Introduction to Art (Day 1)!!!!!

About the CLass:
This Introduction to Art class is geared towards 4 year olds but can be adjusted to challenge both younger and older children.  The instructions for each project will only remain online for 2 days after the post date.  After the 2 days are up you will still be able to see pictures of the projects.  This class introduces children to four of the seven elements of art: color, line, shape and texture. These 4 elements are some of the building blocks of art.  Artists combine and manipulate the elements to create their own unique artwork.  This class is designed to last 4 weeks and focuses each week on one of those 4 elements.  I recommend that you go at your child’s own pace and enthusiasm level.  Some children could make art all day and others get bored of it easily.  Pick the projects that your child would find most fascinating.  I have included BONUS projects in the PDF that will not be part of the online class.  I hope the projects I have chosen are a good balance between teaching art skills and allowing freedom of expression.  As you prepare to teach your child about art, remember that the most important thing is to have FUN!  To minimize mess I recommend that you set some rules with your child before you begin.  Most importantly, there are no mistakes in art.  Give your child artistic freedom and allow him/her to experiment with art materials.  If your child is really enjoying a project, encourage him/her to make two or three of the same one – and compare the different outcomes.  Life can get so busy, so I encourage you to calendar in blocks of time each week for making art.  I recommend that you work on art projects a little bit everyday during the class instead of trying to do too much in one day.  To see the material's list for the class click here.  You can also click on the links on my right sidebar to read more information about all the individual art materials on the list.  Be flexible, encouraging and have FUN!

Week 1:  COLOR
This week we will be learning all about COLOR!  Understanding color and color mixing is an important skill used by architects, photographers, painters, interior decorators, printmakers, graphic designers and much more.  Being familiar with the colors and how they mix is an invaluable tool, and the concepts are surprisingly simple to grasp.  I like to approach a discussion on color mixing by introducing it as “magic.”  I tell the children that I am “Dani the Great Color Magician” and I show them my magic wand (paint brush).  I put a big glob of paint, such as yellow, on a piece of white paper.  Next, I dip my brush into a different primary color, such as blue, and I say something like, “Abra Cadabra, Abra Cadee!  I mix yellow paint with blue paint, and what do I see?”  I repeat the same exercise using the other two combinations of primary colors (red, yellow and blue).  Allow the child to mix the primary colors with their own “magic wand.”  This is a fun way to introduce the theme for the week and prepare for the upcoming projects. 

This week’s goals:
 1.  Teach your child that all colors can be created through mixing the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue.
 2.  Allow the child to experiment with mixing primary colors to create the secondary colors: green, orange and purple.
 3.  Introduce the child to the color wheel and point out how the secondary colors are placed between the primary colors that create them.
 4.  Teach the difference between cool colors and warm colors, and show how all the cool colors are on one side of the color wheel and all the warm colors are on the other side.
 5.  Introduce the child to the artwork of Andy Warhol and all of the bold colors that he uses in his work.
 6.  Compare and contrast two pieces of art.

This week’s projects: 
Get started with the “I am an Artist” Poster.  I recommend having it enlarged.
Read Mouse Paint by Ellen Walsh, and then do the “Fun with color mixing project”
String pull
The color wheel worksheet
Drip Painting
Warm and cool color panels worksheet
Warm or cool abstract painting with petroleum jelly
Art History: Andy Warhol
Compare and Contrast two paintings and make a landscape painting
There are additional BONUS projects for this week available on the class PDF

You may also want to visit pbskids.org to play a fun color mixing game with Curious George.

*The poster printable and the instructions for the color mixing and string pull projects were only 
available online for 48 hours.  To find out more about my class PDF click here.  

Introduction to Art Class: (Day 1)

(Day 1) project 1: 
I am an Artist Poster

(Day 1) project 2:
Fun with Color Mixing

(Day 1) project 3:
String Pull


  1. So much fun. I appreciate all the time and energy you're putting into this class - it's really amazing and generous of you. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and projects with us!

  2. As a former art teacher, I commend you for your effort and organization in this class. It is so wonderful! I love the focus on process and authentic learning and not product. I'm really excited to follow along with my little ones. :)

  3. Thank you!!
    We're really excited to get start today - although illness might set us back :( Looks like this will be fun whenever we get to do it though!

  4. I can't wait - these projects are awesome! Thanks, Dani! Off to buy the PDFs now :)

  5. The projects look great! I can't wait to do this with the kids, right now is such a super busy time so I bought the pdf so I can do it when my son is done with pre-k!

  6. so much fun I'll be posting this on my kids art (only) blog: mon petit artiste: my little artist: http://monpetitartiste.wordpress.com/

  7. Thanks so much for all of your time and effort. We are in the middle of a total house renovation but I'm making the time to do this with my four-year-old son. Can't wait to pick him up from Pre-K today! I have the projects all ready for him! I bought the 2 PDFs, as well so that I can also use this with my now 2-year-old daughter in a few years! You are the best! - Meredyth

  8. I'm a nanny to an amazing 3 year old. We did the day 1 projects together and had a blast! The only change I made was to use white pipe cleaners instead of yarn since I forgot to buy that! Oops! The pipe cleaners were tons of fun for her since she could shape them before dipping them in the paint.

    Thanks for all of your hard work!

  9. We had a great time today on this first day of your art class. I will be posting about it shortly over at Tots and Me

    My 4 year old and 2 1/2 year old had a lot of fun and daddy even helped the baby paint 'cause we couldn't leave her out.

    Looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks for the Curious George link.

  10. Day 1 art class was a success at our house! Thanks so much for all the time you've spent on this class.

  11. SO excited to try these!! Because of school schedules we can't start until tomorrow, but the kids are so excited about their art class. :D

  12. We had a great time doing today's art projects! My six, four, and two-year-old all loved them! I didn't know if my six year old would think they were too young for her but she was way into it. We had a blast today--thank you so much for this amazing resource. It is really motivating me to make the time and space available to do this with my girls.

  13. Hi. I am getting materials ready for the art class I am teaching at homeschool group, and I would love to use your I Am An Artist poster. Can I purchase it anywhere or will you email me a PDF?
    Thanks so much.