If you are looking for an engaging book to pair up with an “apple” art project, Nikki McClure’s Apple is a lovely option. Crisp paper-cut illustrations pair with single word text engages children to fill in the storyline with their imaginations. I asked Nikki some questions and she graciously agreed to provide some answers. You can read my interview with Nikki McClure here.
I read this book to my group of Kinders. They were absolutely enraptured. The Kindergarten teacher and I marveled at the simplicity and effectiveness of the vocabulary and images. Afterwards, we created a very simple apple art project that featured five art techniques:
- Tracing (holding an oil pastel!)
- Cutting and pasting
- Painting with primary colors to achieve secondary colors
- Adding value
What you’ll need:
- 12″ x 18′ colored sulphite paper (background)
- 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper
- Black and brown oil pastel
- White chalk pastel
- Cardboard apple template (you can draw through observation, too)
- Palette of red, yellow and blue liquid tempera paints
- Scissors and glue
- Burlap or colored craft paper fro “tablecloth”
I used templates for this lesson as I have young kinders (4 and 5), but if you were doing this lesson with slightly older children, it might be more interesting if the children drew the apples using observation techniques.
After the child has 3 apples on their paper, draw stems and leaves. Now comes the fun part: painting! I placed the tempera primary colors in a muffin-style palette and had the children paint one apple yellow. They used very little water and cleaned their brushes by sweeping the bristles over the placemat. Next, they dipped their paintbrush into the red paint and painted the second apple red. Now, without cleaning brush, dip paint brush in yellow paint again and paint 3rd apple. The children will notice right away that the yellow and red on their brush creates orange. If they need more paint, they can add more yellow or red directly to the apple.
After cleaning their brush, they painted the leaves yellow, then dipped paint brush into blue paint and painted directly over yellow leaves. Don’t worry about the stems for now.
The next class, or once the apples are dry, cut out around the apples and set aside. Place some pre-cut burlap and some colored background paper on a table in the back of your art room. As the children finish cutting their apples, they can select a background paper and a piece of burlap. Glue burlap onto paper first then arrange apples onto the burlap.
Once everything is glue to the background paper, the children can add the finishing touches: coloring the stems with brown oil pastels and adding chalk highlights. I showed the kids how to add a crescent moon shape to the top of their apples to create a shiny spot. They loved this!
Didn’t they do a lovely job?