Making Waves

 Kids Art Class (1)

I’m so lucky to have a 10-year-old child because she asks me the best questions and demands answers.  This weeks question was – How do you paint waves? And thus started my lesson plan for my 9-14yr old acrylic painting class.

Gosh, painting waves is a struggle for adults and you want me to teach this to a kid? So I set out to figure out the best and most fun way which brought me to The Great Wave Off Shore of Kanagawa.

Kids Art Class (8)

Popularly known as “The Great Wave”, it is a famous woodcut print by artist Katsushika Hokusai.

Now I did spend time showing the kids other forms of waves.

Frozen waves are photographed on Nantucket, Massachusetts. Photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh used by permission

Check this link to frozen waves:

And another fabulous tutorial on drawing waves by illustrator Bob Penuelas:

But ultimately the “Great Wave” by Hokusai won out.  It’s color, pattern and graphic style is hard to resist.

Kids Art Class (4)

I set out with a blank slate trying to figure out how on earth I could break this down into something teachable, when it came to me…

The waves in Hokusai’s woodcut were created in three layers.  Ahh, break it down into three layers and everyone could actually create a wave painting.

Now if you’ve been following my little class I’m teaching, you’d know we did woods in three layers:

Teaching Depth & Shading

So with that understanding, we were simply changing the subject matter.  Who knew these concepts would tie together? So the kids set out creating three separate layers of waves:

Kids Art Class (3)

and as usual, the results were amazing!

Kids Art Class (2)

That is not an easy task and if Katsushika Hokusai were alive, I’d thank him for this image which allows many of us to deconstruct the chaos of the sea. So cool!

Which brings me to the uncompleted paintings from the week before (check out last week’s blog: Inspiring Kids to Let Loose and Have Fun with Color) :

Kids Art Class (7)

We worked on completing these paintings this week…

Kids Art Class (6)


Kids Art Class (6)

…and had the added bonus of sharing our love for our animals!


Kids Art Class (5)

Which brings me to the incredibly slow pace of my own personal project…my bird painting…I got a little bit further this week, but not far enough! A little further to go… I guess you’d call it birdy-baby-steps!

And so I leave you with the hopes that you all have a very

GOOD FRIDAY! -take care!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.