Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Painting - Textures & Patterns

The children explore brushstrokes to depict the textures in everyday objects and then repeat the brushstrokes to fill their paintings with patterns. For ages 6 to 9. Plan 2 to 3 sessions.

  • Looking at textures and patterns.
  • Experimenting with brushstrokes
  • Filling the paper
two-dimensional, texture, pattern, composition, negative spaces

  • Newsprint paper18 by 24 inches
  • Black construction paperapproximately 12 by 18 inches (See note below)
  • Liquid tempera paints including white and black
  • Small containers for tempera paints
  • Flat easel brushesapproximately three-eighth-inch wide
  • Containers of water for rinsing brushes
  • Sponges for drying brushes
  • Items with texture, such as ears of dried corn, pieces of tree bark, pine cones, peanut shells, fishermen’s nets, sponges, and sea shells.
Note: Using black paper with white paint is a fun switch, creating sparkling effects when some of the colors mix with the white paint. 

First Session
  • Set out newsprint paper, containers of black paint, and brushes.
  • Display the examples of textures.
How to Begin
  • In this session, the children will be exploring ways to show texture (the feel of a surface) on a two-dimensional, or flat, piece of paper using a variety of brushstrokes.
  • Explain that all surfaces have texturesome are smooth and some are rough. Looking at objects with rough texture, point out the lines and/or shapes that are repeated. Tell the children that these textures can be reproduced on paper by using a variety of brushstrokes.
  • Demonstrate ways to use the brush to create different types of brushstrokes. For example, using the flat side will make wide strokes; the skinny side will make thin strokes; and the tip of the brush will make even finer strokes. Applying pressure will make dark, heavy strokes and less pressure will make light strokes. 
  • To experiment with brushstrokes, fold a sheet of newsprint paper four times, creasing the edges. Then open the paper to reveal sixteen smaller rectangles. Choose an object from the display, and after looking at it carefully, fill one square with brushstrokes depicting the texture. Do not paint the shape of the objectjust the texture. Return the object to the display and choose another. Explain to the children that they should continue this process until each square on their paper is filled.
  • Have the children fold their papers and paint sixteen different textures in the sixteen squares.

Second Session
  • Display the newsprint papers with the painted textures around the room—the idea is to fill the room with brushstrokes!
  • Set out the black construction paper, containers of white tempera paint, and brushes.
How to Begin
  • In this session the children will plan the compositions (the way something is put together to form a whole) of their paintings and then fill their papers with patterns, or designs, using white paint on black paper.
  • Discuss how patterns add interest to paintings and can be made by repeating the brushstrokes used to depict the textures. Discuss the various brushstrokes in the paintings displayed around the room.
  • Have the children use white paint to fill their papers with patterns, encouraging them to refer to the many brushstrokes on display.

Third Session
  • Set out the dried paintings from the last session.
  • Set out tempera paints, brushes, containers of water, and sponges.
How to Begin
  • In this session, the children will be adding color to the negative spaces, or the spaces in-between the already painted white brushstrokes.
  • Explain that the children should paint the colored brushstrokes in the same direction as the white brushstrokes; for example, following the movement of the waves in an ocean. Emphasize that the colors should be painted next to the white lines, not over them, although some of the white paint can mix with the colored paint.
  • Have the children paint the negative spaces in their compositions, filling their papers with colors.
  • The immediacy of liquid tempera paint makes it ideal for young children to use and gives these paintings bold, vibrant colors.
  • By using only black paint in the first session, the children are able to temporarily put aside their fascination with color and concentrate on the textures in the objects.
  • This is a good project to help children recognize the value of adding lots of texture and pattern to their paintings. 
  • Are the papers completely filled with patterns and color?
  • Discuss the variety of brushstrokes used to make the patterns.
  • Review how the brushes were used to create the different brushstrokes.
What the children might say…
  • Do I have to use brushstrokes from the display or can I create my own?
  • Can I put designs on top of the white lines if I don’t cover them up?
  • Can I use some white paint on top of my colors?
What you might say...
  • The display is only to help you appreciate the variety of brushstrokes that can be used. You certainly can create new brushstrokes for your painting.
  • Painting designs on the white lines is a good idea as long as the white lines don’t disappear.
  • Using white paint again on top of some of your colors should give your painting a nice feeling of depth.
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