of.  Although it might appear that there was more product than process involved here, this project was very much process based, in that we were seeking to explore and learn a number of art techniques through doing the painting, which was her choice of painting to study.  I suppose it was process based in the way a guided art lesson seeks to teach whilst creating.  And I promise this was a long art lesson of 5 sessions over 3 days with a child who loves detail, accuracy and precision - so not for everyone!  

 

Session 1: We started by painting the background, mixing the colours, talking about the shade of yellow and what colours mix to make orange.  We then left it to dry.  
Session 2: Started with the pot, then moved on to some of the lower flowers.

 

Session 3:  Added the dark line round the pot and dividing the background colours and doing a few more flowers.  

 

Sessions 4: We worked on a few more flowers.  Again looking at brush strokes - short or long, fat or thin, choppy or smooth.  Again looking at colour mixing and positioning of the flowers.

 

Session 5: finishing the remaining flowers.
  

With this project we were very much looking at the detail and artistic techniques that Van Gogh used in his sunflowers and hence Chick's painting looks similar.  A nice alternative would be to do a still life painting session of a vase of sunflowers, although this might be more suitable for older children.


Perhaps the loveliest part of this project was being able to spend some one of one with my eldest and also how proud she was of her picture at the end.  This is one of the first times we've managed to do a project lasting over a number of days and it's definitely worth it for them seeing how things develop and how putting lots of effort in gives a project to be proud of.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Playful Science - Freezing and Melting: Flowers in Ice and Water


We are having some scorching summer weather at the moment, so we're spending lots of time outdoors and to keep cool we've been doing lots of things with water and ice.  


  One of the things we've had fun with is freezing things in water and then exploring them once frozen and as they melt.  Lots of simple, hands on science, playful learning and fun.


Chick collected some of the flowers, leaves and herbs from around the garden, including nasturtiums, cabbage, campanula, foxglove, borage and rosmary.  We try to make sure we have a selection of flowers, herbs and leaves for the kids to pick and play with and they are pretty good at knowing what they can and can't pick.  


After a night in the freezer they were ready and we took them outside to explore.  Chick had also wanted to freeze some balloons with water in so we had some ice balls to play with too.



The transformation from water to ice is so simple and yet so spectacular and irresistible to poke and prod and slip and slide.  


We talked about what they felt like to touch and what the petals felt like compared to what they felt like before freezing.  Simple science of state changes with lots of observations and descriptions here - hard or soft, rough and smooth, sharp, slippery, wet, dry, cold, warm etc.


There was lots of poking, prodding and exploring.



And Boo found it all pretty exciting too!


We also looked at how they were melting and watched them melt in the sun, in the shade and on top of the black wheelie bin, seeing where the ice melted fastest.


We talked about the heat from the sun and how black absorbs more light and heat than white that reflects more of the light and heat.


And of course you have to explore with your tongue!  We also talked about how some flowers are edible and some are poisonous.  After this we also made some borage flower ice cubes to have in drinks at tea time.

Last summer we've had fun with ice cube fabric painting.


The question is what shall we freeze next?
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