Kawaii Fruits & Veggies! Summer Camp Week 6 Day 1

Kawaii Fruits & Veggies. My sample top left, the rest are some of the kiddos work.

Kawaii; from the Japanese word for cute. Not to be confused with kowai; meaning creepy or scary! Cute faces adorn most of the kiddos favorite healthy foods. I did have one purist, however, who just wanted still life fruit for her painting. Either way, this was a hit. I present Kawaii Fruits & Veggies!

GRIDDING AND SKETCHING

Everyone started out with blank canvases, pencils and rulers, and I gave the choice to sketch either on the easel or flat. I printed out several sheets of reference of happy fruits and veggie cartoons and easy to draw shapes. I encouraged everyone to practice on our table paper or draft sheets before drawing on the canvas, and remember always draw light till you get it right.

{PRO-TIP} Remind kids that how hard they press down with their pencil will make it that much harder to erase if they need to, or even leave lines imprinted in the paper that can’t be removed. So always: Draw light till you get it right!

Grid out the canvas into 9 squares. Fill each square with a fruit. They could add more to the edges after their 9 if they chose.

We used our pencils and rulers to grid out the canvas into 9 squares. Then I had them fill each square with a fruit. This helped (mostly) the problem with kids drawing waaaay too small. I showed them that this is a fun painting; not necessarily to scale and talk about what those words mean . I show them how the strawberry on my canvas is the same size as my pineapple. How that even though they may not be the same size in real life, we can choose to paint them the same size on here to show their details and faces. Then if they chose, they could add additional fruit on the edges of the lines. We sketched for about 30 minutes or so. Then chose our paint for our backgrounds. The brushes I used were my favorite: size 1 round, size 6 round and size 6 short/flat. i also let some older kids use a size 8 filbert for their backgrounds.

BACKGROUND

Next we line up and pick the colors just for our backgrounds. Despite telling kids multiple times to start with the background, it’s just too tempting to start painting in the fun parts so I only give out the background color to start. I also give them a bit of white as well.

{PRO-TIP} Only give the colors you need if you can, especially if you want kids to focus on the background of an animal or character painting. It can be just too tempting to start on the “fun” foreground part, even after multiple reminders to wait.

As we paint the background I remind them its time to paint over the grid lines [we aren’t painting squares lol], and show them how I add a bit of white paint as I get closer to the fruits to make them pop a little bit.

Backgrounds first.

PAINT THE FRUITS & VEGGIES

Now we can line up and pick the paint colors for our veggies. I try to ask the kids what they have drawn and help guide them with color selection. I also walked around and helped them with the painting, so I didn’t get to paint my in class sample all the way along with them, just the background. After our paintings were dry, or with the help of the trust hair dryer, we added the detail on the faces with markers or eyes to finish.

More great art by the kiddos.

This project has some fun food counterparts by other teachers in the studio; kawaii deserts, kawaii pizza, tacos sushi etc. Kids usually really enjoy getting to pick their own, but it can be harder to do “pick your own” in a bigger class.

Coming up next, contact paper resist starts and moons.!

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