I almost never have kids do a project that I haven't experimented with first -- unless it is purely a "discovery" experience. Good thing I tried this one out because my first idea was a flop -- which I am happy to share to spare anyone else from having to try it!!
I thought about tracing circles on the back of wrapping paper, then flipping the paper over and making black lines to define shapes (like the spheres in the lake) and shading the sphere to make it look 3 dimensional. To add to the dimensional illusion, kids would glue the spheres overlapping on (and in slits in) painted acetate.
Well . . . the tracing part went just fine.Then things started to go south! Once I turned it over and tried to color with black on the wrapping paper, the slick surface of the paper got in the way and was tough to get really black; shading for depth was a nightmare (see red sphere below). So I decided to try it on the back side of the wrapping paper (below, left). Again, the slick surface made the color look washed out -- and there is almost nothing I dislike more than faded looking color!!! I tried it with oil pastels -- same thing (and I didn't want this to be a painting project, so I didn't get the paints out!).
OK. Then it was on to the acetate -- except I was doing this over Labor Day weekend and couldn't find any acetate at home, so I tried it with plastic wrap, UHG!! I managed to get through the process, but it would be way too hard for little ones as it kept moving all over the place.
|I used acrylic for this. Sorry for the blurry focus!|
So then I decided to try making the spheres on regular drawing paper and coloring with oil pastels. This worked much better. This would be a good way to have students practice using different color families (primary, secondary, warm/cool).
|Warm colors -- solid|
|Primary colors (plus a surprise pop of secondary)|
|This shows primary with a "pop" of secondary.|
Finally, I imagined what these spheres would look like if I used painted papers that I always have accumulated in
Spring. So, of course, I painted some papers to try that out using warm colors.
A few trees in the background . . . hmmmmm . . . maybe.
Black outlining for the spheres . . . seemed like a good idea at first, but looking at it now, maybe not.
So what did I learn this Labor Day??
- I learned that painting spheres is still fun (I always do some sort of sphere work each year -- see here and here.)
- I reaffirmed that auditioning art lessons at home is always a good idea before taking them to the classroom. It's good to know what some of the pitfalls might be!!
- Think I'll try painting left-over laminating film for my water feature before springing for buying acetate. That might work better!
- I'm also thinking that this would be a smashing collaborative project, where kids could design spheres and make a GIANT lake collage with them!!
Isn't it fun that we can keep on learning forever??!!!!