Thursday, September 13, 2012

Art at Home

Art instruction has been a weakness of mine ever since our homeschooling journey began. I usually have high hopes at the beginning of each year, but by the end of October I start to lose steam. Art can be messy. Art takes more planning. Art can be costly. It's easy to tell myself we'll get around to it later. And then we don't. Public schools are cutting art all over the place, so that makes it okay, right?

Actually, homeschooling regulations for PA require art instruction at both the elementary and secondary levels. Interesting, considering the fact that in my high school years I didn't take a single art class because they weren't required. I took plenty of creative electives, especially the cooking classes, but no art classes.

This year I am trying hard to stick with a plan. In the past, I have used ideas I found at Art Projects for Kids many times. Our first major project for this year is the glue and foil drawing. This was a nice complement to our weekly art reading. Once a week, we read a chapter from A Child's History of Art: Sculpture. Chapter one covers different kinds of sculpture, including low relief or bas-relief. Our glue and foil drawings can fall into that category. That made it a nice choice for this week.

We spread the project out over two different days. On the first day, the boys decided what they wanted to draw. JT made a space battle. EM made a pig/cat mutation. ? I made a duck. No mutations for me. We needed to draw our simple line drawing and then trace over it with a thick bead of glue. This was more difficult than I you might think. I ended up having to do some of the work for each of the boys. The glue needed to dry for a few days. Next we added our foil and details using a dull pencil point. Finally, we added the black shoe polish to give it the antiqued look.

The project may have been a bit on the messy side, but it didn't take much planning or expense. The most expensive component was the shoe polish for about two dollars. My excuses have been blown away. I guess art can seem daunting to me because it is a subject in which I never excelled. Taking advantage of the knowledge of others through sites like Art Projects for Kids, makes it more doable and fun, even for amateurs like myself.

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