Monthly Archives: February 2022

Children’s Art Activity Based on the Painting The Milkmaid

Let’s take the 6 main rainbow colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple and arrange them in a circle to make a color wheel. Color wheels help children learn a lot about mixing colors and how colors work together for paintings.

In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Vocabulary
  • directions
  • Helpful hints
  • Variations and adaptations for different ages
  • 2 art and design elements and principles children will learn
  • 3 ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development
  • Clean-up tips
  • Molly Photo

Let’s get started!

Supplies:

  • White paper and 8 white 3X5 cards
  • Red, yellow, and blue tempera paint
  • White paper or plastic plate for a palette
  • Brushes
  • Pink yarn
  • Thin black marker
  • White glue, scissors, pencils (glue sticks may not hold the mice in place)

Vocabulary

  • Primary colors,  the 3 colors—red, yellow, and blue—from which we make other colors
  • Secondary colors,  the 3 colors—orange, green, and purple—we can make from the primaries
  • Palette,  what artists use to mix colors on. Can be made of wood, plastic, or paper, and come in many shapes, but the kidney shape is kind of classic!

Directions:

Paint the Primaries

  1. On the palette, pour small puddles of red, yellow, and blue paint, leaving space between each puddle
  2. Take 3 index cards and paint one red, one yellow, and one blue. Clean your brush in between colors. Explain these are the primaries from which we make other colors.

Now let’s mix the primaries to make the secondaries:

  1. With a clean brush, add a very little red to some of the yellow on your palette. Mix to make orange and paint another index card.
  2. With a clean brush, add a very little blue to some of the yellow to make green and paint another index card.
  3. With a clean brush, add a very little red to some of the blue to make purple and paint another index card.
  4. Allow the 6 cards to dry
  5. Now for some fun mixing—mix all the colors left on your palette to make a brown! Paint a 7th card brown.

Putting it all together

  1. On the 8th index card draw a drop shape as a pattern for your mice. Cut out.
  2. On the large white paper, draw a palette shape and cut out.
  3. Use the pattern to draw 6 mouse shapes on each card and cut these out.
  4. Cut 6 tails from the pink yarn
  5. Glue the mice in place on the palette with the secondaries between the primaries that made them. I like to have the pointy nose end of the mice facing in, but you don’t have to.
  6. Before the glue dries, tuck one end of a piece of pink yarn under the rounded end of each mouse and press down. Leave most of the yarn out for a tail.
  7. A little dab of glue on the end of each tail will keep them curled around
  8. Use marker or crayon to give the mice eyes, ears, noses and whiskers.
  9. Cut a brush handle from the brown paper, bristles from other scraps, (or use marker to color a rainbow on the bristles) and glue onto the palette.
  10. Glue the palette to a sheet of your child’s favorite color for display. And to keep as you learn more about colors!

Helpful Hints:

  • The painted cards may curl as they dry. Just flatten them under books.
  • To help prevent globs of glue on the mice, pour a small glue puddle on a paper plate and have children use their finger to spread the glue.
  • I’ll often put colored dots with marker for where to glue or print the primary mice, so there’s enough space between each for the secondary mice.

Variations and/or adaptations for different ages:

  • Younger children may need extra help with drawing, cutting and gluing the mice, but encourage them to do as much as they can. Don’t worry if their mice look too thin or aren’t the exact right shape.
  • Many children enjoy seeing the different greens, oranges, and purples they can make by mixing differing amounts of the primaries. Encourage them to experiment. It’s lots of fun just to mix colors!
  • With younger children (preschool-2nd) I sometimes make a color wheel by painting children’s hands to print the colors. Start with the primaries, then mix these to make the secondaries. Messy but fun and a great keepsake!

2 art and design elements and  principles children will learn

  • Color—in this activity children learn basic information about primary and secondary colors. They also learn how to mix just a little darker color at a time into lighter colors.
  • Balance—as children place their mice on the palette, they learn to think about spacing these so their “picture” is balanced.

3 ways this activity aids children’s mental, physical, and social development

  1. Using pencils, brushes, scissors, etc. helps children develop fine motor skills.
  2. Discussing art builds vocabulary and social skills.
  3. This activity helps develop visual/spatial skills as children place the mice on the palette.

Clean up Hints:

  • Be sure to put a plastic table cloth or large paper under your work
  • Have paper towels handy
  • Wax paper under the mice while spreading glue on the back of them keeps them from sticking in the wrong places
  • Keep a wastebasket handy for trash
  • After washing and rinsing brushes, reshape bristles if needed, and lay them flat on paper towels to dry. Store with bristles up in a jar.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit.

Next week our newsletter will have lots of fun ideas, projects, freebees, book reviews, and links to continue learning!

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. Add link

Molly hopes you enjoy making a mouse color wheel! and we hope to see you back here soon for a new Kathy the Picture Lady art series.

Molly checked out the mice but her nose said they weren’t real. She’s real sorry she got the paper wet!

Devotion Based on The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer

Everyone loves rainbows, and in The Milkmaid painting we can find all the colors of the rainbow. Did you know that when there’s a lighter second rainbow above the first, the colors are opposite the first rainbow?

But without light we couldn’t see rainbows or any of the colors. How wonderful that God created light on the very first day!

Darken a room as much as you can and read Genesis :1-2. Encourage children to notice they can’t see color very well, if at all, when it’s dark.

Turn on the lights as you read Genesis 1:3 when on the very first day of creation God said, “Let there be light.” And notice how the colors spring to life.

With God’s words, our world went from the darkness of verse 2 to a world He would fill with colorful skies and plants and creatures!

Try one of the following activities to help children appreciate the colorful world God created:

  • Write colors on slips of paper and have children draw one. They then name something natural of that color. For example, if the paper says pink, they might say a rose. For orange they might think of sunsets. Challenge children to be creative and think of the orange eyes of an lemur, or stripes on a tiger.
  • Have each child make a color wheel on a paper plate with the 3 primaries and 3 secondaries painted in pie-shaped wedges, (they could use markers or crayons instead of paint). Then send them on a scavenger hunt around your house and yard to find things of each color.

Rainbows appear after storms when sunlight shines through water droplets. The light slows down a little and gets bent or refracted, so it separates into the colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. (ROYGBIV) (In a color wheel for art we leave out indigo)

We can be so thankful that God created light and made the world such a colorful place for us to live. But the rainbow shows God’s love for us in another super important way.

Together read about Noah and the ark in Genesis 6-9:17. (depending on the age of your children, use a children’s Bible or read selected passages)

Imagine what it was like when the ark came to rest after the flood, and Noah led his family and all the animals out. Do you think they just walked?

I think the kangaroos bounced down the ramp, and parrots flapped away to find trees. Striped zebras kicked up their hoofs when they felt dry ground, and giraffes stretched their long necks to reach their favorite leaves. What do you think other animals would do first? What would you have done?

Then Noah built an altar to thank God for saving him and all those amazing creatures. AND what did God do? He put a rainbow in the sky as a sign and promise to us that He would never again destroy the world by a flood.

Instead He would rescue it and us through the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, through whom all the fullness of God shines (Colossians 1:19-20 and 2:9), showing us a heavenly rainbow of the Father’s love, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

Prayer: Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the light that makes the world so colorful. Help us remember when we see a rainbow to thank you for Jesus who came to this earth to rescue us and give us a brand new life in Him. In His name, we pray. Amen.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. Add link

Molly loves how the light makes her coat look shiny in this picture! She and I hope you enjoyed this devotion based on The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer. Next week we’ll have an art activity based on the painting.

 

 

The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer, Painter of Light

In The Milkmaid, one of Johannes Vermeer’s best-known paintings, we see why this mysterious artist is often called the “Painter of Light.” Two hundred years before the Impressionists, Vermeer’s paintings glow with light and color.

Read on to:

  • Find helpful vocabulary
  • Learn a little about Johannes Vermeer and his painting, The Milkmaid
  • Discover activities to help you and your children explore and enjoy The Milkmaid
  • See a cute photo of Molly, the Artsy Corgi

Vocabulary

These words, which will be in bold green the first time they come up, will help you and your children talk more easily about different parts of the painting.

  • Genre art  art that shows everyday events and people
  • Geometric  when used in artsimple shapes showing squares, circles, triangles
  • Impasto  thick paint applied to show texture
  • Texture  how a surface feels–in paintings this might be shown with thick paint or even scratches or spattering
  • Pigment  a color substance mixed with a binder, such as linseed oil or egg to make paint

The Artist

Vermeer (1632-1675) was born and lived all of his short life in the city of Delft in the Netherlands.

View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer, public domain

No one’s sure who Vermeer studied with, but he was admitted as a master to the Guild of St. Luke, which regulated artists, when he was just 21, so he had to have studied and been an apprentice for several years. Some believe he studied with a former student of Rembrandt. But it’s an unsolved mystery.

Vermeer painted slowly and with great detail, only finishing about 2 paintings a year. Today only about 35 of his paintings survive, and it’s possible that’s about all he ever painted. But that’s a mystery, too.

The Art of Painting by Johannes Vermeer, public domain

There are no portraits that are definitely of Vermeer, so we aren’t sure what he looked like. The above painting is believed to be a view of the artist painting in his studio. But it’s back to, so another mystery!

 At this time, history paintings, which included biblical and mythological scenes, were considered the most important kind of paintings, and Vermeer began his career painting this type of art. Eventually, he switched to quiet, indoor scenes depicting people, often women, involved in everyday tasks, and that’s what he’s most famous for. This type of painting is called genre art.

And that’s just what The Milkmaid is a wonderful example of.

The Painting

The Milkmaid by Johannes, 1660, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, public domain

In The Milkmaid a woman stands at a table with a window on the left that allows light to flood into the room (a classic Vermeer composition). The maid is absorbed in her task of pouring milk from a jug into the bowl. Though just a maid, Vermeer has given her the dignity of a figure in an historical painting.

Notice the beautiful still life on the table—all the different textures—the rough, brown earthenware, the shiny and nubbly blue jug, a wicker basket, and a loaf and chunks of crusty bread. Hanging on the wall behind is a shiny gold kettle.

Vermeer’s backgrounds are geometric with many horizontal and vertical lines, which help give his paintings a calm mood.

So the scene is quiet. The only movement is the flowing milk.

Light is really the subject. Like the Impressionists in the 1800s, Vermeer was fascinated by light—how it reflected off different surfaces, sparkled on and changed the outlines of objects, and affected colors.

It’s believed that he may have used either a camera obscura (which was a little like a pinpoint camera made from a box) or various lenses to help him study light and help him draw accurately. Another unsolved mystery!

You can’t really see it on reproductions, but Vermeer often applied paint thickly (impasto) to achieve textures and to leave ridges and points that would catch the light and make things shimmer and sparkle more realistically.

When you can look closely at the paintings you see beads of light produced by painted dabs and dots that look a little like the pointillism of 19th century artists like Seurat.

Vermeer loved bright contrast in colors and especially loved yellows and blues. Somehow he afforded the blue pigment made from lapis lazuli, a blue pigment that had to come from Afghanistan. Most artists used the pigment sparingly because it was more expensive than gold, but not Vermeer! Another mystery!

Activities to Help You and Your Children further Explore this Beautiful Painting

Before doing any other activities, ask children to tell what’s going on in the painting and what tells them that. Enhance their observational and verbal skills by rephrasing words and adding new vocabulary.

Ask children what they think will happen next. Have them imagine and describe who will eat the meal the maid is preparing.

The Milkmaid by Johannes, 1660, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, public domain

There’s so much detail to see in a Vermeer, that a scavenger hunt or I spy of activity would be great to find different colors, textures, and items.

Have them find a color or texture in the painting and then look for it in your house or outside on a walk. All the colors of the rainbow  (especially deep blues!) are in this painting, along with many textures—soft, shiny, rough, nubbly, etc, so they’ll be busy for a while.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. Add link

Cute picture of Molly the Artsy CorgiIt’s been so cold lately, that Molly decided enjoy a warm fire surrounded by cuddly, NOT cold, snowpeople!

Molly hopes you enjoy learning about The Milkmaid and will join us next week for a devotion based on Vermeer’s colorful painting. You can sign up to receive these posts above.