The NGAkids Still Life(Shockwave, 8 MB) helps you create interactive art that mirrors the paintings of the old masters. Mix everyday objects and painted elements while experimenting with composition, scale, and perspective.This Art Zone activity is suitable for all ages. Young children can compose engaging interactive still lifes online while learning simple spatial and math concepts. More advanced artists can create complex compositions and then switch to the painting mode to add and manipulate textured 'brushstrokes" that give the art a more abstract quality.
A still life slideshow(Flash, 32K) features photographs of real paintings and art objects in the National Gallery of Art that were the inspiration for this interactive. When viewed in their original context, these works may give you some ideas about how to compose a still life of your own. Here's a printable checklist (PDF, 220k) of images in the slideshow, so you can learn more about the art and artists on our main Web site. Click the picture above to launch the slideshow, or design your own still life now.
Teachers and older kids may enjoy reading a chapter on STILL LIFE PAINTING from our new book on 17th-century Dutch Art. (PDF, 561k)
BRUSHster is a painting machine for all ages. This interactive has more than forty brushes and many customizable size, transparency, and stroke options. A rainbow palette, along with a toolbox of special effects that blur, ripple, smudge, blend, and fragment your designs make BRUSHster a full-feature painting program. You can use it to draw pictures, but BRUSHster is programmed to create ABSTRACT art. Are you more interested in exploring color, gesture, shape, or line? BRUSHster can do it all. Check out our Flash slideshow of BRUSHster paintings for ideas, then create an abstract painting of your own.
If you're interested in learning more about abstract art, tell your parents and teachers about Art Since 1950, a 95-page book with classroom activities and essays about modern paintings and sculpture in the National Gallery of Art. (PDF, 2.4 MB)
In Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries, the "poppenhuis" or dollhouse was an adult diversion, but our online DUTCH HOUSE is fun for kids of all ages. Paintings by well-known artists such as Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, and Johannes Vermeer spring to life as you mix and match colorful characters, create decorative objects, and explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist's studio, and courtyard of this make-believe Dutch house.
DUTCH HOUSE requires Shockwave Player. A high-speed Internet connection or preloading prior to play is recommended. If your Internet connection is slow, just preload the game while you're doing something else, then come back to the Web page after the program has transferred to your computer. The dollhouse will stay open until you close your browser window or shut down the computer.
Create an imaginary landscape online with the NGAkids JUNGLE interactive. Mix and match the colorful characters, control the environment by changing weather and lighting conditions, or construct flowers, trees, and plants using special tools. An "AUTO" button generates random compositions, so you can sample program options and experiment with special effects as a starting point for your own designs. This Shockwave interactive is for all ages. Click the picture above to launch the program.
Flow is a motion painting machine for children of all ages. Enjoy watching the changing patterns and colors as you mix pictures on two overlapping layers. Choose designs from four sets of menu icons, or add to the flow by clicking the pencil tool to create your own designs. The movie below shows how to make new icons and set your art in motion.
Choose a background image or start with a blank slate, then draw something in PaintBox. Add WARP EFFECTS to make silly pictures. PaintBox is fun for children of all ages. Click the printer icon to save your art.
SwatchBox is a tool for mixing and drawing with
millions of colors.
MIX COLORS: click and drag on the rainbow palette
SELECT COLOR: click in the swatchbox
CREATE: draw something in the empty box
PRINT: click the printer icon to save your art
PixelFace is an interactive portrait maker and drawing board. You have 49 colors and 24 brushes to play with. Select a model to begin. The sliders adjust pixel size and transparency levels. The green arrows change brush menus. Click the red AUTO button and PixelFace will create a portrait for you in the style and resolution you've chosen. Experiment by changing brushes and transparencies, or continue drawing while AUTO portrait is on for some surprising effects!
To draw your own design, click the pencil. then select a color, pixel size, and brush. For help while in the program, roll the cursor over the question mark and hold down the mouse button.
Orbital jam, depCharge, and pool are easy-to-use animation kits that inspire young children to create and manipulate interesting, colorful shapes and patterns.
Collage Machine and Collage Machine II are fun for children of all ages. Click a picture and see what happens, or roll over the question mark and hold down the mouse button to learn how the program works. The AUTO button makes a new arrangement for you each time you click. Use the big green arrows to change picture menus. Your collages will disappear if you click the eraser, close your browser, or shut down your computer.
Try creating a real collage made with colored paper, photographs, magazine clippings, cardboard, string, and glue. Here's how.
Learn about the life and career of an important African American artist, Romare Bearden, who was well-known for his paintings and collages. Download the Children's Guide to The Art of Romare Bearden(PDF 900k). You'll need Acrobat Reader to view this brochure.
Wallovers are symmetrical decorations painted on a virtual wall. Select a grid, pattern, and background color, then create your own designs, or click the AUTODRAW button and watch the computer generate patterns for you. Click the printer icon to save your art.
Watch the virtual mobile change and grow as you add branches, shapes, and colors. Adjust the orbit speed and make the pieces spin. See how the mobile casts shadows on the wall, then change your point of view and watch it create spirographic patterns as it moves through space.