Do you have a future Van Gogh, Picasso, or Warhol on your hands? You may not know it until you put your child to the task of reproducing one of her favorite paintings. In this project, an eye-opening trip to the art museum becomes the inspiration for her very own artwork. She'll have the opportunity to experiment with an art medium and style that she may not be used to, and she'll learn about a famous artist in the process.
What You Do:
- Take a trip to the museum with your child and expose her to famous painters and their various styles of work. Talk about the eras during which they lived, as well as their sources of inspiration. Ask your child what she does and does not like about the paintings, and have her identify one that is her favorite.
- Later, go online or to the library to locate the work of art that your child wants to recreate.
- Using a medium of her choice, such as colored pencils, pastels, oils, watercolors, or charcoal, ask your child to create her own rendition of the painting. Just because the artist your child selected is, say, famous for doing watercolors, doesn’t mean your child must use watercolors. Encourage her to choose a brand new medium that interests her!
- Allow your child to take her time, working in stages, as it may require more than one sitting to complete this masterpiece.
- Encourage her to experiment with lines, colors, textures, and shading. This is a great opportunity to explore techniques that she hasn't tried before.
- Make sure she signs and dates her work! She'll want to look at her masterpiece for years to come.
Put a creative spin on the project by asking your child to modify one element in the painting, such as the color scheme or theme. Have her replace objects in the original picture with whimsical ones. For example, the above picture of Van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles” could be re-done to reflect your child’s interest in soccer; envision a pair of cleats on the floor, trophies on the table, a jersey hanging on the hook, and a soccer ball on the chair.