Friday, February 22, 2013

Lesson on Interior Design for Kids: Introduction to Floor Plans

Lesson taught to children ages 3 through 6

No child is ever too young to start designing and there is no reason they can't start thinking about the world of design surrounding them. And as we know, kids have great imaginations and can come up with the craziest and neatest ideas (that may seem a little far fetched and unrealistic, but hey, it could happen!). This is definitely one of those lessons that challenge kids to think out-of-the-box.

About the Lesson

I prepared a lesson first by gathering books, floor plans, and magazines on interior design & decorating. After talking to my students about these things, the children explored the books and magazines to get ideas, and we also discussed the symbolism used in floor plans.  Afterward, my students chose from a variety of floor plans that I had gathered to start thinking about how they would want to decorate the interiors of the buildings.  Many of them enjoyed moving around cut-outs of symbols for objects like tables, couches, bath tubs, etc., and then gluing them down in the desired areas.  Others also enjoyed just drawing their own symbols, creating outdoor gardens, backyards, and more.  We will definitely have to do an extension of this lesson since the kids had so much fun and creativity to put forth.  

For more information on lessons, comment or contact me directly.  Hope you enjoyed!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Collage Art Project for Kids ages 2 through 6

This activity was done recently with my students ages 2 through 3, but this is a simple project that could definitely be applied to older kids.  I offered pre-cut strips of craft paper, which is very helpful especially for little fingers just learning to cut, since it is easy for them to cut entire pieces off of the strip with just one snip.  A tip to show them would be to make sure the narrow part of the strip is all the way back and between teh blades so that only one snip is necessary.  While it's good for their fine motor skills, they also enjoyed pasting the strips onto cardboard with glue sticks.  My students also used markers to decorate the cardboard that they were gluing the strips to, and when they were all finished, we painted over each collage with tacky glue to keep it all in tact.  Any craft glue should do.

Pre-cut strips of craft paper to give the little ones a head start

These collages can be found on the website in our collage gallery, sold as greetings card prints:   
Collage Art Prints

Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fine Art Introduction to Perspective Drawing for Kids

I recently taught my students, ages 3 through 6, their first lesson on perspective.  We definitely didn't get into point perspective just yet as there are some basics we needed to cover first.  I started off the lesson by sharing a number of perspective paintings and drawings by various artists.  I pointed out similarities between each artwork to teach the kids learn new vocabulary such as foreground, background, and horizon line.  Once my students began to understand and recognize these terms,they were able to explore this idea on paper with crayons and watercolor paints. 

The kids each spent two sessions on this project and really seemed to have a lot of fun with it.  They also came up with some pretty clever titles that will be posted soon with their artwork on the website.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask away!

~Angelique Bowman

An Artist's Perspective on Art Made by Children

My Thoughts on Student Art

At first glance, artwork at this age may look very abstract and random, but as a teacher who spends lots of time with ages 2 through 6, I see a lot of the thought and concentration put into their work.  It's wonderful to listen to what what my students have to say about what they see in their own art.  I often walk around while my students are at work and ask them to talk about what they are making, and they often describe things in such detail and passion.  Of course, they don't use the terminology that fine artists might, but their imagination is strong and playful.  I especially find this true while my students are working on their artwork just after a lesson, since they have these new ideas just introduced to them that are fresh in their heads and ready to be worked out onto paper (or whatever the material may be).

Lately, I have also been encouraging the kids to title their artwork and it truly adds to the quality of their art.  I find that my students are often much more literal and to the point than a lot of us experienced fine artists try to be sometimes, with our catchy, clever, and metaphoric titles.  For example, one child painted a beach with rainbows and called it "Rainbow Beach," while another child made up a story about drinking all of the water from their pool... He titled his work, "When I Drank All of The Water from the Pool."  It was perfect, and needless to say, it made me smile and giggle a little.

I look forward to hanging out with my Little Wonders students as they are always full of surprises-- You just never know what level of creativity they will come up with next.  

The next time you see child art that might look like a bunch of scribbles or something abstract, just imagine what kind of detail and depth a child might see in it.

My students painting with watercolours

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Experimental Art Lesson on Wood Panels

My students, ages 2 through 6, just recently finished up an experimental painting that took each of them about two to three half-hour sessions.  The experiment involved changing the texture of smooth treated wood panels and then seeing how acrylic paint would take to it.  

I began the lesson by teaching the kids about carving, etching, and engraving into the wood.  I showed them my carving tools and demonstrated how to use them.  However, carving tools would be too dangerous to let the kids use them without the coordination, practice, and strength to use such tools.  I offered them jewelry files instead for the kids to "carve" or "engrave" into a wood panel, but it probably felt more like scratching into the panels for them.  I showed the kids how we can change the texture of a smooth surface into a rough surface by using the files.  If you are considering doing this project with your little ones, I suggest choosing softer woods that can be easily scratched into.  

Here is an image of the first session of carving (or scratching) on wood panels.  Some of the kids chose to have taped boarders so that when they were completely finished with all lessons, the untouched wood would frame the painting.

During the second session, I gave the kids a lesson on how to work with a painter's pallet using acrylic paint, and how to blend colors with plastic pallet knifes (which can be purchased at most arts and craft stores).  I used lids from plastic containers from butter spreads and yogurt containers to offer small splotches of acrylic paint on so that each child would have a small pallet to work with.  My students could either apply the paint to their wood panels with a pallet knife or a paint brush.  Each student also had a rag that they could rub the paint into the scratched surface with to see how the paint responded to the new surface.  The children found that it was easy to wipe the paint off of the smooth areas of the wood but that the paint would "stick" to or stain the scratches.

Here you can see how we used the lids to create our pallet.

Each painting turned out very unique and original.  After the kids felt that their paintings were finished, we displayed them for the week on a bulletin board, below.

  To view the paintings closely, you can check out our gallery here:
Each painting is offered in prints in the form of blank Greetings Cards.

Thanks for stopping by!
~Angelique Bowman