Art Snacks: Activities for Young Artists
Calling all little artists! Get a taste of a work of art and get your creative juices flowing with monthly activities for 3-5 year olds and their caregivers.
This month discover life from a bird’s-eye view in Andrew Moore’s photographs. We’ll discover and create miniature sculptures that look good up close and far away! Keep reading to learn more!
Image: Andrew Moore, The Yellow Porch, Sheridan County, Nebraska, 2013, archival pigment print, 36 × 45 1/2 in., Purchased with funds by William R. Valentiner, by exchange
Is the house in this photo big or small? Up close or far away? And just how did photographer Andrew Moore make this picture? Consider these questions and more as you get to know this month’s featured artwork, The Yellow Porch, Sheridan County, Nebraska. Watch the video below to look up close and get inspiration to create an artwork of your own.
What more do you want to know about the place you see in this photograph? Was there anything you learned in the video that surprised you?
Follow along to create a sculpture of a building, and learn how to create a unique landscape photograph of your creation! Gather the supplies you’ll need:
- Clay, play-doh, sculpey, or blocks
- Parchment paper
- Clay tools (i.e. fork for texture, card for slicing, toothpick)
- Camera or phone camera
- Paint (if painting clay)
- Natural materials
Watch this video to see step-by-step instructions and ideas to create your work of art! Detailed instructions are also below.
Part 1: Create a building inspired by the home in the photograph.
Step 1: Sculpt a building from clay.
- Warm up your clay by rolling it in your hands and throwing the clay onto your parchment paper.
- Roll and smooth out your clay into a cube or rectangle.
- Pinch the top of your sculpture to a point to create a peaked roof.
- Tip: If you want to smooth out bumps in your clay, dip your fingers or paintbrush in some water and brush onto your clay.
Step 2: Add details.
- Tip: To make sure extra clay pieces stick to your sculpture, score hatch marks to your clay. Draw lines at an angle going one way and lines going the opposite direction on the piece you want to attach. Repeat these lines on your sculpture where you will add this clay piece. Add water to both sides and the piece will stick like glue to your sculpture!
- Roll two pieces of clay about the size of your roof. Using a safe cutting tool, cut those pieces into rectangular shapes. Add details to the roof with your clay tools. Think about what kinds of lines you would see for a roof made out of shingles or a roof made out of bricks.
- Carve or add details with clay such as windows or a door.
- Roll out a cylinder shape to add a chimney to your roof. Stick your tooth pick in the top of your cylinder shape and move it around in a circular motion to make a hole for your chimney
Step 3: Let the clay dry.
- If using air-dry clay, allow your clay to dry and paint your sculptures.
- If using polymer clay, follow the instructions for baking.
Step 4: Paint your sculpture.
- Andrew Moore’s piece is called “The Yellow Porch, Sheridan County, Nebraska.” Can you find the yellow porch?
- We decided to highlight a door for our sculpture and paint it purple! Think about a piece of your sculpture that you want to stand out and paint it.
Part 2: Photograph your sculpture to create a special landscape picture!
Step 1: Gather natural materials.
- Create a scene using natural materials and place your buildings and sculptures within it. What features can you create with rocks, leaves, sticks, acorns, or other objects?
- Think about where your building might like to be. Is your building in a rural or urban landscape? What other buildings or structures might surround your building? What kind of plant life might surround your building?
Step 2: Practice taking photos with different perspectives.
- Pretend you are a bird soaring high above your scene! Take a photo from this perspective.
- What does your scene look like close to the ground?
- Practice taking photos from the front, side, and back of your scene.
- If you are taking photos with a phone, see what it looks like with different filters (i.e. Sepia). You can find these options in the settings of most phone cameras.
Step 3: Print or sketch your photo and title your art!
- Andrew Moore put the name of the county and state where his photograph was taken in the title of his work: Sheridan County, Nebraska.
- Our photograph is named, “The Blue Door, Wake County, North Carolina.” Where was your picture taken? Use the name of this place in the title of your photograph.
- If you are able, print one of your photos and display it! If you do not have a printer, sketch your scene with a pencil and paper.
Take a look at your sculpture and a look at your photograph. How does the photograph make you think differently about your sculpture?
Do you have a favorite part of your work of art? What is it, and why?
Share your finished artwork with us by tagging your photos with #NCMAArtSnacks.