During a recent visit to the museum, I had some creative ideas. The dinosaurs and fossils captured my particular attention (and my child’s fascination too). Of course, I love to see the skeletons all put back together, and the animations, but I really love the way the rock fossils capture the bones in such an unexpected and chaotic way. It makes me think of the extraordinary problem solving that scientists have to undertake to solve the skeleton puzzle.
So this week’s activity is to make a mixed media fossil picture. The activity is best suited to ages 7 and up, and uses no more than black card, a white crayon, a brush, and some assorted watercolour and acrylic paints.
I started with A3 black card, but A4 would be fine. Draw on your scattered skeleton with the white crayon, draw either a favourite dinosaur, or an imaginary one. Don’t forget to google some fossil pictures for inspiration and try adding some broken bones and scattered teeth or vertebrae for interest. Encourage the kids to press hard with the white crayon or the resist effect won’t work as successfully.
Now paint over the entire picture with brown watercolours. I don’t have brown watercolour paint, but your best bet is to mix colours from the opposite side of the colour wheel (blue/orange, red/green, yellow/purple). Do a thin layer of watercolour over your whole picture, your crayon should show through, resisting the watery paint.
As a final effect do some watercolour splattering over the whole thing. Allow that 10-15 minutes to dry, then get some brown acrylic paints – chalk or oil pastel would also be a good choice for this next step. Using a brush or pallet knife scrape or splodge some lumpy rocks and stones in your background.
This activity could also incorporate some collage into the background. As an extension you could also get your kids to swap pictures with a friend and draw the dinosaur how they imagine it would have looked when it was alive!
A great project to explore art, science, history, geography all at once!
Until next time,