Saturday, May 21, 2016

Painting Like Michelangelo

We are winding our school year down. Next week we have 3 days and then our year is over for the students. I am trying to do some activities these days that are still structured but are also fun, because for many of them the attention span is just not there. They are excited about summer break and deservedly so.

This is an activity that I have posted about before. Quite often I get responses from people saying the Michelangelo did not really paint this way, that it's kind of an urban legend. Whether it's true or not, it makes for a fun, creative activity for my students. And he painted that ceiling somehow!

I introduce my kids to the artist Michelangelo (not the Ninja Turtle :). We talk about how long ago this ceiling was painted and I show them a picture of it and ask them to theorize how it might have been painted. Many suggested maybe he painted a painting and then adhered it to the wall like wallpaper. I show them pictures of scaffolding and we talk about what that word means, and then show an illustration of an artist painting on their back to paint a ceiling.

I put the kids in pairs-one will paint first the other will serve as the assistant. I use watercolor paints because I think they are the least-drippiest and then I get under a table and show them what to do. We tape the paper to the underside of the table, they decide what color to start with and their assistant hands them the paintbrush that has been dipped in that color. When they are done, they switch roles.

I loved to hear the conversations that took place-look the water is green now. How do I make purple again? Oh that looks beautiful. I let them paint whatever they want so I think this is a great exercise in both creativity and cooperation-they have to work together.

This is what they painted under there:

Pin It!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Tammy! I think they really enjoyed it! :)

    2. Thanks Tammy! I think they really enjoyed it! :)