My grandmother loved art, specifically the Impressionists.  When I’d go to her house, we’d get dressed up and have tea parties on her fine China and look through her books on Impressionists.  She no doubt had some influence on my own interest in the arts.  I am not at all a great artist, myself.  But, I do love art and have an appreciation for it, as well as the artists themselves.  And, having been just 3 hours shy of a minor in Art History, I’ve had my share of art classes.  So, when the kids expressed an interest in an after-school art program, I got to thinking: I love art.  I love projects that include all of the kids. What if I spend less than half of the registration fee, and instead purchase a few good quality art supplies and teach them what I do know?  I found this book at the local library and used it as a guide.  I figured this way, the kids get a good quality introduction to art (at a fraction of the price), and we’d be having quality time together doing something we all enjoy.  We’re all excited about it.  Now, we’ll see how it all pans out in reality.

Here’s how I’m planning to break down the lessons.  I figure we’ll do one day a week for 30 minutes.  We’ll stay on each one for 2-3 sessions each, or until they get bored with it.  It’s not so much about mastery here as it is to expose them to some basic methods and new mediums.  I plan for them to start by a few minutes of sketching every time.

1.  Creating form using shadows and highlights.  Medium: chalk pastels, charcoal.  We will be looking for simple forms to model…vases, boxes, etc.  This will also reinforce how they look at things in their environment.

2. Foregrounds and backgrounds.  Medium: watercolor pencils. We will be working on basic landscapes, perhaps using photography as inspiration.

3. Faces.  Medium: TBD.  This is definitely the hardest for me, and probably for most.  We will work on faces with regards to proportion, shadows and highlights.


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