I decided to share snapshots from a busy Tuesday morning of painting in the Art Studio, because I was amazed how many awesome artworks were created in only two hours, and impressed by the cross-section of preschool artistic development they showed.
Many preschoolers begin painting as a tactile and active activity. They are exploring how it feels to use a brush and how it looks when they make marks like lines, dots, circles, or when they mix colors together. Usually these beginning painters aren't interested in assigning meaning to the final product, because they are much more interested in the process.
As painting and verbal skills develop, painters often "discover" a meaning or topic after they finish painting. They are still all about the process of painting, but then when they are prompted to look at their artwork, it might remind them of something, or they might decide it is a favorite animal or character.
Next comes the preschoolers who have an idea what they want to paint about, and take care to create those forms in paint, to the best of their ability. I love when I start to see figures and recognizable shapes emerge, because the kids are so excited to share their idea in a visual format.
Many of our older preschoolers are so skilled at painting figuratively that they move on to visual story-telling. Their paintings might have one or more characters, a setting, and/or supporting details. Many times my pencil can't keep up with all their fun ideas!
I am thankful for the time and a great space that allows for children to explore and develop their "painting language" and inspire each other (and me!).