Our Approach

Five art concepts for young children

Very young children can develop foundational art concepts and the language to express their ideas.  From birth children explore their world using all their senses, noticing differences in color, qualities of light, variations in shape and line, etc.  We designed the Studio Sprouts classroom to facilitate both group projects and guided independent art exploration. The materials in the studio are designed to emphasize five basic art concepts: color, shape, line, pattern, and texture. 


Giving feedback to young artists

When a young child shows you his/her artwork, challenge yourself to ask questions and to make observations rather than giving a general “good job.”


Here are some ideas:

“I notice you used a lot of red.”

“I see that you filled every space with paint.”

“I see some straight lines and some curvy lines.”

“There is a very interesting pattern here in this corner.”

“I see you used different textures together.”

“Tell me about your collage.”

“That is very interesting.  Why did you choose those colors?”


Enjoy the conversations you’ll have with your developing artists!



The practice of art critique with young children

We begin to practice friendly critiques with the youngest artists at Blackbird Arts – the Studio Sprouts.  Practicing art critiques builds observation skills, helps develop confidence, and helps the children apply their growing visual arts vocabulary. 

At the end of class, we sit together and look at the work created that day. We focus on one piece at a time and ask “What do you observe? What kind words do you have about this piece?” 

During the critiques we often hear students observing line, color, and pattern.  They point out the colors used and the effect when those colors overlapped or blended.  They observe the difference when an artist leaves a lot of white space versus filling every space with color. They talk about the emotions evoked by colors: stormy dark blue or cheerful light blue.  We notice that the same artist using the same media can create two very different paintings.  We also talked about how a work of art may be perceived differently by different viewers.  



Blackbird Arts   |   1485 Barlow Street Traverse City, MI   |   (231)421-8085    |    Drop us a note at info@blackbirdartstc.com.