Friday, February 12, 2016

Chinese New Year of the Monkey Brush Painting Banner

I love doing an annual Chinese New Year art lesson.

2016 is the Year of the Monkey - a fun subject to paint!  
I tried to simplify the monkey so that it would be easier for Elementary students to paint.  
It is really just the suggestion of a monkey done in simple continuous line.

According to Chinese Astrology:
The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start on February 8, 2016 – the second New Moon after the Solstice. Following 12 months of the dignified and surefooted Goat, the New Year of the Red Monkey is going shake, rattle and roll!

You will need:
White paper
red paper
black ink or paint
optional gold paint
hole punch
I use this calligraphy paper that I found at our Daiso store - 

I'm going to have the students do some sketching of the Monkey and the Chinese symbol for Monkey on scrap paper.  

Here are step by step photos if you need them:
 Start with the forehead and nose...
 Add the eyebrow and eye using one continuous line
 Add the top of the head and the ear also as a continuous line, then continue the line down for the back of the monkey
 Add the mouth, nose and eye
Continue the line from the back into a tail that curls on the end.
After pencil sketching they can go over the lines with a sharpie.  This should make their sketch dark enough to trace onto their banner paper.

Then they will lightly sketch their monkey and Chinese symbol on the banner paper.

We'll discuss how different it is to work with a brush instead of a pencil.  How it is desirable to have thick and thin areas in the drawing because of the brush so they should embrace it.  Have them experiment with using the tip of the brush and also dragging the brush along the paper sideways on scrap paper.

I'll demonstrate painting the monkey for the students and then they can do their own.

I added the 2016 at the bottom freehand - they can decide if they want to add it or not.  Give the ink a few minutes to dry.

You can add a red border to the top and bottom of the banner if you want.

For the final touch punch two holes in the top of the banner with a hole punch.  Thread a chopstick through the holes and add a loop of string for hanging.
This might be a good time to talk about the color red and how Red is the Chinese national color and represents happiness, beauty, success and good fortune.
Red is used extensively in everyday life. Red lanterns adorn businesses and residences. Double rows of red "Xi" (happiness) letters are pasted on gates and doors. People wear red during weddings, festivals and other celebratory events. Red envelopes stuffed with money are given as gifts during Chinese New Year.

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