Art Snacks: Activities for Young Artists
Calling all little artists! Get a taste of an artwork and your creative juices flowing with monthly activities for 3- to 5-year-olds and their caregivers. This month we focus on Gerhard Richter’s painting Station (577-2). Keep reading to discover more!
Gerhard Richter, Station (577-2), 1985, oil on canvas, 98 7/8 × 98 7/8 in., Purchased with funds from the North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest), the North Carolina Museum of Art Guild, and various donors, by exchange
This painting by Gerhard Richter is BIG (over eight feet square)! Its large size lets you explore layers of brightly colored paint in detail. Watch this video to look closely and discover the types of movements and special tools Richter used to create a painting this large.
Can you find your favorite color in this painting? How does this work of art inspire you to move?
Gather art supplies to create a mixed-up color painting! For this project you’ll need:
• Tempera or acrylic paint
• Watercolor, cardstock, or mixed-media paper
• Objects for scraping (i.e., old plastic card, spoon or fork, thick piece of paper, natural objects)
• Wax paper or palette
• Cup of water
• Paper towels
Then watch this video for ideas about how to create your painting! You can also follow along with the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Experiment mixing colors.
• On your palette explore how to mix and blend colors. What color does red and blue make? Yellow and green?
• Try adding a little white to each of the colors you mixed. What do you notice?
Step 2: Paint your background.
• Choose a different, bright color for your background. Paint this color on your entire sheet of paper.
Tip: Tape your paper at the corners to help the painting stay flat while painting.
• Mix a little white paint into the color you chose. Paint this on the lower half of your paper to create a gradient. You can mix directly into the paint already there!
• Let your background dry.
Step 3: Add marks.
• Place the two different colors you mixed in the first step next to each other on your painting.
• Using one of your scraping tools, scrape across your paper and observe what happens. What new color did you make?
• Try this again with new colors and scrape in a different direction. Explore making different kinds of lines: straight, zigzag, curvy.
• Let this layer dry.
Step 4: Add brushstrokes.
• Using your paintbrush and more paint, make big and little brushstrokes across your painting.
• Turn your paper different ways to see what it looks like in different orientations.
Step 5: Repeat.
• Repeat steps 1–4 on a new piece of paper using different colors.
• Idea: Try using a cool color, like blue or green, for your background and scraping warm colors, like orange and yellow, on top. Then do the opposite!
If you made more than one painting, which is the most interesting and why?
Share your finished artwork with us by tagging your photos with #NCMAArtSnacks.