Step 1: Web Design!
This project can get a little messy, so we start with aprons or smocks. Paint can splatter!
Each student needs a partner. Start with a blank piece of paper and a length of yarn, about 18 inches long. Provide any kind of paint and a sponge brush. We used both acrylic and tempera paints and both worked great. I like to use the small sheets of posterboard. The glossy side works well with making the spiders later. Your first step is to have your partner hold the yard while you paint it with paint. I like the variation of using two colors. Just swirl them a little on the pallet and paint the paint up and down the yarn until your yarn has plenty of paint on it.
You hold the yarn at each end in a firm grip very close to but not touching the paper. Your partner will "flick" the yarn. This is most easily done by pinching the yarn and pulling up slightly and then letting go. If you hook the yarn with your finger it will pull it out of your partners fingers or will pull their hands together, losing the tension needed to SNAP the yarn back down and create the line. We practiced this step with our partners before we painted the paint on the yarn so we knew how to get a good snap. If you hold the yarn too high you will also not get a good line on the paper.
This is the end of Step 1. Now wash your hands and get ready to make your spiders!
Step 2: Spiders
You can experiment on scrap paper before doing this on your web. I let the class try it on my sample web after they watched my demonstration then move back to their own paintings. After the paint is dropped on the paper blow through your straw at it, using the elbow end to aim your air where you want it so that the paint spreads out in a neat shape. You have to get really close for this to work well. And remind everyone to stop and breathe between blowing! I had a lot of dizzy artists.