Master Artists Inspiration
Submitted by the staff of Childreach
All too often, young artists are only presented with thick tempera paints, large handled brushes and newsprint. By providing more painting equipment and offering opportunities to observe the works of great artists, such as Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso, children can be inspired to more creative expression and experimentation.
• Provide your little artist with a studio featuring soft watercolour pucks, creamy tempera paints, quality brushes, pastels, crayons, coloured pencils, collage materials, canvas and various weights of paper.
• Create a gallery and display reproductions of fine art of different styles, from the shimmering light of the Impressionists to the bold geometrics and colours of Picasso, to the swirling, emotionally strong colours of Van Gogh and the bold outlines and colourful depictions of animals in native prints.
• Provide a magnifying glass to closely examine the use of colour, texture, line, shapes, brush strokes and blending of colours. Ask questions: “What do you see?” or “How does this make you feel?” or “Tell me the story in this painting.”
Encourage your child to trace lines, strokes and shapes and experiment with blending colours of paint on a palette made from a plastic lid or cardboard square. Try different techniques of applying paint to paper or canvas using fingers, cotton swabs, plastic cutlery or craft sticks. Try using hands or natural items, such as leaves, sticks and stones, to press into paint and then onto paper.
Create new masterpieces
After observing Water Lilies by Monet, create mono prints by applying tempera paint mixed with corn syrup and water (for a shiny, glowing finish) to the back of a metal cookie sheet. Ask what colours are in the painting and offer a limited selection of blue, green, purple and pink paint. Before the paint dries, place a piece of paper on top of the painted sheet and press gently and evenly. Lift carefully to reveal the print.
Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Sunflowers evoke strong emotions through his bold strokes, intense colours and thick application of paint. Provide a thicker paint this time, mixing Ivory Snow soap flakes with food colour and water to a spreadable texture. Use craft sticks to apply the paint generously to a large piece of black bristol board. Let dry and add more layers to build texture.
Mount art in inexpensive frames and display in places of honour in your home. Photos of artwork can be used to create greeting cards or published as calendars – just like that of the masters. What a wonderful way to nurture your little artist’s creativity.