This is a GREAT example of something that looks so spectacularly difficult, yet if you follow the 3 steps is so easy. This watercolor fruit still life is something a 4 year old can do well!!
The results are stunning! The process is fun and involves active participation from the little artist, and did I say easy…
I have a wonderful class full of enthusiastic talented children, who I am lucky enough to visit every so often. My daughters teacher shares her class with me so I can Art & Craft my fill!!
Sometimes an idea works and sometimes not!!!! This time we rocked the still life paintings! I am so proud of my little artists!!!!
I found a similar art project on a Facebook page called ART TEACHER LIFE run by a WONDERFULLY talented Art teacher in Perth Australia!! Have a look at some of the wonderful things she has done!!
Fruit Still Life Materials
Camera – or fruit photos from the internet (a mobile phone camera works just fine)
Black Permanent Marker – needs to be permanent, if you paint with watercolors over a normal marker the moisture may cause it to run. We used a medium tip – you can use medium or thick – the black lines need to be chunky!!
Watercolors – we used liquid watercolors as they are bold and bright
Black card or thick black paper – slightly bigger than the paper chosen for the drawing. This black paper acts as a frame and makes the bright colors pop!!
Once you have all your materials you can jump straight in!!
How to make a Fruit Still Life:
It is a 3 step Process
- Photograph your still life. Edit the photo into the correct size and print out a copy. We made ours A4 (9x12inch) so it printed out on a full piece of paper.
- Using a light-box or window, trace the fruit outlines onto your watercolor paper or thick white paper. Make sure you capture the little elements in the middle – seeds and pips and lines – lemon and orange pith etc, this gives the final painting life. Teacher Sandra told the children it was like making your own coloring in page – they understood that.
- When the marker is dry – a few minutes, you can paint it with your watercolor paint. Older children will be able to pick up more colors and blend and mix. With younger children I suggest using a MAXIMUM of 3 colors. 2 for the fruit and one for the background.
The children really enjoyed doing this!!
They enjoyed being able to use a camera! At the age of 4 they are ready – and MORE than willing – to want to take the photograph themselves! Some children even cut up their own fruit and positioned their still life ‘scene.’
The photograph instructions asked them to show more than 1 view of the fruit (inside and out / top and bottom) and asked them to avoid anything else in the background. They were also asked for landscape orientation!
I sat with each child quietly and we traced the outlines of the fruit onto the paper.
I put the photograph underneath the paper and we sat at the lightbox. A lightbox does help as it creates a flat surface to draw on – but you could also do this simply on a window with lots of light. If you are not working on a flat surface I suggest taping the two pages together so they don’t move half way through tracing.
Not once did I jump in and help! I was so proud of their attention to detail! Sometimes we lifted the paper to look underneath – to make sure we had captured all the little parts!
Once finished drawing the outlines we chose our 3 colors and painted!
Before we started we discussed colors – two for the fruit and one for the background. We used one at a time. Some children only used one color for the fruit and one for the background – with stunning results!
This picture shows the original photographs and paintings!
Can you believe that 4, 5 and 6 year olds did this?
Completely on their own!
The kids were so happy – tracing and then painting meant they could ‘actually’ draw real fruit!! They were so proud of themselves! Those children that could ‘signed’ their own art!
We drew and painted what we saw…
The tiny edges of the apple skin – (from the apple cut in half) proved quite hard – but they improvised a little – and the apples with red and green edges turned out great!!
I would love to see your own still life paintings!
Please give this a try – you won’t regret it!!
If you have a photograph you would like to share – our Facebook Wall is always waiting for great art!! Feel free to pop it up here!!