Parents always want to know more about what their child will be learning and doing in our summer camps, so we’ve been spilling all the beans here on our blog (check out our previous Camp Focus installments, “What is Mixed Media Camp?” and “What is Sculpture Camp?”).
In our Painting Camps, campers explore all things painting. Each day, campers get a chance to work with a different painting medium (aka different types of paint) ranging from acrylic, watercolor, gouache, or even combining two painting mediums for a more mixed media feel.
The main focus in painting camp is all about proper painting techniques and application. Each unique painting medium provides brand new skills and techniques for campers to learn and practice, as, of course, you paint differently with watercolors than you do with acrylics. It’s almost a whole new world to explore with each medium.
During camp, we discuss super basic fundamentals such as the proper way to hold a brush, how to create the most effective brush strokes with each medium, the correct way to mix each type of paint, and believe it or not, even the right way to clean a brush (because your tools last longer and allow you to paint better if you take care of them!).
Developing these essential fundamentals gives students a solid foundation to explore more in-depth concepts that are so critical to painting, such as color theory and tinting and shading.
Color theory (which is explained in this short video of ours) is an artist’s guide to first creating and then successfully utilizing color.
Often when painting, an artist might want a specific color that they don’t have already mixed on hand. Let’s say a yellow-orange. To do this, an artist must use their color theory knowledge to know that when mixing a yellow orange, one needs a higher ratio of yellow paint to the red paint that will be mixed in.
Beyond color mixing, color theory can be applied to using specific colors within a composition.
In painting, and any other time an artist uses color, we must consider how all the other colors works together to create a composition, so we discuss color theory often with our Painting campers.
Opposite colors, or complementary colors, can be used to make a specific area or detail of a composition more pronounced, such as when you see the bright yellow of van Gogh’s Café Terrace against the background of the dark blue night.
Analogous colors (or colors close together on the color wheel) all blend together creating a unified composition, such as the purples, blues, and greens in van Gogh’s Irises in a Vase.
Tints and Shades:
We also discuss with our campers tints (colors mixed with white to make them lighter) and shades (colors mixed with black to make them darker). Last year in our Painting Camps, to practice this our knowledge of tints and shades, we created monochromatic paintings using just one color, such as purple, and then only adding white and black to the purple to create a monochromatic composition.
One of our most popular projects last year was a van Gogh-inspired landscape. Students began with a simple landscape drawing featuring foreground, middle ground, and background. Next students began painting a simple base layer for each object in their drawing working back front. Once their base layer was created, students had the chance to run wild with different brushstrokes, replicating similar styles found in van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Wheatfield’s with Cyprus.
We love seeing how our Painting campers learn and grow and apply their new skills and knowledge throughout the week. You can still sign your child up for one of these popular camps here. We can't wait to see what they'll be creating this year!