Paint and Enjoy: Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers

Article excerpt

April is in the air. Our senses bloom with colorful creativity, and we grow as nature's beauty blossoms. We too experience a rebirth as we focus on painting--working with various media, experimenting, wallowing in the viscosity of oils and the wet wondrous color of watercolor. Spring into art, appreciating the beauty surrounding us all!

tip #1

THIN IS IN Karyn Vine of Delaware County, Pa., finds that her students have trouble understanding that watercolors are designed to be transparent and used thinly (using a lot of water). So when they get ready for a watercolor project, she takes a piece of scrap watercolor paper measuring 3" x 3", one for each child, and draws a thick black line with permanent marker. Then, before they start painting, she has them create a rainbow on top of the marker line. If she can't see the line through the paint, she has them try it again.

tip #2

TIMESAVER Margaret Weinberg of Palmyra, Pa., has a timesaving tip for using tempera paint, experience gleaned from her three kindergarten classes who have art on the same day, once every six days for 25 minutes! Instead of squeezing tempera into individual paint cups, keeping them lidded until the next time, she uses aluminum foil. It makes it easy to work with a palette. It's especially good for mixing colors; neatly used foil can be re-loaded for the next class. (Messy ones get tossed.) Other colleagues have used those shiny, heavyweight inserts found in the Sunday newspaper or paper plates. Margaret watches for specials on aluminum foil to keep her classroom well stocked.

tip #3

NOODLES Glenda Lubiner of Miramar, Fla., suggests that when transporting framed artwork, take two pool/water noodles and slice them vertically, allowing you to slide the art into them, thereby protecting the frame and art during transport.

tip #4

RECYCLE Glenda is so creative with her recycling ideas that she doesn't miss a trick! She saves the corrugated cardboard sleeves from her Starbucks coffee cups and has the kids use them to create texture and interest in their paintings and collage work!

Glenda also advises teachers to "recycle while you paint." Mini muffins that many parents bring to school for children's birthdays come in these great little plastic trays. Have the teachers save them for the art room--you can go green and paint green at the same time! …