Riviera Hall Lutheran School Kindergarteners have just completed the process of creating their own paintbrush designs - and creating their own paintings using their very own paintbrushes!
The lesson began with the discussion "what is a paintbrush?" Answers included "It's used to paint a house", and "They're used to paint a painting", and "It's a painting tool". The last answer got an audible "wow" from me!
Next, the parts of a paintbrush were discussed, including the role of the bristles - and the role of the handle. I showed a picture of one of my paintbrush designs, and pointed out that my focus was on the design of the handle - and not so much on the design of the bristles.
The first step in the design process is to ASK. That is, the students ask themselves, "what problem needs to be solved?" In this case, their problem or challenge was to design a paintbrush - that was unlike any paintbrush they had ever seen!
The Kindergarten paintbrush designers first drew concepts sketches of their paintbrush designs. This step in the design process is known as EXPLORE.
They then used those images in the construction of their prototype paintbrushes. This step in the design process is known as MODEL. For their prototypes they used feathers and Styrofoam as their bristle materials and sticks and spoons as their handle materials.
The final step in their process was to EVALUATE their designs, that is to test their paintbrushes. The designers were asked to notice how the bristles of their paintbrushes, effected the painting they created. They were also asked to notice how the handle felt during painting, and how the handle design effected the painting.
Here are some design process sequences, and individual paintbrush designs:
A double ended paintbrush - bristles at both ends! Mid-painting and the final masterpiece.
Another double ended paintbrush, this time with feather and foam bristles. The final painting benefited from both!
This paintbrush used feathers for bristles and foam for a comfortable handle. An abstract painting in blue and brown unique to this designer's brush.
A certain amount of silliness is necessary in design, and when this designer gets down to business, the results are incredible.
This designer's paintbrush was based on the form of an arrow - and during the EVALUATION phase, he experimented with twirling the brush with his hands.
This young designer based her brush design on a flower, then proceeded to paint flowers with her flower!
Design is all about discovery. The foam and feather bristles on this designer's brush resulted in their own unique patterns!
Another designer utilizing a twirling brush technique. Picasso said "It took me nine years to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child".
This designer chose a "spoon" handle, better suited for small hands. She's using a trilateral hand grip (like holding a pencil). Can everyone say "trilateral grip"?
This designer created a double ended brush with foam at both ends! What started as a comfortable handle became another end to paint with - with fantastic results!
The world's best designers know how to get silly - It's an attitude that opens one's self up to endless possibilities. Disney Concert Hall would not have been the success it is, if Frank Gehry had not included fun in his process.
This designer opted for a pink feathered design. Posing with pride with the final bouquet of color!
This designer enjoyed his design's resemblance to a bubble pipe. The foam pieces broke off during the painting process resulting in smaller and smaller splashes of color.
A spoon handled foam creation, and a feather bristled mustache brush.
A feather bristled flower paintbrush, and a double ended feather design.
A spoon handled creation, with foam bristles that look like popcorn. Foam and feather paintbrushes are just plain fun.
Feathered paintbrushes came in every shape, size and color!
"Wow"! This designer maintained a pastel green and pink color scheme at both ends! Do I see a future Interior Designer?