Monday, September 10, 2012

Kindergarten Paints & Piet Mondrian

Yaaaahhhh for painting with kindergarten!  There is no one more enthusiastic about painting than a bunch of five and six year olds.  It can quickly deteriorate to my worst nightmare, though, so here's my sanity saver: unicorns.  That's right: unicorns.  To paint in my room, you have to make a "paint brush horn like a unicorn."

Adorable not-my-student demonstrating
Adorable student demonstrating

Without a paint-brush-horn-like-a-unicorn, no paint comes to you.  It works like magic.  This last project was our first kindergarten painting project.  We talked about painting expectations, got our papers and paint shirts, and made our unicorn horns to receive our paint.  I gave them manilla paper, squirted a little white on, had them spread it around, and then added one color.  We talked about tints.  The whole purpose is really to get them used to painting protocol.  The next time, we cut shapes and made shape monsters on our papers.  Here are some student examples:


We also painted in first grade, but here our focus was on learning to clean our brush between colors.  I used a lesson from my friend, Linda Welling.  Here's a link to her artsonia gallery of this lesson. Linda had them use marker, I changed it so we could practice cleaning our brushes.  I made a simple power point of Piet Mondrian's work, and let it scroll while we looked and discussed the lines he used (straight) and the colors he used (primary + black). Students used a template/pattern to trace an animal head, then used rulers to make straight lines.

They trace everything with permanent marker, and choose a few lines to make fat.

I kind of messed up with my first group, having them draw the eyes of the animal, but changed it on the following groups.  The drawing took one class period. The next time they came, we added color, painting 2 spots yellow, cleaning and drying our brushes, painting 2 spots red, cleaning and drying our brushes, and then painting 2 spots blue.  We left them to dry, and the last time, we added marker details (the first group, that had already drawn their eyes and nose), or construction paper details (everyone else) using only neutral colors.


   Students who had me in kindergarten remembered our Piet Mondrian lines from kindergarten.  I couldn't resist putting them up across from each other (the kindergarten and first grade Mondrian projects).

 If you're looking for new ideas, Linda Welling puts everything her students do on Artsonia.  Even the Artsonia people call her "The Artsonia Lady."  I know I'm always looking for new projects, or different twists on a tried-and-true concepts, and Artsonia is a great resource.

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