Monday, May 21, 2012

old school little people.

Last week the kinders visited Sesame Street, this week they met some Little People. Both lessons were trips down memory lane for me and both were inspired by contemporary artists revisiting these pieces of the past.

Meredith Steele is an artist and educator working up in the Bay area and she does many portraits. The color palette of these paintings and the rough finish/brushwork of many of them draws me in. One portrait series she has done focuses on the old school Fisher Price Little People that I grew up with.

Since the kids did the Sesame Street abstractions last week I thought it would be interesting for them to see another artist's approach to those characters. Where Thom Pastrano rearranged and flattened the characters, Meredith used light and dark, as well as curved lines and shapes to make them look more real and 3d.

I pointed out the different ways Meredith made these Little People look real in a couple examples of her paintings. 

The students and I drew out the basic shapes together, starting with the head shape and then using a couple cylinders for the body. I showed them a number of ways to make facial expressions and hairstyles and they chose which way to go in their drawings. 

I modeled pressing hard and soft to create shadow and light in a drawing and then the kids went for it. I was pleasantly surprised at the sensitivity to touch and pressure that many of the students have developed over the course of the year.

The kids came up with a wide variety of Little People. it would be cool to make small clay or wood sculptures based on these drawings...

Thanks for the inspiration Meredith!

Here's a few more from today!


  1. Another great Kinder idea! You're on a roll, buddy!


  2. These are so cool and really impressive for kindergarten! Great shading and shadows. Won't their parent love seeing old school Fisher Price toys?