Talking to Kids about Art

Anyone that has ever stepped into a home that includes children has certainly seen a fridge full of art covered in colourful blobs, scribbled designs, and creative messes. What you may or may not be able to figure out is what those pictures represent. Is it a tree, cat or picture of you? Or is it anything more than playing with the colour blue? When it comes to children’s artwork, it ultimately doesn’t matter. Children’s creativity is more about the process of making it, than the final product. That squiggle in fact might be a car going fast. Kids aren’t professional artists and it doesn’t matter if the final piece is a masterpiece or not. What you want to encourage is the continued pleasure in making it, because with a little more practice they just might be.  my papa square

So how do you encourage your children to make art and show them that you care? A little conversation goes a long way. Try talking to your children about their art. Not only will this show your children that you care, but it gets them thinking about their artwork as well. If you are at a loss as to how to talk about the purple blot surrounded by brown lines, don’t worry. There is a story in that art, you just have to figure out how to find it.

 

Examples of Words of Encouragement

  • How did you make that shade of green?
  • Wow, you filled the entire page with your painting!
  • You’ve used lots of different lengths of lines in your picture.
  • That looks just like the flowers in our garden!
  • I think our trip to the fire station inspired this picture with all that red.
  • Why did you use those colours in your painting?
  • Where did you start drawing? Why?
  • What do you like best about your picture?
  • Which picture are you going to take off the bulletin board to make room for your new one?
  • Do you think Grandma would like this one for her fridge?
  • Tell me about your picture.

 

  • Point out their use of colour, space, lines, and/or other elements: Instead of asking your child what their art is or giving blanket praise to everything they create, comment on the elements within the art. Talk about what you see and recognize, like the colours, spaces between them, and the lines that bring them together. This shows that you are engaged and understand the process that your child has gone through.
  • Draw comparisons to life, the world, or other artists: Many artists try to recreate images in their artwork, for example in portraits, landscapes, still life’s and more. Draw comparisons between your child’s art and beyond. Point out similarities and see where the conversation leads.
  • Encourage critical thought: There is so much more to art than what you see on the page. What inspired your child’s artwork? What made them interpret it in the way they did? How can you get your child to talk more about the process they went through in making their art?
  • Offer pride of placement: Now that you have your child’s new art, what do you do with it? Here is another way that you can involve your child. Ask them where they would like to display their newest artwork. Would they like it on the fridge, bulletin board, on their bedroom door or wall? Remember that every new piece that gets displayed means that an old one gets taken down, so having them choose builds pride and ownership.
  • Don’t assume what it is: Talking about your child’s art is a wonderful way to have your child feel like you care about it, until you guess what the picture is and get it completely wrong. Children can quickly get discouraged, declare they are no good and give up on art altogether. What you think might be helpful guessing, could blow up in your face, so try not to always assume the topic of your child’s art. Instead, let them take the lead in explaining their art.

Six Fundraising Questions for Schools

blog-graphic-Sept2016

Its that time of year again when schools begin to think of How do you go about choosing the right fundraiser for your school? What factors affect which fundraiser is right for you? Plenty. Here are a few things you should consider;

1. What is your fundraising goal?

Be sure you know what you are allowed to fundraise for. Many school boards do not allow fundraising for textbooks. Knowing what you are fundraising for and the amount helps to plan a variety of activities.

2. Does the fundraiser fit into school and school board policies and goals?

Check with the organization’s policies. Some school boards have limited permission selling “junk” food. Other’s do not allow home baked goods.

3.  Is it a community builder, service, or product fundraiser? There are many creative ways to fundraise. Most organizations plan out their year and choose a balance between a community builder (Halloween dance), service (hot lunch program or speaker) and a product fundraiser (gift wrap). There is also some fundraisers that are both a service and product fundraiser. One fantastic idea is the Fresh from the Farm fundraiser. The program promotes healthy eating for the entire family. 

Community building events such as an art show brings the school community together. Is it open to the public? Will you need an advertising budget.  
A service fundraiser such as a hot food lunch program is great. My children’s school offered milk and pizza every Monday. I always thought it was brilliant idea to not worry about a lunch for  Monday mornings especially after a busy weekend. If it a product fundraiser, do you have to purchase product before selling them. Leftover products will cut into your profits

4. How many volunteers are available to help organize and run your fundraiser? What are the time commitments?

The best fundraisers require the least amount of work. Community builders require a number of coordinator meetings.  The more volunteers involved in a community event the better for generating spirit in an organization. Most people want to be assigned jobs during a community event and not interested in detailed meetings. Using Volunteer Spot is a great way for signing up volunteers online.

5. How much money might be raised by the fundraiser?

Do you know what the average participation percentage rate and the average amount of profit is per participant. Knowing your stats will help you make informed choices. How will the money be collected? Who will collect it and is there a process of transparency?   

6. Are children part of the process?

When children are active participants, it sends a clear message that altruism is a worthy characteristic. However, we do not recommend children “sell” to strangers. Can the fundraiser be incorporated into the curriculum such as Jump Rope for Heart?

Take these factors into consideration before you select any fundraiser for your organization. Know your group, do your research, and you will have a better chance of selecting the right fundraiser for you.

 

 

 

Drawing with Children

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Children equate art with drawing. Many base their art confidence on their ability to draw. It takes practice. So giving children the time, space and materials to practice is key in helping foster their confidence. Breaking it down in shapes is key.

Materials to start the process: pencils, good quality eraser, sharpener and a blank art book. 

Listed below are some websites and some of my favourite drawing books. Many of which can be found in your local library.  

Websites

Incredible [email protected] Lessons For older children

Art for Kids Hub Fantastic resource for how to draw and paint a variety of objects and characters  in video format

Hello Kids Video and Step by Step tutorial

Kids Front: For younger kids. Step by step with a click of a button.

Drawing How to Draw Video, Step by Step tutorial and written instructions.

Books

Ed Emberley. He has a series of books very popular with children.

1, 2,3 I Can Draw Kids Can Press

Step by Step Drawing Book by Usborne Books, Check out their many other titles.

My favourite is the Kids Can Draw series by Phillippe Legendre. Here are some samples from students.

animals1

Our NEWEST product is a 25 piece hardboard jigsaw puzzle. 17 x 17 cm $25. Till August 31, its on sale for $20 each. We currently have a limited number in stock. Email info(@)buddingartists.ca to order your personalized jigsaw puzzle.

lion puzzle

 

Book Review: Using Art to Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies

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Summer Reading for Art and Artful Teachers

Early in my career I was teaching primary French Immersion at one of the schools identified as a “Turnaround” school by Ontario’s Ministry of Education, now almost ten years ago. I have continued to embed my teaching of decoding strategies to early primary students within opportunities that build the groundwork for complex reading comprehension strategies.

I was excited to read the work of Jennifer Klein and Elizabeth Stuart that invites us to integrate the teaching of art and reading comprehension strategies in ways that that I believe will increase all students’ engagement, deepen students’ understanding of both art and reading processes, and support students with special learning needs.

Klein and Stuart present their work in a very organized and methodical manner which makes it an ideal resource for practising teachers. The introduction summarizes the core principles of art education as well as the leading research on how to best teach reading comprehension strategies. The subsequent chapters focus on six key reading strategies: Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, Determining Importance, and Synthesizing.

Each chapter describes a systematic process for teaching one of the reading strategies, first through a series of two to four art sessions, and then in two to five reading/language sessions that incorporate skills and understandings that students first develop during the art sessions. The chapters also provide resources that support the teaching of each reading strategy, including a list of books and artists, the research on literacy benefits of each strategy, the authors’ reflections from their teaching practice, and copies of the templates and worksheets the authors use during their sessions.

I have encountered early primary students who react negatively to feeling pressured to become successful decoders. Some of them experience challenges in verbal linguistic areas of intelligence but are gifted in visual-spatial, natural and inter- or intra-social intelligence. Klein and Stuart advocate using art and art making to introduce the concepts and practise the skills that will lead students to make connections, question, visualize, infer, determine importance and synthesize, without the added stress of decoding written language.

As students gain confidence in their abilities to make meaning and revise their understandings through reflections and conversations about art, I believe they will be able to draw upon these reading comprehension skills during the difficult task of decoding written language. I believe this approach will enhance reading instruction for all students, and may prove to be instrumental for the success of students who feel challenged, overwhelmed or disengaged during reading lessons that prioritize the teaching of decoding strategies to improve reading for meaning.

Wendy Fischer, OCT teaches primary French Immersion in Ontario, Canada.

Summer Art Challenge 2016

Summer 2016 BA

Dad: Crayon Resist Project

June 8 is our deadline for a Father’s Day delivery.  Create a one of a kind gift using  a picture of Dad doing, saying and dreaming of his favourite activity. Choose from a pencil holder to a mug or a t-shirt to show off the artistic skills of your children.

Here’s a quick easy art project using a resist technique.FullSizeRender

Using a sharpie, draw block letters of a word. Have your child colour inside the letters in crayon or pastel.

Paint the the paper with watercolours, Et, voila une “masterpiece”! Another variation is to use bingo dabbers and contact paper. Cut out the letters and place upside down. This will be tricky since you have to make sure the letters and right side up. Your child will have a great time using the dabbers to dab all over their masterpiece.

 

Andy Warhol Style Family Portraits

Why not create an Andy Warhol portraits of your family?

IMG_8392 Many years ago, I came across Jessica Camis blog Art Smarts 4 Kids on creating Andy Warhol portraits of children. She recommends Photo to Sketch which I have to say is still the best program to use. I made minor changes when I created my son’s portrait. I used 30 precision but used 9 for line. I like seeing my lines thicker. I also put it through Photoshop just to clean up some of the lines. Here you can see the original and the cleaned up version.Untitled-2Aidan a 

We used liquid watercolours because I love them. You can use pencil crayons, markers or regular watercolours. Use 4 colours and alternate the colours between hair, face, background, shirt. My daughter left the neck, eyes and lips white. I tell children to begin with one colour. Colour in this order: face, hair, shirt, background .IMG_8385IMG_8387

Keep the images in order. Start with colour one and paint face of image one. Continue in order of face, hair, background, shirt. Take colour 2 and  paint image two’s face next and then hair of image 3,  background of image 4 and shirt of image 1 etc.

Then I scanned each one and made them into one image. If there are four people in your family, you can do a sketch of each person or you can create one with four people.

If you do create one, I would love to see it. Post it on our Facebook page.

 

Portraits of Mom

At Budding Artists, we love portraits especially when created by our children. There are so many different ways of drawing a portrait. As kids get older, I would show them how to draw a face using appropriate proportions. Check out Deep Space Sparkle’s portrait guides.  Patty Palmer’s lessons are great and worth the cost.

This is a collage version of me when my child was 7 years old. I love the double eyes and eyelashes.

This one was done when she was a bit older and she was playing around with liquid watercolours and a straw.  

Do you have a portrait of yourself? For ideas on creating portraits, check out our Pinterest board collection.

April 25th is our deadline for a Mother’s Day delivery. Create a one of a kind gift using a picture of  Mom doing, saying and dreaming of her favourite activity.  Why not use your children’s artwork as design on one of our functional products. This month  we are offering  special for potholders for $25 for a set of two.  This is a special only till April 30, 2016. We are bringing this special product for a limited only.

Chicken Big

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Chicken Big is one of my most favourite books. Its funny and entertaining about a very big chicken and how size has its advantages.

Here are two project ideas:

Project One:

Materials

  • 12×18 paper
  • tempera paint

Practice drawing chickens. We discuss proportions and and after that its up to the student to choose their favourite part of the story and recreate it as a painting.

Chicken Big inspired painting 9936_10151897190449832_1583688684_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Two:

Materials:

  • Oil pastels
  • 8×11 paper

Guided drawing lesson of a chicken. Here is a quick stylized chicken video. Cover the entire page with colour.

Chicken 1 Budding Artists Chicken 2 Budding Artists

 

Great Picture Books to Inspire Young Artists

Great art needs someplace to start. Ensure your child gets that inspiration at a young age with a little help from a few good authors and a few excellent books. Why not start with these authors?
Eric Carle; All of Eric Carle’s books are a delight of colour, shape and design. They draw you in and excite the eye of young and old alike. Here are just a few that might inspire the young artist at your house – ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’, ‘The Mixed-Up Chameleon’, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, ‘I See a Song’, ‘Hello, Red Fox’
Lois Ehlert; Award winner illustrator and author, Lois Ehlert brings art to life with her collage style. She shows that art isn’t just about the line in a colourful way throughout her many books, which include – ‘Color Zoo’, ‘Planting a Rainbow’, ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’, ‘Lots of Spots’, ‘Scraps’
Peter H. Reynolds; Art isn’t about perfection, it is about creation. That is the premise behind many of Peter H. Reynolds beloved picture books. See if you don’t fall in love with ‘The Dot’, ‘Ish’, ‘Sky Color’. Also check out International Dot Day. Its September 15ish.

Individual Books
o Art Dog by Thacher Hurd – Art Dog saves the day with some fancy brushwork when famous artwork is stolen from the Dogopolis Museum of Art.
o Art & Max by David Wiesner – Arthur is an accomplished artist, but his friend Max is just a beginner. When Max delves into new mediums, the results are unexpected, but great!
o Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzburg – Sometimes mistakes make the most beautiful art. This fun pop-up book is full of lessons on how to look at art in a different way, thru smudges, tears, holes and more.
o Chalk by Bill Thomson – When a group of kids takes some chalk to the playground, creativity is set free and the world they create comes alive.
o Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson – The classic story of 4 year-old Harold, who creates a world of his own, compliments of his handy purple crayon.
o Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh – Learn about colour mixing with the help of a few cute mix who climb in and out of paint jars to mix up some fun.
o The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaolo – Tommy is thrilled to go to school to learn about art, until he discovers that there are ‘rules’. But he is excited to discover that you can still be an individual within the rules
o The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt – When Duncan goes to color, he discovers that the crayons have all quit. They are tired of only filling narrow roles and want to expand their color palette.
o Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre – Matty loves to create with glue, but his teacher warns him that he shouldn’t use too much. So Matty reaches for the fullest bottle he can with funny results.