Painting Sunsets with Studio MPL

Colin paints a sunset during Studio MPL

Colin paints a sunset during Studio MPL.

There’s something about a sunset. Just ask Tomie DePaolaFrederic Edwin Church or pretty much any other artist.

Studio MPL, our art club for kids in first through fifth grade, painted sunsets last week. Lisa Layton, who’s in charge of Studio MPL, said she didn’t just pick this subject matter for its beauty.

“Painting sunsets is a necessity for any artist,” she said. “Children tend to think of the sky as blue. Painting sunsets takes them outside of that usual way of observing nature to discover all of the wonderful colors the sky can become.”

Lily giggles as she and Gavyn work on their sunsets.

Lily giggles as she and Gavyn work on their sunsets.

Before breaking out the paint, Lisa read the kids The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, which tells the story of Little Gopher and how he brings the colors of the sunset down to earth.

Then Lisa explained to the young artists how they can layer and blend colors to paint a realistic sunset.

“We started with yellow at the bottom of the canvas for the setting sun, then red in the middle and a dash of blue on top,” she said. “For the final touch, we blended the colors with water to make orange and purple. It’s magical how the canvas changes when the colors are blended.”

Rhea layers her colors while painting a sunset.

Rhea layers her colors while painting a sunset.

Studio MPL meets on the third Monday of each month.

In past months, the kids have learned everything from weaving to inking to how to use fluorescent paints. They’ve made paper cutouts in the style of Matisse and even channeled Jackson Pollock.

With the weather finally getting warm, Lisa said Studio MPL’s next project would probably be something that they can enjoy outside like a sun catcher or wind chimes.

But the only way to know what they’re going to do next is to get in on the fun.

Jaylon uses dark paint to create the silhouette of a tree in the foreground.

Jaylon uses dark paint to create the silhouette of a tree in the foreground.

The next Studio MPL meeting is 4 p.m. Monday, May 19, at the Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch.

For more photos from Studio MPL’s most recent session, go to our Facebook page.

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