If you have walked by the Children’s Art Centre this summer, you will notice how busy our young artists have been making and exploring art techniques. Here are a few things we learned over the past two weeks:
Paper Construction: Scrap materials are always available for students to experiment with and are a good way for students to explore their own imaginations and ideas. This paper mansion is still evolving and has laid the foundation for good problem solving skills.
Fish Prints: Students used the Japanese technique of gyotaku to print a (rubber) fish and then created its underwater habitat using oil pastels and watercolor. This simple printmaking technique originated when fishermen wanted to keep records of their catch. Caught fish are washed and dried then brushed with ink. The artist then lays a piece of rice paper over them and gently rubs the fish to transfer the ink.
Just Like Eric Carle: Eric Carle is an American Illustrator that uses handmade collage paste paper to create his images. This project taught perseverance as students worked in collaboration with their peers over several days to complete their own images of animals. Students explored animal habitats and texture.
Handmade Paper Bowls: Students learned how paper is made by blending their own paper scraps into a pulp then pressing it between two wire frames. We even practiced new sculpture techniques like using a mold to make treasure bowls.
Play Dough: Is an all time favorite at the Children’s Art Centre. Did you know that when children learn with all of their senses, their brain connections are stronger and their memories last longer? Exploring our world through our senses helps children develop important observation and language skills as they explore, process, and come to understand new information. In the area of sensory exploration, the overlap between art and science is strong. Concepts of color, texture, and form – building blocks of the art world – can be explored in ways that build important science, math, and inquiry skills. Helping children become more aware of and fine-tune their senses allows them to explore their environment more deeply. Try mixing different spices or extracts into each batch:
4 cups flour 2 cups salt 2 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tbsp. vegetable oil 4 cups water 1 tsp. food coloring
2-3 tsp. cinnamon, lemon/orange/coconut/peppermint extract, OR pumpkin pie spice, etc.
Mix ingredients together in a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until the dough begins to clump together and pull away from the sides of the pan. Mix for one more minute over heat, then remove from heat and pour onto waxed paper. Allow dough to cool for several minutes, then knead for several minutes. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag. The dough will keep for several weeks. If dough begins to dry out, simply rub with oil.