Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Newspaper Cityscapes with Fireworks

 Jackson Pollock fireworks show (by Calvin)

This fun and "everything but the kitchen sink" lesson is a take on this mixed media cityscape project I did a few months ago. "Miss Mary, the 4th of July is over." I told my classes, "There is a fireworks show at Disneyland every night at 9:35. You can even hear it from where we live!" (about 15 miles away) Each child created a cityscape outline using cardboard pieces and black acrylic, using the edges to make prints. After these were dry, they painted them with watercolors. Windows were created with circle or square prints in bright colored acrylics. They glued company names from magazines to personalize their cities. Fireworks were done on a separate piece of construction paper with small brushes and acrylics, with a final flicking of paint. And last, we located out cities on water and created reflections using oil pastels with a watercolor wash. There is a lot going on with these, clearly evident on our tables (and even floors) at the end of this project. But what Fun!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Copper Tooled Flowers with Acrylic Borders

 Beautiful Eden! (age 5)

My Unique Materials Art Fun groups got to try their hand at copper tooling. They were excited to try a new media. They used ball point pens to create designs on their copper foil squares. They then painted their surface with black ink and buffed it away in the relief areas with paper towels. Some children preferred the look of the reverse, silver side. I gave them each a square of bristol board to create a decorative border for their foil designs. They used acrylics and both sides of their brushes to create designs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bubble Printed Hydrangeas in Terra Cotta Pots

This project was inspired by this fantastic post from A Piece of a Rainbow. I mixed dish soap, liquid watercolor and a little water in plastic cups with some containers underneath to catch all the drippings. (Yes, it is a messy project!) Each child simply took their straw and blew into the solution (as I reminded them, most had probably done with milk in the past - only now I was Encouraging this play!) They had sheets of watercolor paper to lay down on their bubbles to make a print.  I offered pink, blue and purple for them to use.  Once dry, they added leaves using their choice of media (colored pencil, oil pastel or chalk pastel) Backgrounds were done in chalk pastels on black paper with oil pastel lines. Fun summer project!

Hydrangea side note: We were given a flowering plant about 4 years ago to honor my mother-in-law, who had just passed away. We decided to plant it near our front door. A blight disease took over our garden months later, killing everything in its' path, except our beautiful pink hued hydrangea. Then the drought hit SoCal hard (as it continues to do) and we like many others had to install a drought resistant landscape, The hydrangea was left behind, as it seemed to flourish. My gardening friends know this is neither a plant that enjoys full sun (which it does) or likes to be deprived of water (which it often is). As I write this, our hydrangea is thriving amongst all the drought tolerant plants leaving us both baffled and pleased! Just thought I'd share.

Multi-colored leaves? Why not!

Lacie cut out her blossoms and arranged them individually.

(K-6th artwork)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Expressive Painted Peacocks

Acrylic on Roofing Felt - Ages 5-11

 Minimal and Beautiful Sydney!

 I love your bold brush strokes Sami!

 I love the smokey effect in your colorful bird Maddie!

 I love the painterly background and colors Sienah!

These Gorgeous works were painted by my Unique Material Art Fun students on our first day of class yesterday. These 2 groups of students had not used my new favorite material yet - roofing felt. Yes, I know...again! Bubba Gump is to shrimp as I am quickly becoming to roofing felt. We looked at a variety of colorful peacock paintings as well as photos. I encouraged the kids to really make these birds their own with composition, color and style. They clearly took this to heart. They drew their designs with chalk and I explained that if they didn't paint over their lines, they would be black after a rinse in the sink. However, that was just an option. I don't like to ever tell a student to "be sure to stay within the lines"! I offered a wide range of acrylic colors and encouraged them to mix and make their own as well. What fun it was to watch them paint these. After their paint had dried, they added details and finishing touches with oil pastel. Such beautiful works kids - each one frame worthy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Orcas of Alaska

My groups first created their Alaskan snow-capped mountains using oil pastels, blending with baby oil and cotton swabs. As an added bonus, the room smelled great when we were done! Skies and seas were painted with watercolors and tempera. After these were dry, they added a splattering of white paint for their breaching whales. Orcas were drawn on a separate paper and then glued to their backgrounds. You can find another orca project here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Toucans of the Rainforest

 Beautiful details and composition Lauren! (6)

(Artwork by K-6th graders)

My Animals Around the World groups headed to the Amazon Rainforest to create some colorful toucans using acrylic paint on roofing felt. Yes, another project using my new favorite canvas - and I'm not done yet! I gave the kids pieces of sidewalk chalk to draw their birds and flora. They were given oil pastels and acrylics to fill in their designs. Most chose to paint, except for a few details. They had the option of painting their backgrounds or leaving them black. I love the diversity in these! Next stop - Orcas in Alaska.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

African Elephants with Watercolor Landscapes

Gorgeous Talia! 

If these look familiar, my blog header has an artwork from the same lesson I did a couple years ago. This was the second project from Day 1 of my Animals Around the World class. I gave the kids a variety of liquid watercolors to create a wet on wet sunrise or sunset landscape background. It's always fun to see how each child goes about this, some very methodical and others with reckless abandon. We put these up to dry and started on our elephant profiles. These were done on brown grocery bag paper. No longer free in these parts, but well worth the 10 cents. A couple months of shopping at Trader Joe's and voila! I like the texture of the paper to mimic the worn look of elephant skin. Children followed a direct line drawing lesson which was basic enough for even my youngest to follow. They were encouraged to add lots of wrinkles. A light coat of gray pastel was added and some charcoal shadows. Some kids chose to add black acrylic silhouettes to their background before profiles were cut out and glued. Off to different continents to create new creatures next week!