Monday, March 28, 2011

How to introduce great artists of the world to preschool children and help them create their first masterpiece.
Guided Van Gogh Art Project for Kids

Discovering Great Artists with Preschoolers

Art Treasury

As long-time readers of my blog know, my daughter is not very "artsy-craftsy”. She’d rather read – anytime, anywhere, anything. But we’ve been reading some good books about art and drawing lately, and she’s been interested in trying something on her own. We are both loving The Usborne Art Treasury by Rosie Dickins that I brought from the library. It has two page spreads for 22 different artists and styles. One page spread has an information on the artist, style and a little bit about an artist. Then the next page spread has a project. The very first project in the book is Van Gogh, and Smarty was immediately taken by the idea of adding glue to the paint to make it thicker. She practically begged me to do this project first. I did several things to help her be successful with her masterpiece:
Starting Van Gogh Project
  • Not rushing it - we did it on a Saturday morning when both she and I felt rested, energetic and relaxed.
  • Using good acrylic paints and thick cardstock paper helped Smarty to feel that this project is really special.
  • Scaffolding - I sketched landscape features and painted division lines between colors, so she could remember which color will go where.
  • I gave her many brushes, so she could paint different colors with different brushes. This helped to keep colors bright, since 4 year olds are not known for thorough rinsing and drying of their brushes.
Guided Art for Preschool

  • Focus on fun parts – like using a plastic fork and the other end of a paintbrush to make swirls in the paint.
  • Quit while you are ahead. At some point I gently separated Smarty from her masterpiece before she could “improve” on it any further.
  • Frame and display to encourage more artistic expression – Smarty is all excited about the perspective to have her own art gallery eventually :)
Van Gogh Guided Art

Learn About Great Artists

Follow my Pinterest Board Learn About Great Artists
Follow Natalie Planet Smarty Pants's board Learn About Great Artists on Pinterest.

Your Turn

What are your tricks for guided art with preschoolers?


MaryAnne said...

Anna's painting looks fantastic! Your tips on making a successful art project are excellent, too. My kids always get excited about trying new, especially nice, art materials, and not rushing things (and displaying the finished product) is key!

Debbie said...

This is fantastic! She did a wonderful job. I love the way you presented it to her, set the supplies up and knew just when to say finished.

learning ALL the time!!/Susan said...

Beautiful work!

Christy said...

I love Anna's art and the way you set this up. We own that book; it's fantastic!

AshHadAns said...

So cute! This is definitely a book we need to order.

Mom and Kiddo said...

oooh, sounds like a great book! I love the painting!

Joyful Learner said...

I just got that book and will be using it as our art curriculum! Anna's masterpiece came out great! I'm looking forward to seeing more of work!

Ticia said...

I love how you set it all up for he rto succeed.

Dogs are not conducive to typing.

Now I want that book.

johanna said...

fabulous tips - thank you !

Joyful Learner said...

Okay, I take back my comment. I just did the activity with K on O'Keefe and didn't like it very much. No opportunity for creativity and I ended up doing most of it!

Kim said...

Gorgeous picture! She should be pleased with her success - hopefully that will lead to more interest in painting!

Our Homeschool Fun said...

LOVE, LOVE, this post Natalie!! Anna's finished painting is beautiful!! Y'all did a wonderful job on it.

I've wanted this book for ages. Now, after reading your post, I know I will purchase it. Our library does not have it.

Again, this is super Natalie. I'm smiling big here:-).

Brimful Curiosities said...

What a little artist! Beautiful job. Now all she needs is a beret!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Anna! Her picture is great. It's so nice how you worked together and helped her succeed.

Bona Fide Mama said...

Lovely work. Whenever I hear/read someone saying that they take the art away from their child before they essentially ruin it, I'm reminded of my favorite movie "Six Degrees of Separation". If you've seen it a million times like I have you probably know what I'm talking about :)

The girl who painted trees said...

Those are great tips. I wish that I could get to all the kids in Bear's class in time to get them to quit while they are ahead. Today, at least half of her class kept on painting over and over their flowers until there was not much of a flower left (we were doing the Georgia O'Keeffe project). At home, I usually encourage the Quit while you are ahead mantra!
Anna's painting is definitely worthy of a frame.

RedTedArt said...

Ooooh a great set of tips! Painting with young children can be challenging, but I know from our experience that my son LOVES it when the final result is beautiful and he does like direction!

Love your artwork, it turned out so well you must be both v proud!

Thank you for linking up to Kids Get Crafty!


Our Homeschool Fun said...

I have one question, are there any instructions/guidance for the projects?

Elle Belles Bows said...

Fabulous job Anna!

Thanks for the book recommendation too!


Julie said...

Wow! She did an incredible job with this painting! I'm impressed!

Our Homeschool Fun said...

I get to pick up my book today--can't wait:-).

jfb57 said...

Hello! I found you via Red Ted ARt who thought you might like to link up to the Resource Centre (there's a badge!). It is for not verty artsy teachers who need help & some of these posts would be ideal! I do hope you will pop over & have a go!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This is beautiful! I love it!

Stopping from the Kid Blogger Hop!

Taylor said...

saying hi from

Kristi @ Creative Connections for Kids said...

Her art is lovely and the look on her face is priceless. visiting from the Best of 2011 Blog Hop :) Kristi