Rainy Day Umbrellas: Watercolour Splatter! (May 2013)

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This is what happens when I plan an art class during a thunder and rainstorm! The weather has been particularly rainy this spring, so I thought my kindergarteners might enjoy creating their own rain drops with watercolour paints.

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We began by looking at some photographs of people sheltering under umbrellas in the rain, so that the children could start to think about how an umbrella looks different when viewed from the side or from above.

My younger group, aged between three and four, concentrated on just drawing the umbrella shapes, whereas the five and six year old preschoolers added people to their scenes.

blog DSCF5074With the older group we talked a little about ‘composition’ and some of the kids commented that sometimes we can’t see people’s heads when they’re holding an umbrella. Others liked the idea of focusing on the umbrella and showing only the hand of the person rather than including the whole figure!

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Some of my three years olds have yet to become confident at depicting specific objects in their drawings, so I gave the younger group some guidance about how to draw a simple umbrella shape. However, I don’t favour giving children prototypes to copy, or leading them through step-by-step ‘guided drawing’ procedures, which can inevitably result in almost identical artworks.

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Instead, with children aged four and above, I prefer to discuss the subject matter beforehand to help my students to notice the elements which make up the subject – shapes, lines, colour, texture – so that they can learn how to ‘look’ and interpret what they see in their own individual way.

blog2 DSCF5111The younger group used pencils, while the older kids were trusted with black permanent markers for the initial drawing, before adding lots of bright colours with oil pastels.

The drawing media were chosen because they are water resistant, which was essential given that the final task was to splatter the pictures with raindrops!

We went outside for this bit…

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blog DSCF5256Using blue, green and muddy brown colours and lots of water, the kids had a lot of fun dripping, flicking and splattering paint all over their pictures.

While some of the children created gentle rain showers, others were more like violent storms!

This watery project was definitely a lot more fun than real rain!


Please click through the Gallery below to view more of the children’s spring shower splatter paintings…

One comment

  1. love how you discuss and allow children to interpret and view the rain and umbrellas from their own unique perspectives and always mindful of age appropriateness as well.

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