Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Art Club: Monet

About a year & a half or so ago we joined a local Art Club/Group. The group meets once a month on an afternoon, generally at a local park. One Mum puts the whole thing together, but all Mum's who bring children are asked to help out where/how they can. It's been a lot of fun, & my boys look forward to "Art Club Tuesday" around here with open arms.

In fact last month they were really bummed when it was postponed, then one debated not going to the make-up event because of the poor weather, but the other simply said, "You can't skip, we always do something really cool!" We went, & they both came home raving about it.

This year we've been looking at Impressionist's & trying our hands at various projects that can help mimic that type of art. We don't go deeply into depth at Art Club, just a basic chat about what the type of art is & what it refers to. We look at samples of the type of art, & especially the artist whom we'll be copying that particular month. Very simple & to the point. Seriously, the Mum who organises this does an amazing job!

This month we tried our hands at a Monet. We had a look at some of of his works, specifically the Lily Pond Garden painting. We looked at a copy of it & discussed all sorts of things about the painting. Then the Mum explained, in step by step instructions, what the kids were each meant to do. She equally shows them how to go about each step, which is also written down for the children to refer back to should they need to later.

While I don't have photos of the step by step process or a link to share I'll do my best to explain how we made our lovely pictures above. We used Water Colour Paper {just a simple pad purchased from our local K-Mart, nothing fancy}, Oil Pastels {non water soluble}, markers, spray bottle of water, & table salt.

First we were instructed to draw the bridge a bit higher then the middle of the paper. We did three curved lines & then the connector pieces to give it the effect of a hand rail. You'll notice in one of our photos the bridge is more prominent then the other. One child opted to go back over his bridge with the white oil pastel vs the other.

Next we used pink, red, & orange to draw water lilies. It was suggested we draw a U with some jagged bits on top, remembering to draw lilies in the foreground bigger then those in the background. Then you use a green oil crayon for the lily pads. Once you get that all done, you'll need your markers.

The idea is to use blue {we used 2 different shades} & a purple for the water. you don't have to colour every inch of the water area in, but you will want to cover more then you leave white. We had some who coloured it in fully, some who didn't, & some that hit the middle point. Each end result was beautiful, some just had more colour then others. The children were all urged to find a point under the bridge where the water would stop & not colour above that with the water colours aside from a few squares in the bridge "railing". I think each child selected a different start & stop point!

Next up you'll use Green {2 shades again} & yellow for the are above the bridge. Colouring it in the same fashion as you did the water. It was suggested to use differing strokes then we did for the water. So with the water we made vertical lines when we coloured. For the trees we made circular motions, for the ferns we made vertical lines again. The sunny areas were done more in a circular motion again. Really, you can't mess the project up & you'll be tempted to try it again & again anyway.. Don't forget to colour in the remaining squares on your bridge.

As a note, the objective is to fill the white paper & while it shouldn't effect the oil pastels, we were advised to try not to colour over them with our markers.

Once you're satisfied with the marker job you'll want to use the spray bottle. We were outside so it was pretty easy to let the kids go at it to their hearts content, & you will need a fair amount of water on your paper. I'd suggest laying down a plastic table cloth if you're doing this inside, & then let them spray spray spray. The objective is to get the areas where you used the marker wet enough to help the marker bleed into each other. It may not look fantastic when you start, but trust me it's okay! Once you've saturated, sprinkle on some salt. The sale supplied was more of a rock salt & it worked perfectly fine. Each child was instructed to use roughly 3 teaspoons & to just sprinkle it liberally over their project. Then, just walk away. Find something fun to do or go make another art project.

We left ours in the sun for a while as the kids each worked on a new one, paused to have a good laugh at the Rainbow Lorikeets who dropped in to check out what they were doing, & eventually packed up all the supplies & helped cart them back to the car they came from.

The parents eventually moved the projects off the plastic bases {flexible plastic cutting boards} the children had started on & laid them in the grass to help them dry. Some were dry, some were still slightly damp but no longer bleeding all over. Ours were in the later category, but dried quickly once taken home & put under the heater.

Once they are fully dry, flick off the salt. I just held the papers over the sink & rubbed gently over all the rock salt. Considerable amounts will flake off, but you'll be left with enough behind that you're picture will sparkle. We then mounted them on blank paper, which required us to trim our original project just a smidge. That's it, when we were done we put them in our art notebooks for safe keeping!

The hardest part of this whole project is resisting the urge to make hundreds of these things! They were such a hit with the kids!

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