25 June, 2010

Prehistoric Painting

This week, we have been spending some time in the "Valley of Man" in southwestern France.  In this region, there are hundreds of caves with prehistoric paintings on the walls. These paintings are mainly of animals such as bison, deer, and horses in shades of red, black, and brown. 

These caves are Earth's first art galleries and this artwork has been around for thousands of years! We visited the Font de Gaume Cave. This Magdalenian era cave was discovered in 1901 and contains paintings of bison, reindeer, mammoths, and horses. After our visit, the kids were fascinated by the drawings and wanted to make their own prehistoric masterpieces.
So, in today's Learning Together activity, we will make our own prehistoric paint to create paintings inspired by the world's first artists.

You will need...
  • at least 2 different colors of dirt
  • self-seal plastic baggies
  • small jars, such as baby food or yoghurt containers
  • paint brushes
  • vegetable oil or water
  • a stick 
  • some paper or rocks on which to paint
Collect different colors of dirt and place it in the plastic baggies.

Place different colors of dirt in different jars and, using the stick, stir in the vegetable oil or water until the mixture resembles the consistency of thick finger paint.

Paint! Don't worry about getting dirty. Remember, you are painting with dirt!
Click here to learn more about prehistoric cave painting and to see photographs of cave paintings.

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