Colors and Understanding Art

The beginning steps to unlocking creativity.
Colors and Understanding Art
Art is a subject that enhances every other subject in some way. Making art uses a different skill set that is not required in most other disciplines, but once the skills are learned they will help with learning other new skills. Thinking creatively and creative problem solving are useful skills to have in any environment. Understanding color relationships and shapes strengthen visual recognition. Most importantly, art provides a creative outlet where kids are allowed to express themselves and experiment. This collection includes books that will spark an interest in art at a young age and encourage further learning for those already interested.

   City Colors teaches children to identify colors in a world outside of the classroom. Colors are everywhere! This book uses photographs of everyday objects, like a swing or a building wall, to teach color recognition.
   Hands: Growing Up To Be An Artist tells the story of a little girl as she watches her parents use their hands to make things. She finds the perfect place to work and collects all the materials she needs to make her studio complete.
   Mouse Paint follows three white mice as they learn to mix colors and make a mess in the process. It’s a great story for learning colors and color mixing.
   A Color Of His Own is about a little chameleon that wishes he was just one color like all the other animals. He decides to stay on one leaf so he’ll be green all the time and it works until the leaves change in fall. Kids will learn colors and empathize with the little lizard as he tries to find happiness.
   Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? is a simple rhyming book that teaches animals and colors. Illustrated by Eric Carle, this will be a sure favorite of any classroom.
   Imagination Station by Mark Kistler never left my side as a kid and it’s still on my shelf after finishing my BFA. Kistler provides the building blocks to draw his creations and teach you how to draw your own, along with everyday objects. He also demonstrates an easy way to learn two point perspective. This is a great book for all beginners including adults! It includes a guide for parents and teachers in the back, too.
   The Complete Fingerprint Drawing Book is so much fun and so easy to follow you really can’t go wrong with it. By adding a few lines in easy to follow steps ordinary fingerprints become cute little drawings. The drawings are incredibly easy to make and turn out great every time. It’s a wonderful way to build confidence about drawing even for the artistically challenged. They also make great gifts!
   What Shall I Draw? is perfect for younger kids since it uses very simple shapes to draw animals and flowers step by step. For example, a robin is made from a circle for the body and a triangle for the tail. It’s designed for short attention spans, which makes it great for keeping little ones busy. I used to take it with me when I babysat. The kids loved it and were proud of their pictures!
   Dynamic Art Projects For Children contains projects for all different age groups that vary from Van Gogh to African masks and even some fantasy imagery. It also has step by step guides and photos of the completed projects by the age group it was designed for. Although it was made for teachers, this is a great book to keep at home, too.
   The Dot is a charming story about a girl who simply states that she "just can’t draw!" Her art teacher subtly pushes her to try something different and inspiration takes her by storm. It’s an uplifting story that will encourage kids to conquer their fear of a blank page.