Recently the kindergartners went to the zoo, so I thought this would be a good time to do a giraffe project. Since my kindergartners have been in school for almost a year now, I thought it was time to really get into the skills of painting. As a lot of you know, when kinders paint, they will often paint sloppy putting all the colors on top of each other, until it is a muddy brown color. At the beginning of the year, I do not make a fuss about this, but by the end, I try to get them to slow down and think about their color choices.I based this project on the artwork of Betsy Fowler. She is known for painting animals in very bright vibrant colors. Click on the link to see her artwork, I think you will LOVE it.
To begin this project, I had my students use a stencil to trace the head of the giraffe. This was the only part that was traced. The eyes, ears, nose, horns, spots, and neck were all drawn by the student, with a little direction from me of course. After drawing in pencil, I gave everyone a black crayon to outline with. Next, we began painting with liquid watercolors. I started by having each student choose one color to paint the spots with. (All the spots had to be that one color). After painting the spots, I had my students use a paper towel to dab off any puddles. (This will help keep the spots from running into their next color). Then, I had my students choose a different color to paint the rest of the giraffe (The only rule was that it had to be a different color than the spots). Lastly, I handed out purple paint for the background.
These turned out great. This was the first time that I have allowed my kindergartners to use liquid watercolors, but it really turned out well.