Friday, April 08, 2011

So...How Young to start 'em off painting???

I have often found amusement on virtual artist communities, one that I moderated myself for over a artists will argue about color theory, especially the move toward use of magenta, cyan, yellow, and even green (as a possible fourth primary) and away from the traditional color wheel.  One gent pushing what he called his "REAL colorwheel" comes to mind, calling art teachers today teaching the traditional RYB colorwheel as near criminal, districts owing it to their students to forbid such teaching. my thinking in light of so many masters, even recent masters whose works continue to challenge us, woo and hold us in awe.  Painting with so few colors, limited palette.  Works of Zorn...who oft painted with his yellow ocre, black, white and red...stunning works.

A colorwheel is only an abstract model at best from which we can experiment and develop strategies.

In addition to my painting regimen, my art business, writing...travels and teaching, I teach K-12 visual arts in a small community district's school.  My kindergardners are capable of understanding basic mixing of primary and secondary color.  They are introduced to the concept of warm colors.  Quite criminal in many minds...and pushing kids in 2nd-3rd grade in areas of values...shapes, amazed what they are capable of by the time they are seniors in high school.

This week...working from inspiring images of landscapes...I have my 5th and 6th graders doing monochromatic tempera paintings on simply white sulphite 80lb paper.  This is the result of about a five minute demo given this past week...and yes, "five minutes" because if you teach young people you then understand classroom management, and how long you can afford to keep their attention...

12"x 18" tempera monochromatic painting of distance planes on white drawing paper-

Here today's demonstration to my ninth graders learning to work now with acrylics, approaching the same emphasis on representing distance planes...on white tagboar.  About 5-7 minutes...roughly 16"x 20"

I was pleased how I held the ninth grader's attention on this one.  They see a lot of my own paintings around the room that I bring in from painting outdoors, or occasional competition pieces or donations for wildlife causes...seemed to be more plausible, or doable in their facial expressions...which was very assuring and exciting for me.  I can see, they can't wait now to try this themselves...

this demo was a bit longer, about 8-9 minutes for a restless 4th grade Amish horse and buggy on a rural road, green the mono color...about 14"x 18"

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Though we have children in the pottery having a go from about 2 years old, they are about 4 or 5 before they seem to be able to concentrate enough to improve from week to week.

It is very rewarding passing on a skill to a young person and thankfully throwing fits into a five minute exercise, some of the hand building bits and pieces are a little longer but taking everything into stages somehow we manage to keep their attention for almost an hour for a smaller group.

I have done some bigger groups too but they are entirely different. With throwing I only have one wheel at the moment so we get them doing some hand building but can make it a struggle when they all want showing again.