Parents, are you looking for ways to keep your kids learning and engaged at home that don’t involve screen time? I’ve got you covered!
I’ll be posting more of my favorite art projects using minimal supplies that you might already have at home. These projects develop the skills of critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving, and invention – the very qualities we need to see in tomorrow’s leaders!
So, whether you want to create right alongside your kids, or just give them a little instruction and let them run with it, check out this fun project below.
You can find LOTS more projects by browsing my drop-down menus on the right – organized by famous artists, holiday, culture, process, medium, style, subject, and more.
Paint a Delft-Inspired Plate
“Delftware” originated in the city of Delft, in the Netherlands in the 1500s. The traditional blue and white patterns of Delft pottery make it easily recognizable, but if you’re feeling non-traditional, use whatever color you want! The key for this project is to make it monochromatic, using tints and shades of only one color. Traditional Delft imagery focused on flowers, animals, windmills, and nature. But choose whatever theme inspires you!
- Paint you can mix…. black, white, and one color. We used tempera, but you could also use gouache, acrylic, or even watercolor (just add more water to get the lighter values).
- Paintbrush & container for water
- 2 Paper plates, one to mix your colors on and one to paint. No paper plates? Just use an old magazine as your “palette” and trace a circle on a piece of white paper (preferably construction paper or card stock) for a surface to paint on.
- Pencil – to plan out your design before painting it.
- Use a pencil to lightly sketch your design in the center and divide up your space. If you’re painting on a paper plate, you’ll likely have some “built-in” concentric circles already in place for you. If you’re painting on paper, you’ll need to trace a few concentric circles of varying sizes for your border. Try to have 3 of these border areas, plus the center.
- To divide up each circular border equally, try my “Split the Distance” method (see diagram below). The numbered circles show you a suggested order for dividing your space. Just a light mark with your pencil is all that’s needed to indicate where to place things.
- Next, paint your plate using at least 3 values (light, medium, and dark) of the color you’ve chosen: To get the lightest value, add a tiny bit of your color to a larger puddle of white paint (this is called a tint.). The middle value is just the color itself. Then add a tiny bit of black to the color to get your darkest value (this is called a shade). When mixing paint, always add a smaller amount of the darker color to a larger amount of the lighter color. Otherwise, if you mix equal amounts of each, the darker color overwhelms the lighter color and you end up wasting a lot of paint to get the color you want!
- Paint one design at a time, working from the larger designs to the smaller ones, turning your plate as needed.
How to Create an Evenly Spaced Pattern:
You can follow the diagram above to create a pattern that’s evenly spaced around a circle or adapt it as needed for other kinds of patterns (along a straight line, filling a space, etc.). The main idea is to place your first mark and then place the second mark directly across from the first one. Then split the distance between the first and second marks to place your third mark, and so on. You can measure if you need it to be exact, but I usually just “eyeball” things whenever close enough is good enough. Sometimes squinting can help with this, too!
If you try this project, I’d love to see it! Please share on Instagram and tag me @teach.kids.art