As you may know I am a children’s book illustrator and because I LOVE to draw so much, I also love sharing these skills with others. As well as the online Kat's Art Club I also provide individual art tutoring…And guess what ? Yep that is right I LOVE it…some of my students are online and some face to face in the comfort of their own homes.
I felt it was time to share my process of how I teach art to kids using my last student tutoring session as an example. I want to explain how I navigate each art session using a child led learning approach creating a positive immersive art experience for each individual child.
“Child led learning is based on the idea that we are naturally curious about the world around us. By allowing kids to explore, you encourage them to be life-long learners and to take responsibility for their education.” Read and Spell
One of my fabulous students is Milla, a bubbly 6-year-old. She has so much vibrancy it spills over into her artwork. It is evident when she is painting and drawing, she is in her happy magical place.
Today when I arrived at Milla’s house I was welcomed by squeals of delight…All I knew when I walked in was, that I needed to be prepared for anything. Milla knows what she likes, and a pre-determined structure just does not work for her…she was so excited to see what I had in my art box today.
I started the session by getting her to help me set up, she pulled out a canvas and the acrylic paints…she was in the mood to paint!!! As we set up, I asked what you would like to do today. She wanted to tell me all about her dad's wedding at the weekend and how he danced with her under the disco ball…swung her around…she said it made her feel so happy. She wanted to capture this moment…or as in her words…” I want to draw daddy swinging me around and around and around.”
I got her to tell me more to describe the room…the lights were blue, red and purple with flashes of brightness. There were lots of other people dancing too. I asked her to draw this for me in her art pad and then asked her if she would like to use a canvas. I wanted to make this a fun interactive experience…Milla is a busy little girl full of beans. It was all about finger painting…I guided her to prevent a muddy mess…I need not have concerned myself as she worked the colours beautifully. We collaborated perfectly as our paint-covered fingers danced over the surface on the canvas…making a wonderful variety of marks and colours. It was damn good messy fun…Milla even ended up with paint on her nose… a bright pink nose.
The backdrop was created so next was to add the characters and the mirror ball. I then suggested making it easier instead of painting directly onto the canvas she uses watercolour paper and paint, cut the character out and stick them onto the canvas. Milla loved this idea, added black sharpie line-work, and together we applied this to the canvas…in case you dint know acrylic paint acts like glue!!!! As we stood back Milla suggested some final changes…stick on gems for the dress and white chalk lines to make the disco ball really shine!!!
I enjoyed working with Milla’s ideas, guiding her, adding in suggestions and most of all listening to her. I am so taken by how well she captured this beautiful moment between father and daughter in a vibrant, expressive, eye-catching artwork she can keep forever...
This was beautiful feed back from her Mum, Hailey;
"Thanks so much Kat that was amazing! the canvas will go right next to her bed. She is always happy after your sessions! Thank you."
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