Weaving paper is a basic elementary skill that’s important but is no joke to teach. Take that simple skill to the next level with this concept of weaving together two similar paintings.
Pick your subject….
Choose a somewhat simple object and draw it….big. We used plain old 8.5 x 11 copy paper but bigger would work too! On a new piece of paper draw the same thing with another similar object or the same object from a slightly different view point. We chose Japanese Maple leaves but you could use any subject. The most important thing is that both drawings are big and fill the page.
Add some color….
Add some color using the paints of your choice. We used these tempera paint cakes but watercolors or regular tempera pints would work too! Choose colors that provide contrast between the main object (the leaf) and the background. This is a great time to talk about complementary colors as they really “pop” when placed next to each other.
Paint both drawings in a similar manner.
Cut it up…..
So you know those two beautiful paintings your little artist just made? Get ready to chop them up. When doing a project like this I like to talk to my students about what will happen as they are painting. Prep them for the fact that their paintings will be cut up. The end product will be amazing but different from what the paintings look like separately.
One painting will be cut vertically. The cuts should be about one inch apart, leaving a small bit connected at the bottom. Strips closer together are fine but will be more difficult for beginners.
The other painting will be cut into one inch strips too, horizontally this time. If you have access to a paper cutter this is the time to use it! Having somewhat straight strips will allow them to fit together more easily. They can be fatter or thinner but will be easier to weave if they are straight. Cut these horizontal strips completely apart from each other.
***If you would like to keep the paintings lined up even better cut off about a half inch of the paper completely off the paper that will be cut into horizontal strips. Throw this small strip away. This accounts for the small bit of paper that is still attached and will not be woven.
Start with one of the long strips down near the bottom of where the other painting is still held together. Weave under over, under over, till the strip reaches the other side. Here’s the key- the next strip must have the opposite pattern of the first strip. If the first strip started on the top of the painting the second strip should start on the bottom of the painting.
Weave all the strips you have room for. Adjust accordingly, trim an extras, and add a dab of glue stick here and there to make sure your weaving stays together.
I love the way mixing two similar paintings together adds depth and dimension. The finished product looks so much more sophisticated than the process actually is.