Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oil Pastel Drawings and Making Our Own Paint

As leaves and petals begin to fall this time of year, I realized that they would make great materials for this week's art exploration... making our own natural paint! We began first with oil pastels and water color paper to create a base for our plant paintings. The oil pastels will resist (and show through) the paint to create a multimedia work of art.
For the older class, I placed jars of flowers on the table and invited them to draw a still life of a flower. I asked them to pick one or all of the flowers to look at, focusing on the shapes, lines, and colors. Although some representations were more abstract than others, all the children worked hard at observing the flowers.

Once the kids had some time to draw, I brought out the materials to make our own plant paint. Each child was given a bowl, spoon, and a bottle of water. Then they chose flower petals and leaves to crush with water in their bowl.
To crush the plants well, it's best to use a mortar and pestle, which the children took turns using.
In other classes, I used a blender to crush some red rose petals to get a stronger color.

After the initial experience of making our own paint, I offered watercolors to the children which was a little more interesting than painting with very diluted flower colors.

Eventually the children wanted to add glitter and jewels to their bowls, making a sparkling potion-type of paint!

Around the studio, the children found some interesting materials to work with!

A bowl of sparkly flower paint!