When we create, we are always influenced by what we’ve been exposed to. Musicians often state what bands influence their music and which ones they listened to as kids. Painters and other physical media artists are no different. They take what they like, leave the rest, and add their own flair. So purposely teaching kids about different artists’ styles not only gives them practice in creating art, but in drawing from influences that speak to them and putting their own spin on it.
Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists by Marion Deuchars will take your children through the art of famous artists such as Joan Miró, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol, and more, teaching about their methods, breaking it down into smaller steps. The book is aimed at kids aged 8-12, but I strongly recommend this book for anyone age 8 and up, including and especially grown-ups. Sometimes we forget how to create, forget how to play, forget how to experiment with new ideas.
Texture, line weight, color, paint thickness, line speed, shapes, patterns, words, paper, overlap, found materials, music, photos, and water are all tools that we can use for creating art. The book will take you or your kids on a journey through using all of them.
This amazing book is meant to be used by one person who will draw, paint, and create, right inside the book. However, since I’ve been working my way through this book while I homeschool my two kids, we do the work on separate paper. This actually makes it a lot easier, since the book doesn’t lie flat, and you might want to do a lot more experimenting than the book spaces provide.
Done by the same person as Let’s Make Some Great Fingerprint Art that I reviewed recently, the book encourages anyone to create art, and shows just how easy it is to emulate several great artists from the past.
For our first lesson on Joan Miró, I also looked up several of his art pieces that are typical of his style, so that my kids had additional examples. You can also discuss themes present among an artist’s work. With Miró, we saw plenty of asterisks, lines, dots, overlapping shapes, color, and some animals. It’s especially fun to use this book with your kids, to see what elements from the lessons make it into their work.
For older kids, I highly recommend including this additional artist study along with the included lessons, to give kids some background on the artist, and to see more of their work. That way your kids have more context and can be inspired by more examples.
To do the projects in this book, you do need some art supplies. Most people have the basics, such as pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, cardboard, and paper, but other items that are also important to have are paint and paint brushes, a compass, ink and a dip pen, rollers, and pastels. If you don’t have these supplies, you can try to adjust the lessons as needed, but some of them won’t adjust too well (it’s hard to water down a crayon, for example). Check out Dick Blick, Amazon, or your local art supply store for materials.
Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists comes out on September 23, 2014, and will supply you and your family with hours of interesting indoor activities as the weather cools off. I recommend it to anyone who wants to try some basic art creation methods with their kids or on their own. If all of the art supplies are readily available, kids can attempt some of the lessons on their own as well. Work in the book if you like, or use extra paper so it will lie flat.
Note: I received a copy of this book for review purposes.