Valentine Jim Dine

Fun and quick Valentine’s Day project I did with PK. I showed the work. By Jim Dine and we talked about how they thought he made his paintings. I love them because they are messy but controlled. 

I told the little ones to use a stamping methods with the brush. We used Paint Cakes, my favorite. They were familiar with the paint cakes and how to use them properly. I told them to work with one color at a time. Wet the brush, load up the brush with paint, and gently go up and down, up and down stamping color onto their hearts. Once the paint rain out, wash your brush and pick a new color. 

As they finished at different times I had another table set up with colored paper and crayons. They washed up and picked a color and scribble scrabbled all over the paper with different colored crayons. 

I quickly glued the hearts to the backgrounds and they were able to take their Valentines home that day! 

Mixing Primary into Secondary

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You would be surprised how many children and adults do not know which primary colors make the secondary. I did two versions of this lesson for the younger elementary kids and the older ones.

The younger kids, 1st grade-2nd, did the ice pops. I did find the lesson online but I changed it up a little. We did this following our How to use a brush Winter Style lesson. I did just a lesson on mixing colors on white paper. I told them we were going to make magic today. The paint brush is your magic wand. We started out by making sure our brushes were super clean. We put some yellow on the paper, cleaned the brush, put a tiny amount of blue on the tip, said the magic words and they mixed green. They were really amazed. Same things with yellow and red for orange, make sure you reinforce just dipping the tip of the brush into the red (and blue) because they are such strong colors. Last we do red and blue to make purple.

I closed this lesson by having the kids take a look around the table at their friend’s colors. Are all the greens exactly the same? Some are more yellow and some are more blue. Why? This is how you can introduce the intermediate colors. Why would you want a green that is more blue? Why would you want a green that is more yellow? This can be a nice conclusion.

The older kids, 3rd through 5th, did the color wheels. They already knew the primary and secondary colors. We traced a circle on white paper, used rules to draw 3 lines through the circle, and outlined in sharpie. Then as a class we painted in the primary colors, skipping a space between each color. So you have red, blank, yellow, blank, blue, blank. This is where they mess up. Some kids will just go again and know that they two colors surrounding the blank spaces need to be mixed in there, so red and yellow to make orange in the middle. Others you have to do it step by step.

Moving on to the Ice Pops. I actually got observed for this lesson, and because it was a step by step process it was deemed not creative enough. Which is fine, but I think the lesson served its purpose because after all the kids knew exactly how to make orange, green and purple, and they had fun. I pre-drew the ice pop shape, and even color coded labeled them with Y O R, for yellow, orange, red. They already had an introduction to mixing so it was applying last weeks skills. I still did it step by step so no one was left behind. Some kids liked painting the top, then bottom, then mixing the middle. Others painted the whole top and middle yellow then added red on the bottom going up to make the orange middle. Depends on the students.

The background was choosing horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines in a pattern. So before they did that we reviewed all those words. We used PAINT CAKES! My favorite. And any colors they wanted. Cut, glue, done.

How to use a brush Winter Style

This stated out as an exercise to teach the kids a few different ways to handle a brush and turned into painting a quick winter/Christmas picture because it fell into the week before holiday break. I did this with 1st and 2nd grades.

I showed students how to properly wash the brush. You should always assume your brush is dirty when you get it because you can’t trust the last person to clean it. Dip the brush into the water, tickle the bottom of the cup, wipe the excess water on the lip of the cup, and dab it on a paper towel and check if the water is clear or still dirty. Repeat as necessary. I told them that if I can hear them cleaning their brushes they are not cleaning it the right way and are in hanger of splashing.

Bad hair day brushes. If your brush looks like it is having a bad hair day you are using it wrong. I showed them how to properly hold the brush and how you can use the tip, side, and other angles to have a different effect.

We made fat lines, skinny lines, painted in large areas and used the brush to “stamp” in dots. Using these 4 things they were able to experiment by making a winter or Christmas picture.

PAINT CAKES are the best! I highly recommend paint cakes. You have a set or two for each table, so easy to distribute. The colors are vibrant and the clean up is simple. If the babies mess them up you just rinse them, it is beautiful.

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I showed them how to use our new skills to make a snowman or a Christmas tree. Make a fat line, skinny line, paint in a large area, and use “stamping.” Since the paint cakes dry so fast they were able to take their pictures home for the holidays.