When I saw this post at Chocolate Muffin Tree, I knew it was a project I wanted to do with Bear, but I wondered how I could make it about teaching art appreciation to kids.
I remembered seeing a Robert Bateman book on someone’s coffee table a LONG time ago and, after a quick Google search, discovered he painted quite a few birds.
Robert Bateman is a Canadian naturalist and artist who was born in Toronto, but now lives on the West coast. Although he was a high school art and geography teacher, he spent a lot of time painting. He now has six books of his paintings. His wildlife paintings are just beautiful.
I made some three part cards of Robert Bateman’s bird paintings, which Bear matched up and observed while I washed up the breakfast things.
I’ve mostly shown Bear impressionistic and abstract artists, so this was very different for her. We talked about how his paintings are so realistic they look like photographs. I asked her to think of the theme in all the three part cards. She told me they were all birds. I told her we were going to paint birds today, but ours wouldn’t be so realistic:)
I pulled out three books that fit the theme.
and Flip, Flap, Fly!: A Book for Babies Everywhere (mostly for J-jo)
Another book that fits well that we read last year and loved is Birds by Kevin Henkes.
Then the making of art began.
More art vocabulary:
Chocolate Muffin Tree does a great job explaining how to do this project. I wanted the birds to be bigger, so I modified the method a bit.
Above – J-jo’s branches.
Below – Bear adding a bird with a potato half.
We used the sides of flat sponges dipped in brown paint for the tree branches.
We got a potato and cut it in half. Dipped in paint it made the perfect body for a bird.
We used a water bottle lid for the head of the bird. For the tail, we used the edge of a piece of cardboard, twisting a bit to fan out the tail.
(I helped J-jo with the birds.)
We added a nest, too. That is the best part, of course. We went outside in search of pine straw and found tons.
The finished products:
We’ll have to go back when they are dry and add eyes.
This post also linked to stART