Art, Daniel, Nicholas

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting: Brothers!

This week, Daniel turned two and also painted his first wet-on-wet watercolor painting. Nicholas enjoyed sharing table space with him.
First, a poem:
I told the Sun that I was glad,
I’m sure I don’t know why;
Somehow the pleasant way he had
Of shining in the sky
Just put a notion in my head
That wouldn’t it be fun
If walking on the hill, I said
“I’m happy” to the sun.
–John Drinkwater

And then, a story about a bright golden sun shining down and warming the earth.

And then, we painted.

The poem inspired Nicholas to sing a little song:

And then Daniel and I had a chat:


Art Lesson: Snap the Whip by Winslow Homer

This week’s art was “Snap the Whip” by Winslow Homer. It was a great opportunity to talk about perspective, the idea of repetition in art, and how objects look smaller when they are in the distance. We also talked again about foreground and background.

To create their own “Perspective Pictures,” the children chose two colors of paper, one for the foreground and one for the background. They then each took an object (apples for Nicholas, flowers for Katie Grace, and footballs for Michael) and drew it in three different sizes. The added the most details on the largest object, and the least detail on the smallest. Then they added them to the foreground paper.

We also found this lovely sculpture and had fun duplicating Homer’s painting by playing “Snap the Whip” ourselves.

For a more in-depth lesson on perspective, visit here.


Art lesson: Pointillism and Seurat

“La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat

This is one of my favorite paintings, so I really enjoyed sharing it with the kids. It was also the inspiration for one of my favorite musicals by Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George, and I enjoyed sharing that with the kids as well.

There’s some good information about the painting here and here, and some wonderful close-ups here.

We talked about pointillism and reviewed primary and secondary colors. The closeups of the painting really allowed up to see how Seurat used primary colors to create secondary colors. (Cue Sondheim’s Color and Light.)


Art Lesson: When Do You Marry? by Paul Gauguin

This week, we studied this painting featuring Tahitian women and a vibrant Tahitian landscape ny the French Impressionist Paul Gauguin. It have us the opportunity to address two concepts: first, the idea of landscape and foreground and background in a painting, and second, primary and secondary colors.

It was an exercise in observation to notice the details in the foreground and background. Sky, mountains, hills, rocks, grassy meadow, and pond or river, this painting had a variety of landscape details to notice.


Art Lesson: Ballet School by Edgar Degas

Last week we looked at Degas’ painting “Ballet School”. We talked about pastels and how to make pastel colors, and also looked at the figure and form in the painting.

To make our painting, we first made pastel paints–in retrospect, I wish we had made them pastel-y-er–and used sponges to sponge a light background on our papers, overlapping colors as we went along.

We then drew some practice figures on scrap paper.

The next day, the children drew their figures with oil pastels on their sponge-painted papers.
Michael went with a football picture. Nicholas’s background reminded him of an Easter egg hunt. And Katie Grace, of course, drew a ballet picture. You can click on the picture for more detail.