Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Allowing the Creative Juices to Flow

   The older two boys and I finally decided it was a crafty/ painting kind of day.  I was an art minor in college and always wanted to be an art teacher so I don't find teaching art all that intimidating as part of our homeschooling.  I know I'm pretty fortunate that way and not everyone is as artsy.  However there are wonderful computer programs and websites that teach all sorts of art techniques to kids and adults alike so that shouldn't stop anyone from allowing their kids to be creative.  I have a few tips for encouraging creativity and painting in your homeschool too; they're all italicized throughout the post.

  After thinking about it and talking it over we decided we all really wanted to paint.  We were going to paint the cute tree with the orange/gem background we had listed on my Thanksgiving Crafts and Ideas for Middle School Students post.  Alec just wanted to change his background to shades of blues, purples and pinks and make it more of a winter tree than a fall tree.  I'm fine with that.  I believe art is meant to be expressive and try never to say no when it comes to art...


    Next thing I knew I was looking up pictures of Aurora Borealis Paintings on Pinterest and we were all blending colorful background together.  I was bummed we weren't doing anything fall or Thanksgiving themed but I was happy to help my boys paint.  I wasn't sure if this would be too difficult to walk the boys through verbally so I decided to paint alongside them and show them how I was working my paint.  We mixed and blended until we had backgrounds we really liked and then set them aside to dry.  Again they each had their own way and I assured them that no way was the wrong way.  When they asked for help I offered it but try to keep any of my critiques to a minimum.

My background

Alec's background

Ian's background


   Once our backgrounds were dry we started painting in our trees.  I showed them how I make conifers by using a fan brush and rotating my wrist.   We were only using black paint for a silhouetted look so we didn't have to worry about shades and highlights.  They were coming out wonderfully when Alec decided to fill in some of the white still showing behind his trees by painting in a big black mountain... and then he didn't like it.  I had him stop what he was doing and go back to the computer to look up some ideas on ways he could fix his mistake; we always look for inspiration and ideas when needed.  He was worried his picture was ruined but I assured him that we can usually fix any mistake but the key was to make sure we knew what we wanted to do before we started to do anything.   Painting while panicked usually does not end well. 


Adding in trees 
   After looking around at other paintings we decided to just make a wavy line around the same height as his mountain and make that the ground while extending any trees higher to make them look natural.  He LOVED it and was so happy I was able to help him fix it.  I try so hard to make sure they love their project when they're done.  


   Ian decided he wanted to add some snow to his project.  I taught him how to dot some white paint onto his trees and then when he was ready I showed him how to use a toothbrush to flick the white paint onto the paper to simulate snow.  Sure it was messy and it was close to dinnertime and I really just wanted to clean up but I knew it was important to him.  I also know that art can be messy and I don't want my kids to worry about making a small, easily cleaned up mess, when they're in the creative zone.  


Flicking snow 

His snow scene

   I quickly put in the rest of my trees and we cleaned up the kitchen together.  I love that even though we all worked side by side all three of our paintings are completely unique.   I think it's important for the kids' ideas to be encouraged and nurtured.  



Linking Up: Homeschool Happenings,

4 comments :

  1. So pretty! I love seeing how unique my children's art projects turn out.

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    1. I do too! It's neat to see everyone's different styles.

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  2. Wow, their backgrounds are beautiful!!! They did amazing jobs and I love that they made it their own.

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    1. I'll be sure to read them your compliments. :)

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