So…maybe this will become a little series. I’ve never been good with blog series or themes, but we’ll pretend this is a series until it ends. This week we studied Andrew Wyeth. Before I introduce an artist to the kids I do a little studying on my own and brainstorming how we can incorporate something about that artist into a project. I also do a little pre-screening of art, since not all is age appropriate for my kids.
For our study on Andrew Wyeth, I decided we would make egg tempera paint. Our version is a make-shift version using what I had on hand. I wanted them to get the gist of the process of making the paint, but I was not concerned about it being totally authentic.
Egg tempera paint was made with egg, water and powdered pigments. This project would be SO MUCH easier if we used liquid color (food coloring, liquid watercolors, etc.). However, I wanted to kids to think about how hard it was to actually get powered pigments – lots of grinding of various substances had to take place!
We used water color tablets (popped them out of a water color set) and then I had the kids try to grind them…with the top of a bed post I found in the garage. I was using what I had on hand. Grinding works best with non-porous surfaces…and something rounded. Our paint plate and metal bed post top worked great.
Next the kids separated the egg white and yolk.We read that artists would gently roll the egg yolk on a towel to dry it and then pierce the yolk to allow the inside to pour out. The kids thought these steps were especially fun!Next, we mixed the powder, yolk and water. Some of the colors worked better than others.My eight year old was not thrilled with the consistency of the paint. It provided a great opportunity to talk about the challenges artists faced in the days that Hobby Lobby wasn’t around the corner!We don’t do art projects every day, but I do try to study one artist in depth once a week. I miss art class. A lot. I may not be in a season where I am creating much physical art, but I am in a season where I can come along side my kids as they create. Busy hands also mean they sit relatively still and it provides a perfect time for us to listen to books, memory work or just good music. I try to keep their projects on 8.5×11 paper and then place them in plastic sleeves in a binder.
“One’s art goes as far as deep as one’s love goes.”
~ Andrew Wyeth