Young Painters – Young Picasso’s – Big concepts

I was asked back a second year to the Woman’s Art Club in Mariemont, Ohio to Instruct the Young Picasso’s Class I had designed for children.

What an exciting class. The Young Picasso’s or painters had so much enthusiasm, concentration and thirst for more knowledge in painting. We covered many adult foundational painting concepts that the young painters gulped down, taking huge strides with every brush stroke.

They understood so much. Matching color accurately, setting up a still life, values, lighting, shadows, cast shadows, how to hold your brush or pencil in a more functional way. How to match angles in a still life to a drawing on panel and also a brief intro to perspective.

They needed no hand holding, but took responsibility for their actions, thought processes and painting very early in the class, carrying it out for 3 days on the same painting and one day of plein air painting. Slowly and carefully the children where making good decisions to formulate the final finished representational painting.

The class was designed for 5th grade and above. Much of what I taught where the things that I was looking for personally at this point in my artistic development. As a child or young artist I always felt frustrated by the information I received from art teachers. They either had little knowledge or believed children could not understand real art concepts and should be given dummied down concepts of no value equivalent to having a coloring book and crayons.

You can see by their work that these Young Picasso’s soared. I treated them as young adults with respect and a brain. I empowered them to set up every day by themselves and making adult decisions about there paintings.

I guess one of my points here is that there is no adult or child level of art. I used that only to tell my story. Art, even big art concepts and decision-making can be understood by any desiring partaker. In class I could see the children gaining respect for themselves and the choices they made. And then becoming more confident with each decision.

I cannot wait to see where they end up. Years ago painters started very early in life, even apprenticed with great painters, some became master painters by the age of fifteen. I wish I could see this again.

My son, really enjoyed your class, I think he enjoyed the ‘grown up’ approach to art.  He would definitely take the class again next year. Thank you for teaching a great class and exposing the kids to all things Picasso! – Amanda Mackey


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