Thursday, February 21, 2013

Brownie Badge: Painting

Our second grade Brownie troop was invited by another Brownie troop to visit the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati.  During our visit, the girls toured the museum and completed three of the five steps required to earn the Brownie Painting Badge.  If you happen to live near Cincinnati, I recommend a visit to this museum with your troop.  Our program was scheduled from 2pm to 4pm on a Saturday.  Admission was $8 per girl, and up to two leaders were admitted at no charge.  Parking was free.

Upon our arrival, the girls were given name tags, and a volunteer stored our winter coats for us.  The two troops split up to walk through the museum.  This tour satisfied the requirements for Step 1 of the badge (Get Inspired).  Our guide showed the girls examples of a still life, a landscape, and a mural.  She identified the foreground, middle ground, and background of a painting.  She asked the girls to observe the differences in the sizes and colors of objects in the foreground as compared to those in the background of the paintings.  As we moved from room to room, she questioned the girls to ensure they were making their own observations and understanding the lessons. 

After the tour, we met the other troop in a large basement room to work on Steps 2 and 3 (Paint the Real World, and Paint a Mood).  Another tour guide demonstrated different painting techniques and provided the girls with instructions to paint a still life.  The girls first sketched the still life with a pencil and then painted with watercolors.  When they had finished painting the basket of fruit, they painted the background all one color to express an emotion.  

The museum provided instructions for the follow-up project so the girls could complete Steps 4 and 5 to earn the Painting Badge (Paint without Brushes, and Paint a Mural).  One of the tour guides gave me some large pieces of paper to use for the mural.  These sheets of paper measured 2'x3'.   

To prepare for the follow-up project at our next troop meeting, I laid vinyl tablecloths on the floor to serve as a dropcloth.  I used small pieces of masking tape to secure the corners of the paper to this dropcloth.  I divided each sheet of paper in half horizontally by making a small pencil mark at 18" on the top and bottom edges of the paper.  Each girl would paint on one half of the paper.  

They were instructed to sketch a large tree, showing the branches.  Then they were to paint leaves on the tree, using sponge brushes.  Once the paintings were dry, I taped them together to create a troop mural. 

I loved helping the girls earn this badge, especially because our school district no longer offers art to the students due to budget cuts.  Our girls are already thinking about activities for next year.  They have asked to work on the Potter Badge.  Please check back to see how the girls finish up this school year.  Thanks for reading!

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