Monday, May 5, 2014

The Writing of Art

An art teacher I know once asked kindergarteners, "How many of you are artists?" Nearly everyone raised their hand. When she asked third- and fourth-graders this same question, less than half the class raised their hands. In the sixth-grade classes only one or two kids raised their hands.

"Ask a room of adults," she says, "and chances are no one will raise a hand." Somehow we forget how to be artists. Or we begin to be too critical about what we put on paper.

Now comes a book for kids - and adults - who want to let their creativity loose on the page:
Paint It: The Art of Acrylics, Oils, Pastels, and Watercolors 
by Mary Bolte; illus. by DC Ice and Pamela Becker
144 pages; ages 8-14 and beyond
Capstone Young Readers, 2014

In a single volume, Capstone Press brings together four of their books in the "Paint It" series. It's nice to have them all under one cover... because some days you might want to play with watercolors and another day might beg for something more textured.

Don't know how to paint? Don't worry. Each chapter opens with a section titled "In your Art Box". There's good information about paints and pastels, brushes, papers, and notes on "color palette"- what you might want to stock up on for the first few projects. Then there are the projects - more than 45 in the book - each highlighting a different technique to explore.

Projects range from "testing the waters" to mixed media, Chinese brush painting to glazes and scumbles. Paint large, paint small... try some realism and some abstract. Use lines, use dots. Toss in a sponge or layer it on with a spatula. The big picture: step out of your comfort zone and get paint on your sleeve. Or nose. Tip: if you're painting in the kitchen, buy a large plastic table cloth to put on the floor so you don't leave paint splots on the linoleum.

Head over to Nonfiction Monday to see what other bloggers are reviewing. As for me - I'm off to rummage through the art closet and see whether we've got any paints left... Review copy provided by publisher.

1 comment:

  1. I actually have this on my want list! For my princesses! I think I would have trouble following the instructions. But I have no trouble painting! I can have a great deal of fun with that!