Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In Art News

We have an art easel that we use off and on in our kitchen area.  Our art studio area is upstairs, so I also like to offer some art opportunities downstairs.  The easel was put away for about 6 months, but I recently brought it out again and of course it was a big hit!  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, especially with easels!  Ha!  

Remember that EASELS HELP DEVELOP MOTOR SKILLS (click).....they are essential for early childhood homes!  And fun!

Here's what it looks like for Q(6) and B(newly 4):

Paper in a basket underneath, a role of washi tape to attach the paper to the easel.  I gave the kids a mini-lesson on the correct way to do this.  Q can tape up paper independently, B needs help.  Often times I tape up a blank piece of white paper, and it proves irresistible--someone comes to paint as soon as they spot it!  I also try to occasionally stop and paint a bit to model it for my kids.  They get so interested in watching Mama paint, too!  

A jar of assorted paintbrushes

A sponge (cut in half to make a small square) for wiping brushes or spills

A small container of small chalk bits (small pieces encourage correct finger grasp for young writers) and a little eraser

2 mugs that are used for rinse water for painting--one for warm colors and one for cool colors.  Q and I learned to do this in our recent watercolor class.  I love that it teaches her to think back about her color theory and where particular colors belong.  B just uses them both for either color, and that's fine (with me, not his sister...she hates that).  

I have a little stool next to the easel that holds a pallet of watercolor cakes (the largest size crayola makes).  I put out washable cakes for independent painting, but we use liquid watercolors when we sit down for a guided painting time.  

I also recently bought Q some tempera cakes for some variety.  I am not super impressed with the ones we got, but she likes them.  I hoped they would be darker and more vibrant.  I ordered them, but I need to see what some of the craft stores or even Lakeshore carry.  Theirs might be higher quality.  Anyhow, paint cakes are great because they are less messy than liquid paint and I don't have to worry about wasting paint that dries out.  I provide liquid tempera upstairs in the studio, so they still get different opportunities with a variety of paint mediums.  

We have a cupboard nearby with a basket of old washcloths that the kids have access to for any clean up that is necessary!  They know to put completed pictures on the table if they want to paint another one!  We have a little "training session" when I first get out the easel to show them how to use everything.  Q is very helpful in getting water for her brother and taping up his paper, which is great!!