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 Anna 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:
- 1. Not rushing it - we did it on a Saturday morning when both she and I felt rested, energetic and relaxed.
- 2. Using good acrylic paints and thick cardstock paper helped Anna to feel that this project is really special.
- 3. I sketched landscape features and painted division lines between colors, so she could remember which color will go where.
- 4. 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 .
- 5. Focus on fun parts – like using a plastic fork and the other end of a paintbrush to make swirls in the paint.
- 6. Quit while you are ahead. At some point I gently separated Anna from her masterpiece before she could “improve” on it any further.
- 7. Frame and display to encourage more artistic expression – Anna is all excited about the perspective to have her own art gallery eventually :)