Laurel Burch is a fantastic artist to inspire kids to create. You can read all about her here. I did three Laurel Burch inspired projects last summer and am just getting around to posting them now. I started by showing the kids a video about Laurel and a few examples of her work, like this.
The kids quickly were drawn into Laurel’s world and noticed a ton of details that made her work intriguing, especially the way Laurel painted the cat’s eyes. After our discussion we went on to do directive draw’s on canvases. Each child had their own canvas and followed simple step by step directions to draw their cat. Then they were let free to add whatever details they wanted with paint and then puffy paint. They really enjoyed this process and each kid felt really successful. Directive draws can be really great for so many kids, especially the ones who don’t feel like they are “artists.”
Since the kids were really into the whole Laurel Burch theme we stayed with it and made popsicle stick puzzles with the same design. The kids were excited to practice the cat they had just learned to do. They helped each other a lot with this, reminding one another of different steps. The trick when doing a popsicle stick puzzle is to tape one side with masking tape while you draw so the pieces don’t move.
Lastly, we made sculpey cat pins. I gave the kids a cardstock paper cutout of the cat shape that they carved out of the sculpey. Then we added the details with different sculpey tools. The pins were really cute. I still have mine and love it. Maybe we’ll do paper mache cats this summer or cat shaped pillows. Thank you Laurel. Your inspiration lives on.
I love the Popsicle puzzle idea! Have you got any examples of the instructions for drawing the cats?
Hi Alison, It’s pretty simple. I instruct the kids to do the face as a curvy “w” first. I demonstrate on a white board in front of the class. Then we added the ears as two upside down “v’s” that connect in the middle. Then we added two curved lines downward from the face for the body. Then the eyes, mouth, whiskers and tail, in that order. Then I let the kids add any details they want. I make sure to discuss the shape of the eyes before drawing them, one of Laurel’s signatures. Hope that helps!