Sunday, September 21, 2014

Playing Monet

Ever since I was a kid and was given the book "Linnea in Monet's Garden," Claude Monet has been one of my very favorite painters. When L found my old book last week, I immediately thought of our melted crayon art and thought that we could try to make our own impressionist, water lily artwork. We used a different technique to melt the crayons this time, and we used materials found in the recycling basket for a "canvas." I was thrilled to be able to teach L a little bit about Monet and his phenomenal paintings...and in such a fun way too!

Materials Needed:
-empty cereal or cracker box
-acrylic paints

First, I cut the cereal boxes to make nice little "canvases" to paint on. I left the side flaps intact, making the artwork easier to move while working, using the flaps as handles. You can cut them off at the end.

Next, looking at Monet's painting we talked about what colors to paint the background, representing the water. We chose two colors of green and two of blue to use. I let L paint the cardboard canvas however she pleased, encouraging her to cover the entire thing.

After the paint dried, it was time to create the lily pads and flowers. I made crayon shavings by simply cutting up crayons into little shavings or pieces. You can use a cheese grater if you like, but a sharp knife works just fine! (The crayon shavings pictured here are from another piece of work...hence the orange, yellows and reds. For Monet's water lilies, I made shaving from three different green crayons, as well as some pinks, yellows and white.)

Now, using one color at a time, L sprinkled the crayon shavings onto her canvas. We started with the greens for the lily pads, putting the shavings into little piles, and followed it with the pink and white for flowers.

Next is the really fun part...melting the crayons, transforming the artwork! With the oven set to 200 degrees F, I lay the cardboard on a cookie sheet and placed it in the oven for 5 minutes. L loved watching the crayons melt!

Once the shavings were all melted, we removed the artwork from the oven to cool. Be very careful not to tilt or shake the artwork at this point...for the first minute or two before the melted crayon cools, it's very liquid and will drip or move-mix around. After a couple minutes, the crayon is dried and the art ready to show off and display! 

I hope you have as much fun with this one as we did! If you have a favorite impressionist painter, other than Monet, I'm sure the melted-crayon technique would work to mimic their work too! Enjoy!

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