Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pattern Sugar Skulls with Folk Artists

I do not normally encourage coloring pages for any art project but I needed a starting place for this age group. I wanted the preschool students to focus on pattern and not worry about drawing/painting a skull. Time and age were major factors in this decision and the results are wonderful. 

What is pattern? 
Where do we find it? 
What does it need to be a pattern? 
Repetition Who has a pattern on today 
Lets make some patterns on paper. 
Day of the dead Sugar skulls  

ARTIST: Sugar Skulls Artisans, Folk Artists.
Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. 
Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European decorations, They learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their festivals. 
Clay molded sugar figures of sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century. 
Sugar skulls represented a departed soul the name is written on the forehead and was placed on the gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. 
Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. 

PREPARATION: for PRESCHOOLERS: print skull coloring page (I used this one: and glue it to construction paper of any color. 

PROJECT: Create paper sugar skulls 
Step1: fill the eyes with a flower 
Step2: fill the forehead with lines or dots 
Step3: fill the nose with a plaid 
Step4: fill the rest of the face with more patterns. (this is tough for first year preschoolers, age 3 but much easier for 4 and 5 year olds. MOST IMPORTANT that ALL students have fun). 

copy paper with printed skulls 
Construction paper in any color but black 
Glue sticks 
Oil pastels

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