Kindergarten is no longer about coloring within the lines. Kindergarteners should be exposed to skills and concepts in art early on so that they may refine them through the early years. They can use their growing knowledge of shapes and colors to begin.
Basic Skills in Kindergarten Art
Kindergarteners should be learning about colors and shapes in their math lessons. These concepts can easily be translated into basic arts lessons. Kindergarteners can be given stencils to first practice drawing these shapes. Then, they should be instructed to create something using only these shapes. Doing so will incite them to use their creativity and go from small scale thinking to more abstract thinking.
Foreground and Background
Kindergarteners can begin by creating a new thing using only shapes; however, they should not stop there. They should be shown that using larger or smaller shapes gives the impression that an object is closer or nearer to the viewer. Explain the concept of near and far with examples and illustrations. Show students real life art examples so they can see how items in the background are smaller than the ones in the foreground. Let them tell you which items in the paintings are closer and farther away. Then, instruct them to draw simple waves on a paper. Afterward, they should draw, either freehand or with the stencil (such as this one from www.avronforkids.com), a sailboat or other item of your/their choice that is in the background or in the foreground of the paper. Let them show that larger shapes will make it seem closer and smaller shapes will make it appear farther away, creating distance between the two.
Use of Color
Kindergarteners love color, however they may not realize that using specific color, or putting the right amount of color in the right place is good to create emphasis. Instead of using one main color, or colors randomly. Allow them to tell you what colors are eye-catching. Show them various shapes in different colors to demonstrate that some colors will just jump out at them. These are colors they should use to highlight the main feature of their art work. You can compare this technique to using a flashlight in the dark. The flashlight will illuminate only one small section of the dark room. Showing examples from real artwork will help visual learners grasp these concepts.
In this exercise of kindergarten standard art lessons, the children will learn through experimenting. Give them black and white photographs of interesting scenes or people. The pictures can be on photo paper or printed from a desktop printer. They will need highlighters (not markers). They are allowed to color only one object (part or whole) with the highlighter. These can be displayed or shown to the entire class. It should be plain to see how the use of the highlighter on one specific thing, drew viewers' attention.
The students should now have the chance to demonstrate what they have learned through their work. They should be allowed to use paper, a stencil (they can freedraw their shapes if desired) and highlighters and crayons. In their work, they must draw one thing that is near and one thing that is far away. They must use attractive colors to show what the most important part of their illustration is. Keep in mind that this is likely to take place over several sessions of work and not all at once. The first session should be drawing the items in the foreground and background. Once students finish this, they should be allowed to use color, and then lastly finish their piece.
Allow students to show their work and tell their classmates about it. See if the classmates can guess what the main focus of the work is based on the use of color. Display work proudly in the classroom.
This assignment can also be done using different materials as opposed to drawing that will give student work new textures but demonstrate the same concepts. The extension might be something done later in the year when young students have a coordinated grasp of scissors.