Yesterday we went out to see the girls at COSA. Not all of them were there because it is their school break, but eleven girls managed to show up for our project. We started off by doing abstract name drawings with colored pencils. To create these pieces we wrote our names horizontally on the paper using large letters, and then we flipped the paper vertically and wrote our names once again. After that we colored in the shapes created by the overlapping lines. It took the girls a second to figure out what we were doing, but once they understood the general premise they ran with the idea. They created some very, very nice pieces.
Once we finished doing those drawings we switched over to large scale paintings. I got the idea for this project from the blog smART Class; it's a great blog if you ever need ideas for art projects for children. Everyone formed groups of four and five with the volunteers mixing in among the girls. Initially the groups started off just doing outlines and shapes with black paint.
But once they had pretty much filled up their entire paper with black lines, I let each group choose two colors to add to their paintings. Some of the groups "broke" the rules and used another color or two, but I wasn't very worried about it. The paintings they created all looked really amazing and the girls were all having a great time with the paint. Towards the end they were all covered in handprints, because drawing on paper wasn't exciting enough. I even let them do a painting with just handprints, which they really, really enjoyed.
Overall it was a very successful project. I chose to do this type of activity because ARI is hoping to do a mural with the girls somewhere at the COSA site. Working on a large scale like this helps get them used to filling up large spaces and being creative as a group. I think they're more than ready to move on to actual murals.