Making Sense of Cubism – Art Appreciation & Simple Project for Little Children

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If you’ve been following this blog, you would have guessed by now that I am officially ‘jobless’ and have been surviving on ad hoc and part-time jobs for a while. I hope I can sound more certain about the future but I really can’t. The things that I set out to do didn’t quite fall into place. Ironically, it’s the things that started out as hobbies and leisure activities that bring in the dough. One of which is kids’ craft…
Every now and then I would receive enquiries on kids’ craft classes, and they always make my day. I love both art and children and it couldn’t get better to be paid to do what I enjoy. Recently, I met up with a preschool principal who is keen to introduce fine art to her students. We are talking about children age 3 to 6. “Ah… how ambitious!” was my first thought, but after chatting further and understanding her requirements better, it seemed likely, in fact, it seemed like a brilliant idea! The challenge would be to simplify and present the concepts and ideas behind major art movements and iconic paintings to the children and to design achievable projects for the students to execute. It excited me, and I took it up right away. Today, I am happy to report that I have got the lesson plan for the art appreciation programme done and am looking forward eagerly to meet my new students at the preschool very soon.
Here’s a sneak preview of what’s in stored for my new students this December.  If you are like me, a fan of Modern Art, then this is one activity you must do with your kids at home.
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What is Cubism?
It is a major art movement pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during the early 20th Century. Yup, not that long ago. It was “the first abstract style of modern art”. If you are keen to piece the art movements to the modern art time line, here’s a good read:
Making sense of Cubism to children
 
Here’s what I did:
I made a box to illustrate the concept of cubism to children. Getting the children to look at the box from different angles, I ask simple questions to help them understand the limitation of perspective.
How many colours can you see from this angle?

Can you see purple from here?

What about this angle, what are the shapes you see?

Because of the limitation of perspective, it is not possible for a photograph taken from a fixed angle to fully illustrate the “reality” of the box. This is where Cubism comes in handy. By cutting out the box into different pieces and regrouping them together, Cubism presents the box in it’s totality.
Art Project: Acrylic on Canvas aka Tape and Paint 
Here’s how to put what we’ve learned together on a blank canvas:
Step1 : Get the child to “cut-out” the canvas into smaller shapes using clear or masking tape.
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Step 2: Base on the colours of the box, prepare the colour palette.

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Step3: Guide the child to fill up the individual shapes with various colours.

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Step 4: Let them paint! And be prepared for some creative mess. :)

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Step 5: Let it dry.

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Step 6: Remove tape.

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I love how pretty the clear tape looks. I would very much like to make it into something but that would be another project for another day :)

Expect the work to look a little messy, depending on individual preference, you may want to touch up a little or let it be. I tided ours with some white paint and ta-dahhh! Here’s presenting our very own master piece!
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