Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Clay Exploration, Leaf Prints, and Sculpture

For our week of clay exploration, some children worked with clay for the first time, while others re-visited this fun medium, experimenting with new techniques. The 1s and 2s classes began testing out a few tools to manipulate the clay.

After a bit of exploration with only the tools, the children were offered decorative objects to use with their clay (popsicle sticks, buttons, glitter, and paint).
The older twos classes tried out our new plaster molds. They pushed clay into the mold, rolled over it with their rolling pin, and then peeled it up to see detailed designs appear- So exciting!

The younger classes were eventually given water to add to their clay for a super sensory (and messy!) experience.
Window painting was also a hit this week!
The 3s/4s classes first were introduced to resist leaf printing. They chose leaves to press into their clay, painted over the entire thing with tempera, then peeled up the leaf to reveal their print.
After peeling up the leaves, you can see the veins printed into the clay. The leaves also acted as a resist to the paint, allowing the outline of the leaf to show when peeled up.
After leaf printing, the kids began to add to their work with more clay and decorations.
Some kids also decided to pick out items from the recycled materials bin to use with their clay.
 A couple of the finished sculptures...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Watercolor Exploration

For the second week of art class, we focused on liquid watercolors. We began with an oil pastel/watercolor resist technique where the combination of an oil pastel drawing and watercolor painting creates a resist effect. The oil pastel resists the watercolor and shows through the painting!
The 2s classes practiced making marks and drawing shapes. Then painted over their drawing with liquid watercolors.

Of course glitter was involved and some children chose items from the shelf to incorporate into their paintings.
We also practiced more fine motor skills by using droppers to suck up the paint and drop it onto coffee filters. This type of paper soaks up the watercolor to make an interesting tie-die effect.
Finally, the 2s classes, had a super sensory exploration with white foam paint (which feels like shaving cream, but is non-toxic), watercolors, and fun tools!

For the drawing portion of the 3s/4s classes, we focused on self-portraits. Each child was given a hand mirror to study their faces before using oil pastels to try to draw themselves.

After a fun attempt at self-portraits, the kids began to explore the watercolors with droppers, toy cars, and glitter.
After class, the kids continued the fun outside- playing at the water table and spraying liquid watercolors onto a large drop cloth.

The evolving garden at GROW also proved to be a source of non-stop entertainment. The chickens and bunny were enticing the younger ones, while the older boys were engaged in some hard work... filling up a wheelbarrow with logs and straw! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Classes Have Begun!

The new Make+Believe art studio has opened! After a long month of moving the studio, getting the classes filled, and finding the right teachers we have finally begun our fall session. Here is a look into the new space- it's small, but feels just right for our little tots.
For our first week of the session, we began with finger/wacky object painting for the 1's and 2s classes. The returning students never get tired of messy painting, while the new children get to explore the tempera paints and wacky tools that will soon become very familiar. This activity is also a great way to show the children (and parents!) that this studio is place for messy exploration and open-ended creativity.
The easels are a always a big hit with the younger classes.
The 3s/4s classes began by mixing their own colors to use in their paintings. Quite a bit of time was spent squeezing and stirring the primary colors to see what new and interesting colors they could create.
When they were ready to paint, the children used their new colors as a base for a mixed-media art piece. Some of the kids added circle tissues and glitter, while others decided to cut their own tissue shapes and add other bits of collage materials to their work.
 The kids had fun getting to know their teachers as well!
At the end of each class, everyone washed up in the water table outside and got to explore the new garden area of the GROW Art & Garden Education Center. The chickens, the fort, and the hay bales were especially enticing!