Happy New Year! Firework Cityscapes (January 2013)

To celebrate a new year of Art Club the children created fabulous firework paintings inspired by the New Year’s Eve firework displays held in major cities around the world.

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I started the class by showing the children a photograph of rockets exploding over Detroit’s riverfront (see below). We talked about the shapes and patterns created when fireworks explode, and the appearance of the skyscrapers silhouetted against the night sky, highlighted by tiny squares of light shining from the windows of the offices and apartments.

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I provided each child with a sheet of dark blue paper, five or six strips of black paper (about an inch wide), and some thinner strips of yellow paper. The first step was to cut out five or six buildings of different shapes and sizes, from the black paper, and the children had fun cutting different roof shapes, some pointed, some stepped and some with more unusual and imaginative designs!

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Then they snipped the yellow paper strips into small rectangles and glued them to the black buildings to look like windows. One child came up with the great idea to draw little faces at each window, watching the firework display!

Next the children used white, yellow and red paint to fill their blue paper with fireworks. I asked them not to mix the colours together in the paint tray, but to work with one colour at a time and allow the colours to mix in streaks as the brush moved across the paper.

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I encouraged the children to paint quickly, and everyone made whooshing and banging sounds while they worked, which seemed to help them to reproduce the speed and dynamic movement of exploding fireworks! To make each firework sparkle, the children sprinkled glitter over the wet paint, tapping off the excess.

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The last step was to arrange and then glue their buildings in along the base of the paper to create a cityscape in silhouette against the explosive sky!

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Please click through the gallery to see more examples of the firework pictures created by my three to six year old Art Clubbers:

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