Painting bees on wood slices has been a really successful art club this year. It’s pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips.
To start with, I gave students a choice of bees. I have a Bees Pinterest Board if you need some. You can also take a look at various Mining Bees in the UK on Bee Life. I prepared copies of the bees in black and white and colour.
Students chose a bee and took the black and white version of it. They used transfer paper to get the image of the bee onto the wood. We placed a small piece of transfer paper, then the black and white copy on the wood slice and secured it with an elastic band. You can buy transfer paper on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk that works on wood. This left a faint pencil image of the bee on the wood.
Using size zero brushes, and now looking at the colour image, students started painting any black first. I gave three students a tiny pea-size quantity of black acrylic paint as this project requires such a small amount of paint. Students then used yellows and mixed oranges and browns to add more colour depending on which bee they had chosen. Students noticed the tiny hairs on the bees – the small brushes really helped.
Students mixed a watery white to add a transparent layer of white over the wings. This allowed their fine black lines to show but gave the impression that the wings were there.
Painting bees on wood slices took students about six 30 minute lunchtime sessions to complete the task to a good standard.
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