Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Five Ways to Paint a Fine Cat

Week 2 - Bear Paw Studio Kids' Lessons - Laurel Burch Folk Cats

Snacks and a warm-up project, this week paper bracelets, start the lessons off each week.  Five seven year olds teaming with energy and enthusiasm gathered around a table full of food and paint!  Nothing to do but dig in and have fun, which is exactly what we did.

This week's main lesson had students painting cats in the style of Laurel Burch, a contemporary folk artist with a wide range of products bearing her colorful, stylized designs.   If you haven't seen her work, take a look at her website.

We started our lesson by learning how to mix secondary colors from the three primary colors of red, yellow, and blue.  We paid attention to using separate brushes for each color, so as not to contaminate the tubs of colors. Loading brushes with just the right amount of paint and painting by pulling the brush around on the paper was practiced, too.  Each student completed a simple color wheel to take home.

Next, we painted the large backgrounds for the cats using tempera paints, adding some designs in the paint--circles, x's, swirls--to add a little texture.  While these backgrounds were drying, we used black markers to draw cat faces on a second sheet of paper and then painted in their features and other details.  

While these were drying we goofed around a bit.

Here are our very own fancy cats--all brilliant, full of character and inner beauty!

The children were all excited about Laurel Burch's cats and each ended up with a wonderful painting to be proud of!  Everyone left the lesson still full of energy (amazingly) and very excited about next week's mystery lesson.


  1. What a great project, Betsy. The paintings were beautiful and unique.

  2. Fun! I can't decide which one I like best. I'm going to look up Laurel Burch when I get a chance.

  3. Thanks for the feedback Sandy and Sue! This lesson was a good learning experience for us all.