My students just finished painting covers for the stools in the art room that
had to be an imitation of a master artist's style or specific work or
combination of works. One student chose to paint "Starry Night." We were
using Crayola Acrylic Paints because they are inexpensive, work great on
fabric and do not require the addition of a textile medium or to be heat set.
Anyway, this delightful, inventive sophomore was having difficulty getting
the 3-D effect she wanted with her swirled brushstrokes. She finally settled
on using a wooden clay tool with a grooved end to swirl in the wet paint.
Unorthodox, but very effective. It looks great and mirrors Van Gogh's
brushstrokes very well, leaving a very textured surface. I told her it was
going to leave some interesting prints on the behinds of the students that
occupy that stool for an hour!
With younger students, I have also let them paint with Q-tips in the past
when painting landscapes in the Impressionists' style.
Thanks to the people on this listserv that talked about painting things "in
the round" about 16 months ago. My stool project came from that thread. This
is the second year I have done these now, and plan on making it an annual
project for my Art II students. The stools get rave reviews from non-art
students, parents and administrators.
By the way, if you need new seats for your kids as I did, I talked my
principle into letting my buy the stools from Builder's Square (Wal-Mart now
has some similar) for $8-$10 each. Compare this to the price of a stool from
a school supplier and you get a roomful of stools for the price of two or
three of theirs. I got to buy a few stools a year for three years until I had
enough. They have lasted very well - a couple of tops have come off, which my
longsuffering husband helped me screw back on, and the vinyl tops have gotten
torn - solved with the muslin stool covers. I can get 4 stool covers out of a
yard of material. A great first of the year project to reinforce the artists
that they studied in Art I and introduce new ones.
If anyone is still with me, I spoonfeed my students art history with an
"Artist of the Week" program. Will share the idea with anyone interested.