One of Everett's favorite art activities has always been painting. The most honest indications of his development can be seen when he paints without prompting or teaching. It's the best way for him (and all kids) to learn how to create art. Unprompted, uninterrupted, unconcerned about results. It's all about the process and exploration.
I wrote about open-ended art projects back in April of 2010. Here's a little bit of what I wrote,
Open-ended simply means that there is no adult-driven result in mind, like creating a realistic picture of flowers with specific colors. Open-ended art projects involve objectives with words like discover, explore, or increase awareness of; for example, increase child's awareness of nature by using colors we see outside or creating a collage with natural found objects.
What is key to young children's continual interest is that the focus is on the process, not the product. It is important to expose them to a variety of media and subject matter, then to follow their interests. Allow them to explore with the materials and not worry what the artwork looks like in the end.
What I didn't mention is how much it feels so freeing, too! It's good for the mind and the soul. We do a lot of this art in our home, Everett alone, I alone, or (most often) together.
This time we used just three paints to explore what happens with the mixing of blues and whites and used several circular shaped tools (Q-tips, re-purposed glitter tube, 2 sizes of sponge sticks) and a roller in place of paintbrushes.
The final creation, dried and cropped...