Fine art for kids: Spring with Monet

 - by Sarah Lipoff

The weather outside is definitely no longer frightful. The blossoms are blossoming, bulbs are popping flowers, and the grass sure seems a lot greener. While out on a walk with the tot the other day, she got caught up admiring the fresh yellow flowers adorning the sidewalk. She picked several, positioned a few in her hair, and then proceeded to squish the rest of them up.

Oh, to be three.

When we got home, she was determined to paint a picture. While getting out the paint, I had a flash of those dreamy, romantic paintings by Monet. I grabbed the trusty laptop and pulled up a few images for the two of us to check out. Claude Monet is a mega artist – pretty much everyone has heard of him or seen his art at some point. He is considered the Big Daddy of French Impressionism, which was all about capturing the light and impression of a scene or object through small brushstrokes of color. In fact, the style was named after his painting titled, Impressionism, Sunrise 1872.

I shared a few examples of Monet’s water lily paintings with my daughter while encouraging her to comment on colors in the pictures. I gathered together the colors she yelled out along with two sheets of white paper.

This is an art activity perfect for kids of all ages. The really young can explore making marks and learning more about color theory by watching the colors blend together. Older kiddies can focus on color arrangement and creating a finished painting just like one of Monet’s.

Offer your child several different colors of tempera paint similar to the ones found in Monet’s water lilies’ paintings or colors she thinks of during spring. Along with a collection of paints, have a few paintbrushes close by, too.

Place one of the sheets of paper on your workspace. This gets a bit messy, so place the paper on a few sheets of newspaper or scrap paper. Now your child can dip a paintbrush in a color of tempera paint and dab, dab away on the paper, just like Monet.

Encourage your child to select a fresh paintbrush, dip into a new color, and continue dabbing. Keep dipping and dabbing until the paper is just about covered.

Now place the other white paper next to the painted paper. For the younger ones, offer a nice wet paintbrush to use for swirling all over the paper. Older kids can dip and paint the water around the paper until it’s lightly coated (not dripping wet…).

Carefully flip the water-downed paper on top of the dappled painting and give it a light press all around. The bit of water will help blend and swirl the dabs of paint together, giving it a really wonderful Impressionistic feel. Some of the paint might squeeze out the sides, but that’s okay.

Lift off the paper revealing your child’s watery, colorful spring impressionistic creations. Display on the  family fridge or use for making bright spring cards!

 

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