Last week I had a "Back to School" party in the studio for seven little girls, three 6 year olds, three 8 year olds, and one preschooler.
I decided to introduce a project I did a couple of years ago focused on what else? apples!
First, I explained why the plate of apples was sitting on the floor. I told the girls we would be painting from a bird's eye view perspective.
Then I brought out some work of Cezanne to inspire them. Afterwards, they could either do a working sketch or take a piece of charcoal and draw directly onto the acrylic paper.
When everyone was happy with their composition, I gave each girl a palette of the three primary colors, black, white, and brown. However there were no paint brushes. I explained we would be using our index finger instead. Although if a child could absolutely not stand getting their finger covered in paint, I would hand them a paintbrush instead. I am happy to say that each girl gave painting with their finger a try although a couple of them then asked to finish with a paint brush.
When painting with their finger, I find it does a great job of keeping the style loose and most importantly really helps emphasize using brush strokes as a tool to create an interesting painting.
The girls also did all their color mixing directly on the paper which went a long way to creating some incredible work. I asked them to all start with their background, then work on their plates, and finally to paint their apples.
I also brought out a color wheel and went over how to use complimentary color to create shadow instead of black.
When they were finished, I gave each girl the charcoal one last time. I showed them Cezanne's work again and asked them to pay attention to his use of black line. Then they had the opportunity to use the charcoal wherever they felt it should be added to their work.
As the mother was taking a group picture of the girls with their finished artwork, I mentioned to one of the other adults there for pick up how amazed I always am at the variety of work from one set of instructions. I love the way each girl was inspired by Cezanne's work and how they worked out the project instructions to appeal to their aesthetic. What a wonderful way to kick off a new school year.
I will be taking a short break at the studio after a very exciting summer. Don't forget to check out the school year art schedules at KudzuStudio.com. Classes will start the first week of October and I am so excited about the project ideas. There is something for every age group and I'll be introducing some adult workshops and holiday workshops at the end of September too. Be sure to check it out.