This week we are wrapping up our Maker madness artworks that we made in the weeks before. I decided to turn the words into mini signs with wood blocks attached to them and paint patterns and designs with fluorescent tempera. Check these out, they are screaming with color and the students had quite a time making them!
Next up... It's spring break week! Before the break, we just started a new kindergarten project- Asian cherry blossom scrolls. This is a staple project that always yields beautiful results. There are many variations of this project too, and it can be modified to suit older students.
First, we discuss Asian Art and the different types of subject matter that are often incorporated into the artworks- nature, landscapes, animals, etc. I have a great book on Asian brush painting that I often pull examples from (notice there is paint all over it!)
So I typically use chalk pastel as a base for the painting- we use sunset colors and shade and blend the colors to form a nice yummy gradient. I always try to incorporate a couple of art buzz words into a lesson and then attach them to an art words board in my room. Some other buzz words for this lesson... Scroll and Chop
The students will have made quite a mess of themselves at this point with the pastels. Try to minimize the mess by encouraging them to blend the gradient with one or two fingers and not to touch their face (ha!) After the students have a good base of pastels, we stop and I demonstrate painting a cherry tree branch.
It's important that you show how important brushes speak to this type of painting, as well as other materials, such as ink and paper. In kindergarten, we don't use ink for obvious reasons but it is nice to share the process! We use some nice bamboo brushes to paint with, and watered down tempera paint , which seems to add a little authenticity.
When they paint the branches, start with a big one that has a nice, wide curve to it, and then add the smaller branches, Have them look outside of our a window to reference the curvature of the branches. Encourage overlapping and discourage "the caterpillar"... Which tends to look like one giant branch attached to stick-like tiny branches. If they want to paint some silhouettes of birds or nests, why not?
That is about all you will have time for in one class. The next week, we finished with collaged cherry blossoms textured with a bit of peach paint, and some painted bright green leaves. If you want, you can have them make a seal or chop or finish with some Chinese calligraphy. Enjoy!