Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big, Painted Rainbow

Big, painted rainbows have been one of our favorite projects recently. It started as an impromptu way to dive into our brand new bottles of tempera paint. We had so much fun with it that we've done it 3 or 4 more times in the past few weeks!
We started by taping four sheets of regular paper together to make a nice big canvas. Since rainbows have been popular around here for a while (thanks to the book, What Makes a Rainbow?) I decided to make a simple outline with black marker and let him paint it in. I gave him one color at a time and washed the brush in between colors. Mixing the orange and purple was one of his favorite parts (green never comes out right, so we bought a bottle of green.)

I've heard a lot about art projects at this age being more about the process than the product, but we had fun working on this together and having it come out with clean, bright colors. He wanted me to do some of the painting, and I was impressed with how he carefully copied how he saw me use the brush.
After the rainbow was done, we mixed some white and blue to make the sky and started learning about tints (i.e. pastels). After this one we made one with a "mint sky" as he calls it :-)


  1. Very cool. You guys might also enjoy the PDF's of large, color-it-yourself murals from http://artprojectsforkids.org.
    Oh, and pretty soon he'll be old enough (if not already) to play Number Rainbow! You draw a bow, divide it into 10 sections, label them 2-12, take turns throwing a pair of dice, add the numbers together, and color in the section of the bow that corresponds to the sum. Make sense?

  2. Very cool! It's great to do crafts that teach skills as well as being good time-filling/little-boy-occupying projects.

  3. Oh Tamara! How I wish you could come here and have art sessions with my kids!!! I am soo short in this area. Their school back in Arlington definitely filled this need, but I'm not sure their current school does as much neat stuff. Ah well...