Sunday, November 22, 2015

Preparing the Thanksgiving Turkey

Preparing the turkey means something a little different in the art room than it does in the kitchen.

Each year we do it a little differently.  Here's what we came up with this year.  A quick and easy lesson.  These could be made in one day.  We took our time and spent the first day thinking about gratitude and generating a thankful list, we then outlined our turkey.  We wanted big, fat turkeys and used a paper plate for the big, fat body.  You can choose a big plate for the big turkey or a small plate for the little kid version.
On day two we used crayons to pattern our birds and to add color.  We also added our thankful words using markers.

Day three was finish-up day, a day to tie up any lose ends, and then on to outlining the birds with a brush and black paint.

I loved he opportunity this lesson provided for us to focus on gratitude, which is sometimes so lacking in the world, yet does so much to enhance our lives.  

As for me, this year I'm thankful for butterflies and rainbows, family, friends, kittens, clouds and sunshine, starry nights and moonbeams, for all the big things and all the little things that made my year so wonderful, even for the struggles that helped me grow, and especially for another day to enjoy it all, 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Puffy Paint Wabbits

How about some cute Kindergarten Rabbits!
(Pre-schoolers love them, too.)

First we read "LET'S MAKE RABBITS" by Leo Leoni and then we let the rabbit making begin.

Kinders traced the template, added the wiggle eye and colored a nice tasty carrot.

They painted them with home made puffy paint.
So simple to make...just mix shaving cream and tempera paint.

So smooth and creamy you might have to make two.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tropical Themes

Isn't she a beauty?  Fourth graders are looking at Henri Rousseau...I love his work, don't you?  We noticed how he loved visiting the botanical gardens and drawing from observation, so we tried it ourselves using houseplants we found around the school.  Then we used our imaginations to create something tropical.

We used sharpies to outline and markers to fill in with a bright and consistent color.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Plum Blossom Scrolls

These are self-explanatory, aren't they?  But the children loved making them and every one is enjoying the beautiful spring colors after this long, cold winter.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ready for The Big Day

Finished up our clay Valentines last Thursday just in time for the big day.  Kids were thrilled to have a token to take home to give to a special some one.

No time for glazing.  I set out palettes of liquid watercolors to apply right onto the bisque.  You could also use box watercolors if you like

I have a couple bottles of glitter watercolor that added a little sparkle to the art though you can't really see it in the photos.

The paint dried very quickly and students finished them up with two coats of watered down glue to seal and add a little shine.

Finishing touch was to add a bit of ribbon for hanging.  There you have it...clay valentine.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Warm and Cool Abstract Landscape

Fun project for older artists and part of a painting unit exploring color relationships and color families.

Students began by cutting an irregular wavy line across a long sheet of paper.  This they used as a mask to block off the lower portion of their landscape.  Tape in place.

Begin in the sky area by placing a dot anywhere on the page.  Begin adding rings of warm colors around the dot.  Paint right up onto the paper mask to create a crisp line.

Using cool colors begin with a line at the horizon and add repeating lines to fill in the bottom portion of your work.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pasta Towers

One 88 cent box of spaghetti, One $1.49 bag of mini-marshmallows.  Twelve kids.  Two hours of after school fun!  These children seriously could not get enough of this activity.

The structures were a little "touch and go" getting started as the marshmallows were soft and unstable.

But once they got going we noticed the marshmallows firmed up a bit and building proceeded more quickly.

Note to self...let the marshmallows sit out for a couple hours before building to harden.

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Torn Paper Valentines

Art room clean-up prompted this colorful torn paper collage for kinders.  I don't know about you, but things around the art room seem to get messy this time of year while we're elbow deep in all kinds of creative endeavor.

Time to reorganize and start afresh...including new place mats for the tables.  But those old painted ones were just too colorful to toss out.

So I tore them into strips and let the Kindergarten have at it.

Oh, the joy of color on a cold winter day!

Finished them off with a variety of interesting lines.

 A simple lesson with lovely results

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Clay Valentines

Little clay Valentines were a big hit with after schoolers  of all ages.  They're quick and easy to make and can be completed in one class.  To start I had students roll out five long snakes of clay about the thickness of a pencil.  We covered the coils with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out and then I gave the demonstration on building.  We built our hearts on a piece of cellophane that was scrap from our can see it in the photo below.  Underneath the heart students placed a paper heart that they previously cut from a folded paper.  The paper heart serves as a guide for laying out their design.  Fill the heart shape with coils and smear everything together with your thumb.  Place a hole for hanging if you like.  Flip over and add textures to your heart.  Let dry and fire.
We're going to paint these hearts with water colors because we're in a hurry to hang them.

Winter Cardinals

Fifth Grade looked at a variety of winter cardinals then chose a reference form which they created their drawings.  Love the variety and spontaneity of their work 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gelli Prints

Gelli Prints...something I'd wanted to try, but hadn't gotten around to until today and I'm so glad I did.  Made a small plate by whisking 3 pouches of gelatin into a cup of boiling water which I then poured into the plastic lid of a take-out container.  I was surprised how fast the plate set was firm within 45 minutes but we let it set out overnight and printed the next morning. 

After running around the house and collecting our texture items:  string, mesh onion bag, combs, paper stencils, buttons, coins, leaves, we rolled block printing ink onto the plate and started printing. We started with block printing inks but soon got bored with the limited colors and broke out the bin of acrylic paints which worked a lot better.  

I have to say the process was addictive.  We put on some music and printed all day long.  What a fun day.  Really relaxing and there's really no wrong way of doing this.  Every print offers a new and surprising result.  Just fabulous.

Definitely going to be trying this out with kids soon.