This week, we tried something new in our preschool classes: We used sumi ink and brushes to draw.
Since our class was all about caterpillars today, we drew caterpillars. I think you could draw anything. Butterflies would be fun. And I can't wait to do self portraits like these (It's on the schedule for one of our summer classes).
We began by looking at photographs of caterpillars and talking about the different parts of a caterpillar. We learned that there are different kinds of caterpillars that have different features. I had the children give me directions on how I should draw a caterpillar on the white board.
Then we passed out large sheets of paper and invited the artists to find a spot on the floor to work. I feel like for the scale of the paper and the length of our brushes, the floor was the best place for them. We handed out a small amount of ink in individual glass jars (like a tiny bit of ink...a little goes a long way!).
There's something magical about preschool line drawings. They are bold. Their subjects are both simplified and amplified. Usually we do them with black sharpies. But INK is a whole 'nother level.
Sumi ink is rich, black liquid. It paints on so smoothly. And it covers the surface quickly (which is important for preschoolers). Unlike the sharpie, a brush gives us thick lines and thin lines. And even some scratchy lines where our artists were running out of ink.
Unlike our tempera paint, the ink isn't gloppy and thick. But it also doesn't run and drip like watercolors. It's the perfect consistency.
If you try out some sumi ink at home, make sure that you protect your surfaces and wear a paint shirt!
(And get those frames ready because you're going to need them!)
Content inspired by the artists and art created in our studio.
Orange Easel began as a small art studio in my basement and continues to grow and serve our community. Read more about our story here.