Lines and Color
StoryArtplay Session I, Class Two
This class began with a small group of parents and
children, but the families kept arriving until the canvas that Zoe
Alowan placed on the library floor was quite crowded.
Lydia shares her painting with the group
There were finally 18 or more children working in the class. The
children began in the circle by playing a clapping game to tell
others their names. Then Zoe introduced the idea of lines in
drawing. She asked the children to identify different types of
lines. Several children responded with usual and unusual
answers; straight lines, round lines, zig-zag lines, elephant lines.
One boy proudly contributed a "T-intersection line" which
perhaps he learned from a parent. Zoe demonstrated that she
could paint different sizes and styles of lines by using her entire
arm, her arm just from the elbow, and then just her hand from
the wrist. She then passed a paint brush and some black paint
around the circle, so that each child painted one sample line and
gave it a name or description.
Everyone drew their own line
We passed out paper, white paint, and brushes for all the children
to draw lines on their own pieces of paper. Parents generally
encouraged their children and worked with them to make
drawings. Most of the children made several drawings. The
youngest children, those under 3 years old, generally practiced
with colored markers and oil pastels drawing on paper. This
activity was absorbing for the children for some time. One or
two chose after one drawing to look at books instead, but most
of the children kept drawing.
'Colors' by Sage
For a second stage, Zoe had all the children take their white
line paintings to the library tables and fill in the spaces with
colors, using markers and oil pastels. The children worked here
on color and design, some made figurative pictures from their
drawings, like one boy who described his colored drawing as a
house with a number of different rooms. Asked to name the art,
he titled it "The House That Lives in the Meadow." Other children used
titles such as "Lines and Colors" or titles based on what they
saw in their drawings. One girl made her drawing into animals.
'The House That Lives in the Meadow' by Alex
Finally, Zoe had the group get together again on the canvas
in their circle, and each child showed one or more finished art
works. They gave the titles and said something about the work.
Some needed coaxing and said just a little, others talked freely
about their art works. The class ended around 11:20 A.M.
This class worked well for the children, providing the
following benefits: working alongside other children as well as
with parents; trying out the physical gestures of painting with the
brush, as well as the smaller coordination of coloring with
markers or crayons; working with free drawing rather than
immediately trying to draw objects or figures; gaining confidence
with different art tools and media; promoting self-esteem by
having them name their own works and present them to the
class. Zoe praised the art works as the children presented them
and complimented the artists on their work. One father with a
toddler, a little boy who is handicapped (or developmentally
disabled) commented that his son was just learning that the
markers and crayons were not food, and that this was the first
time he used them without putting them all in his mouth.
As a critique, several parents needed to leave early (one to
attend the 2nd clay class at the other MAMA location.), so
either the first or second section of this class could have been a
little shorter, in order to have the entire group regather and do
the final presentation. We urge parents to arrive on time so we can start promptly at 10:00 am.