Art project of the week

This week for 4 year old preschool we made art with “rain”. Since it wasn’t actually raining (and I hadn’t been planning on it raining), we used lots of different techniques to mimic rain. Here are two artsy-fartsy pictures of our supplies:

Powdered tempera paint in red, blue and yellow. Bleeding Art tissue paper (not “bleeding heart” tissue paper, which sounds delightfully emo. Wait, is that an oxymoron?), 8×11 and 9×12 canvases.  (We could have used regular art or construction paper, but I wanted the girls to be able to go crazy with the water. And you can get 3 8×11 canvases for approx. $4, so it was worth it – both for the lack of frustration, and the durability of the final project.) (Everything in this picture is from Michaels.)

$1 salt/pepper shakers filled with powdered tempera paint from above. Eye/medicine droppers. Spray misters. Spray bottles. (All from Target for $1 each)

Here’s what we did.

For the first project  we used misters to wet the canvas, and then laid pre-cut squares of  tissue paper onto it. (Note- it has to be the bleeding kind, or this won’t work.)  I was kind of hoping for lots of overlap with the tissue paper, but the girls were more interested in using the misters than putting paper down. And seeing as it’s the process that’s important, not the product, we let them do what they wanted. I’ll just experiment on my own with more tissue paper. 🙂

After the paper was down, they sprayed all of it with water (with some help from the grown-ups – the pressing action on the pumps was a little difficult for some of their little fingers!)

Then we took it out on the back porch and let it dry in the sun. Once it was all dried, the tissue paper came right off and left this. (Not a great picture, I know, but it was NOT cooperating with me.)

Here’s a close up of the effect.  Doesn’t it look like kanji? We decided that this could be a new way to tell fortunes. Crumple up some tissue paper, then “read” the impressions it leaves.

Next we took the salt shakers that were filled with powdered tempera paint and let the girls shake away. After they’d shaken to their hearts content (which wasn’t much to start out), they used the medicine droppers to drop single drops of water onto the paint. This was the effect:

Then they sprinkled the paint onto a different canvas and used the spray misters to activate the paint for a completely different effect. They also got WAY more into the sprinkling this time, so there was a lot more paint to work with.

The littles had a great time with this one, below is Tiny’s picture:

Last but not least, we put some tempera powder into the big spray bottles and let them spray the canvases. I let them use the bigger canvases for this one, because in my head the paint was going to be thicker, and therefore the effect of it being shot onto the canvas would be super dramatic.

Yeah, not so much. It was more of a water color effect. But it was still neat, and the girls had fun with it. Having the spray bottle nozzles tightened so that they let out a really targeted spray worked much better than having them more misty. I think next time we try this I’ll try adding a bit more powder to the water, to see if we can get a thicker paint without clogging the nozzle. I have the feeling it will be a tricky balance.

I’ve read that you can do the powdered tempera in actual rain, which would be pretty dang fun. We may have to do it next time it rains and see what happens.

One of the moms was planning to take these home and bust out the Sharpies, you could have some great inspiration come from using these as backgrounds to draw over. Maybe we’ll do that now…

2 thoughts on “Art project of the week

  1. Looks like great fun! I have to tell you Kaje’ always tells me how much she loves you! She really looks up to you and thinks you’re just the funniest person ever! She keeps me informed about your Zoeisms too! Love it. I guess I should do FB but just can’t seem to find the time for one more thing right now! I have some surprises in the works for the first of next month that I’ll be posting! I think you’ll like them 🙂

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