Even if your child insists he can't draw, he can create this minimalist painting with wonderful results! He’ll get a crash-course in modern art history and learn the impasto technique, a style of painting where the paint is used in heavy strokes and rests on top of the canvas. This simple and introductory art project can help propel an interest in art or even bolster his confidence in planning and mapping, something that comes up often in higher-level math classes.
What You Do:
- If you wish, start by taking a trip to your local library or using the Internet to research minimalist art. Your child can hone his research skills by selecting a minimalist artist to use as inspiration for his painting, and learning more about his or her life.
- Encourage your child to create a preliminary sketch for his painting, making sure he charts his ideas for color choice, layout and design. Motivate him to make his creation as minimalistic as possible and to focus solely on one art concept, such as color, line, texture or rhythm.
- Along with researching minimalist artists, your child can learn more about the art concept of impasto painting. This art technique was made popular by abstract-expressionist painters; they applyed thick paint directly onto canvases with palette knives or bold brush strokes.
- Once your child is satisfied with his design, offer him a canvas and selection of acrylic paints to use. Encourage him to use a pencil to sketch out his design before starting and using a ruler if necessary.
- It’s time to get minimal! Challenge him to use a thick brush or palette knife to apply paint directly to his canvas. Motivate your kid by putting on some minimalist music, such as works by Philip Glass or John Adams!
- Once your child’s artwork is finished, he can sign the front and write the title on the back of the canvas.
- Help your child find the perfect spot to display his finished minimalistic creation!
The minimalist style of painting became popular in New York during the 1960s with artists such as Frank Stella and Kazimir Malevich. Minimalism wasn’t just a style of art; it branched into music and architecture as well. With the rising popularity of graphic design that hearkens back to the stark minimalist look, and at least one popular television show set in 1960s New York, minimalism is once again in the public eye.
Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.