Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - A Perspective on Art Education - Activities for Children - Themes & Topics

Drawing & Painting -- Modeling & Sculpting

Fingerpainting -- Mural Making -- Paper-Mâché -- Puppets -- Mask-Making -- Crayon Encaustics -- Crayon Resist Drawing -- Crayon Sgraffito -- Collage -- Mobiles -- Watercolor -- Common Earth Clay -- Salt Ceramic [recipe] -- Clay / plasticene Non-hardening -- Carving in the Round -- Newspaper Modeling -- Paraffin or Wax Sculpture -- Plaster Plaques or Reliefs -- Relief in Plaster -- Relief in Soft Wood -- Repoussé -- Sandcasting -- Working With the Coping Saw or Jigsaw -- Straw/Toothpick Sculpting -- Painting on Window Glass -- Diorama -- Peep Shows -- Whittling -- Wire Sculpture

[From: [Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]


Mix dry starch with cold water until it is a smooth, thin paste; put it in the bottom of a large container and pour boiling water over it. If poured from a rather high position, the water goes down rapidly and churns up the starch paste, mixing it quickly and smoothly, so that no lumps result. If the water is added slowly, a dribble at a time, the starch is sure to become lumpy. Once the starch is mixed, the teacher can add a small handful of soap flakes or detergent. This will make it very easy for the children to clean their hands when they are through; or if paint should get into their clothing, the soap will make the paint easy to clean or wash out without leaving a stain. If a child should get some fingerpaint on his clothing, the teacher should see that it is allowed to dry; then it can generally be picked off with the fingernail without leaving any stain or mark. If the teacher tries to wipe the paint off while it is wet, the colors will only rub deeper into the fabric, making it more difficult to clean.

Around the outer edge of the room he can have one of the children place a layer of clean newspapers, and on top of this the sheets of fingerpainting paper on which to work.

Fingerpaint paper. If fingerpaint paper is not available or is too expensive for the classroom budget, fingerpaintings can be done on almost any type of paper, but preferably one with a smooth, nonporous surface. Magazine covers, butcher paper, and shelf paper are all good for this activity. Shelf paper is perhaps the most satisfactory.]

Printmaking. As was explained in the section on printmaking, the use of a sheet of smooth formica, safety glass, or an enamel-topped table is best for fingerpainting. Done directly on one of these nonporous surfaces, the painting can be duplicated with little effort if one places a sheet of newsprint or drawing paper on the moist painting, then gently rubs it with the hand. The painting is transferred from the formica to the paper without wrinkling. Almost any paper can be used for the duplicate image --saves on the expense of fingerpaint paper.]

Everybody set, the teacher can go around the room pouring a small panful of clear starch onto each child's paper. The teacher will quickly learn to judge the amount to pour on each paper. It is not necessary to moisten the papers because the starch contains enough moisture. One of the children can follow the teacher, sprinkling a small amount of powdered paint onto the clear starch. Now the children can begin to work, and the motions that they make on their paper will mix the paint and starch into a smooth color. This practice saves paint, because if any of the starch is left after painting, it can be stored for several weeks without spoiling.

The children should be encouraged to make large, free, rhythmic motions while painting, using closed fists, open hands, sides of the hand, lower arms, and knuckles. It is a good practice for them to make designs rather than pictures because if they limit their activities to the rigid drawing of pictures, then the whole value of the process can be lost. With a starch mixture on the fingerpaint paper, the children are able to work for long periods of time changing their designs, wiping them out, and so on. If the paintings become a little sticky and the children wish to continue working, the teacher can simply add a bit more starch.

When the children feel that their paintings are complete, they should leave them on the floor, wash their hands, and return to their seats, ready for their next class.

The fingerpaintings can be used for notebook covers or to decorate wastebaskets made of old five gallon ice cream cartons. They can be pressed flat with a warm iron and will make interesting displays around the classroom wall. They always look more attractive if they can be matted or carefully mounted on a larger piece of paper.

[Meaning in Crafts. Mattil,, Edward L. Chairman, Dept. of Art, North Texas State University. Third Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971.]



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