Thursday, May 20, 2010

Painting With 2nd Graders

Last week I had some real fun...
I was invited to do a painting demonstration for Mrs. Crisp's 2nd grade class at Morningside Elementary School. I spent a week agonizing over what I could do to teach them some art principles and also make it fun for them. I decided to talk about Abstraction and Color and then do a painting showing how to apply what we talked about. The fun twist was to let everyone in the class, including Mrs. Crisp, paint some of the painting.

For reference, I picked this photo to work from. It has lots of fun color and lend it's self to a loose, abstracted approach.

After sketching in the picture I had each student, one by one, come up and apply paint to the painting. I was amazed at the different way each child approached their opportunity to paint; some were calculating and precise, some were afraid of making a mistake, and some were bold and confident. I encouraged each one of them to splash on the color and not to be intimidated by what they were doing, because we were abstracting the subject and not trying to paint a photograph.

By the end of the hour we had a pretty good painting going. I put some final touches on it and now here is the finished product.

I'm going to have a print of the painting made for each student and sign it. They can sign their name above mine and take it home with them. The finished painting will hang in their classroom till the end of the year so they can see what they did and show their parents how talented they are.

As I said at the beginning... It was really fun!
Thanks, Mrs. Crisp's class, for inviting me.


  1. What a gift you are giving these children. Art tells so much about how we see ourselves. My Mom used to teach a class on the psychology of art in children. I wish I could have her notes from that class now. I was the child that never thought my work was good enough so I stopped. Having a "real" artist like yourself give encouragement will give these kids more faith in themselves not only in art but in life. Good job!!

  2. George - that's an awesome painting and what a great idea! That's a very cool learning experience for the kids and for everyone!! Looking forward to seeing your blog!!


  3. I know this post is a couple years old but I still have to comment on what a cool idea to have the kids splash on some color on your painting! And then to finish it & give them a print! They will never forget this awesome experience... If I ever am in this situation of giving kids a demo I may steal this great idea. Way to go...