Space – Acrylics on Canvas

This week the Friday group had the challenge of creating their own space themed acrylic painting on canvas. They were encouraged to paint straight onto the canvas without sketching a design first to help everyone get use to the idea of building their painting up with layers. The first layer was several different shades of blue, red, white and black sponge painted onto the canvas. The subsequent layers were different for each child, they could use palette knives, brushes, different textured sponges and foil.
I took some photos of their work in progress as well as their end result, it was interesting seeing how the paintings developed over the hour they spent working on them. Layers, texture and colour was slowly added and it was nice to see everyone being experimental with their application of paint.

Below you can see the end product of everyone’s hard work, five interesting interpretations of creating a space themed painting. The children had so much fun working with canvas they have asked if we can make some Christmas themed canvas paintings next week, look forward to seeing them!

Christmas Tree Crafts

This week the toddlers have had fun making some fantastic Christmas Trees!
First we painted some paper plates cut into thirds green, we also used a star sponge and some glitter glue to make the stars. At the end of the session we stuck all the pieces together with glue and used scrunched up tissue paper as baubles.

For our send christmas craft we made these lovely Christmas Tree suncatchers. The toddlers stuck strips of different coloured tissue paper over a triangle cut out of the middle of the card. When we flip the card over it looks like a beautiful stripy Christmas Tree! For the finishing touches we added some star sequins at the top of the tree and a ribbon so we can hang our trees in the window.

Our final craft involved threading some beads on the branches of some pipe cleaner trees. The threading required perseverance and we found some beads were easier to thread than others. Once the children had finished threading beads they chose a ribbon to put through the hoop at the top of the tree to turn it into an ornament to hang on their Christmas Tree at home.
Next week our session will have a snowman theme.

Galaxies and Nebulae Art

This week in the 4-9 year old sessions we have been creating some chalk pastel galaxies and shaving foam marbling nebulae (singular nebula).
For our chalk pastel galaxies we chose two colours to make some circles and spirals which we then blended with our finger or a paint brush. Next we used a white or yellow pastel to make lots of dots to represent stars. Some of the children decided to add extra features to their lovely galaxies.

Our second activity involved experimenting with foam marbling with food colouring. We thought the marble result looked a bit like a nebula, nebula’s are where stars and planets are born and are clouds made of dust and gas. To make our nebula we filled the bottom of a tray with shaving foam and then we used pipettes to add lots of spots of food colouring. Next we mixed the colours round the foam in swirls. After this we lightly pressed a piece of paper onto the foam before lifting it up and scrapping the foam away with a piece of card, leaving behind the colourful swirls!
During our experiments we found that the prints looked better if we did not completely mix all the colours. Everyone had lots of fun with this messy experiment!
Next wee we are starting our Christmas theme by making some salt dough tree ornaments and painting some wooden tree ornaments. We are planning to paint the salt dough the following week.

Chalk Pastels and Space

A couple of the children finished off their watercolour paintings from last week before joining everyone else in creating some chalk pastel pictures

Everyone threw themselves into their chalk pastel space themed pictures with a real mix of chosen subjects. We have Saturn, a nebula, behind the moon with some nebula clouds, our solar system and two galaxy pictures. One of the galaxy pictures (middle bottom row) is actually mix media, instead of black card the child painted a page of their sketchbook black and then added colour in swirls in the centre, then using scissors they scrapped bits of chalk pastel onto the page before finishing with glue spray.

Next week we will be creating some canvas paintings and testing out a couple of paint techniques.

Toddler Nebula Arts and Crafts

We created four different types of art today based on nebula clouds (nebula clouds are where solar systems are created as the suns and planets are formed from the rock, gas and other materials in the nebula).
They all involved experimenting with reactions and one of them was process art we cannot take home.

The first experiment is known as the milk galaxy experiment although I think the different colours remind me of nebula. You start off by putting some milk in a shallow dish and then you add drops of food colouring. Our toddlers loved using the pipettes to add the swirls of colour. Once you have added two colours you then get a cotton bud and dab it in some washing up liquid, when you place the cotton bud in the milk the washing up liquid causes the food colouring to look like it was repelled or a mini explosion had happened!
What happens is the surface tension of the milk is changed when you add the washing up liquid as the latter push and pulls the fat and water molecules in the milk.

For our second experiment we repeated the shaving foam experiment from Halloween, none of today’s children had done it before so they were quite excited to see how the food colouring was left behind when we scrapped the foam off the paper.

Next we had fun experimenting with wax resist watercolour paintings on some plates, we found the lighter coloured pastels worked better than the darker ones generally.

Finally we had fun with some salt painting, which the children unanimously voted as their favourite. We actually put glue on our paper and sprinkled salt on it at the start of the session and left it to dry whilst we carried out the other activities. With the salt nice and dry we could now add blobs of watercolour paint to the salt, the children were fascinated by how the watercolours travelled along the salt crystals. They also found it interesting how the paint was different if they added it to a space with no salt. The children also experimented with how much water their paint brush had in it.

Next week we will be starting our Christmas theme!

Watercolour Solar System Experiments

This week everyone in the 4-9 year old groups created their own solar systems and tried out different water colour techniques on each planet (some used their favourite techniques on multiple planets). Everyone enjoyed being able to experiment.

The children had access to brushes, bubble wrap, cling film, foil, rice, salt, sponges and wax crayons. Some of the techniques the children needed to put the object on wet paint and allow it to dry before removing (rice, salt and cling film). The children also got to experiment with bleach on one of their planets but this was with adult supervision and one child at a time. Interestingly we discovered the bleach worked better with the palette paints than the tube paints.

Next week we will be creating some chalk pastels galaxies.

Watercolour Nebula Paintings

During the first half of the session the children experimented with how they can manipulate the texture of watercolour paint using different household products. They had access to bleach, brushes, bubble wrap, cling-film, foil, rice, salt, sponges and tissue paper.
During the second half of the session everyone chose a picture of a nebula as the inspiration for their nebula painting. Some of the children did not manage to finish so they will get some time at the start of next session.
Next week we will be experimenting with chalk pastels to create some galaxy pictures.

(Nebulae are often star-forming regions, such as in the “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula. In these regions, the formations of gas, dust, and other materials “clump” together to form denser regions, which attract further matter, and eventually will become dense enough to form stars. The remaining material is then thought to form planets and other planetary system objects.)

Foil Emboss Space Rockets and Clay Aliens

This week the toddlers had lots of fun having a go at making some foil emboss space rockets. First we glued some string onto cardboard cut out rockets and then we covered them with foil and ran our fingers along the string underneath to cause the emboss effect. Next the toddlers painted their rockets in the colours of their choice and we used strips of tissue paper to make the rockets flames. At the end of the session some of the children enjoyed pretending their rocket was flying up in the air, they shouted “Blast off!”.
During the second half of the session the toddlers created some clay aliens and decorated them by pushing beads and googly eyes into the clay. One of the children wanted to make a dinosaur instead of an alien when we first started, once we began adding the beads they decided it was an alien dinosaur. The toddlers enjoyed rolling the clay into sausages and then flattening them to make the different shapes they wanted.
Next week we are going to explore a bunch of different reactions in order to make some amazing nebula abstract art.

Delightful Aliens

This week the 4-9 year olds have had lots of fun letting their imaginations run wild coming up with all sorts of cute and colourful aliens using clay, pipe cleaners, beads and googly eyes. Some of the children had time to make food, furniture and friends for their aliens too!
I love the variety and different ideas everyone had, wrapping pipe cleaners round pencils to make them curly was a popular one and using beads to make necklaces or facial features was another.

Next week the children are going to be exploring the different ways we can make texture with watercolour paints with some solar system paintings (each planet being a different technique)

Derbyshire Wildlife Final Piece – Part 4

Today is the final session on the wildlife art, a couple of the children created some more yarn paintings to add to our display whilst one of the children worked on their fox. The yarn paintings have been incredibly time consuming but the end result is fantastic.

Next week we will be starting our new topic of space by exploring how we can affect texture of water colour paint whilst painting some nebulae.

The creator of the fox joined us the following Thursday and managed to finish their fabulous fox which has now joined our display!
It has taken them five hours in total to finish their fox, such amazing dedication and patience to their art. They are justly proud of their beautiful fox.