Line up twenty containers of colorful paint, add in fat brushes, cover two tables with white craft paper and you have the set-up for a perfect art day. For my last day with my Kinders, free-expression painting was the order of the day. The children filed into class, stood behind a paint color they liked and listened to a very short list of instructions:
- Make the first mark a circle
- Ask your neighbor for permission to “build” on their circle
- Switch colors by asking first
- Paint whatever kinds of lines & patterns you like
- Try not to paint over paint more than twice (this leads to very soggy craft paper)
About Circle Painting
I encourage you to try a one-class circle painting with any grade level. If you have a few extra minutes, I encourage you to introduce the circle concept via video. You can find videos on the Circle Project website.
Things I wouldn’t worry about….
The beauty of this type of project is that it allows children to be fully at ease with their art work. I gave no visuals clues as to what the children might expect although if you watch one of the many Circle Project videos on You Tube, they would have a deeper understanding of the project.
I didn’t ask much of the children except to practice their manners. They certainly obliged and as I sat back and watched the children share paint and move freely around the tables, I was moved by how wonderful this project was for them. Even the few children who find art challenging (for individual reasons), watching them float through their decisions and apply the paint with enthusiasm was really lovely and inspiring to see.
I wouldn’t stress about the children who fixate on one circle. I’m not sure that by doing that, they are any less artistic than the child who moves around freely. I didn’t detect any frustration, so I suspect that the kids were simply absorbed in color mixing.
Don’t worry about the patterns getting painted over, mussed up or worked on with too much verve. In the end, it’s only the experience that matters.
Have you tried a circle project?
Here are a few art teachers that have:
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