Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's Make Some Great Art


 



I really love this book. It is creative, incredibly clever, and full of projects that are both fun and easy. Professional artist and renowned illustrator Marion Deuchars created these projects in an effort to keep her sons inspired and stimulated. Hey, if her kids need a prod here and then, I don't feel so badly about my own!

The book's core ideas are inspired by the work of twelve famous artists, including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Leonardo da Vinci. Deuchars gives a brief introduction of each, explaining the type of art each was best known for, and then reveals several projects that relate to that specific claim. Make modern art from squiggles, try your hand at collage, conduct color experiments, re-create Mona Lisa's smile, or try painting Jackson Pollack style with paint and marbles. What will your children be inspired to create?


I like how this book is a cross between a history lesson and fifty art lessons, with a little bonus course on how easy it to use your imagination to come up with great things. I also love how varied the projects are - there is a bit of everything. Make animals from inky fingerprints, create your own color wheel and experiment mixing the colors, draw a shark in the pre-drawn tank, make a mobile from simple geometric shapes, fiddle around with tangrams, or draw circles by hand and compare them to compass drawn circles.

The projects mentioned just barely scratch the surface of what you will have to choose from! At 224 pages, the ideas are not technically "endless" but it sure feels that way. Opening this book for the first time is akin to having a bomb of creativity dropped in your lap. The next time you hear "I'm bored. There's nothing to do." you will have hundreds of suggestions at your fingertips.

I think maybe best of all, this book will help kids realize that it is possible to create great things from very simple ideas. Some of the pages are blank, apart from a single one sentence direction. They might need that little push to get started, but hopefully, this will show them that art is fun to create and there are no boundaries.    



Review copy provided by Laurence King.
 

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