Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cubist Portraits with Bleeding Tissue



 I love it when a student can really go for it!
So very Thalia. (2nd grade)


Hazel, Kindergarten


Charlotte, 2nd grade
"Miss Mary, do I have to draw the other eye?"
Of course not....


Aven, Kindergarten


Ava, 2nd grade

My Mini Masters group looked at some of the cubist portrait work of Picasso before diving into creating their own. After combining a portrait and a profile into one piece with permanent marker, the children used ripped "bleeding" tissue painted down with water to add color. Since this was our last class and artwork needed to be taken home, tissue was peeled off while still wet. I gave them the option of filling in empty areas with watercolor, but encouraged them to leave bits of white showing. I think the wild and unpredictable quality of bleeding tissue lends itself well to such a unique subject matter.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Georgia O'keeffe Flowers with Roofing Felt

 This beauty was done by a kindergarten student. Lovely Aven!













(Works are 14" X 24")

Every spring I'm usually inspired to do an O'keeffe flower lesson and I enjoy switching things up and trying different media and techniques. These great posts using roofing felt definitely inspired me to give it a whirl.The blogs Artful Artsy Amy, It is Art Day  and There's a Dragon in My Art Room each have great info on using roofing felt along with examples. Lucky for me my Mom has worked for years at her local hardware and gift store (yes, it's a Mayberry kind of town) and scored me a Big roll of the stuff.

I took a page from Phyl's book and used simple white chalk instead of soap. I might try sidewalk chalk next time with my younger students to make it easier to paint in between the lines. I had some close, cropped photos of flowers to look at, along with a book of O'keeffe's art. I showed my kinder through 2nd grade group basic ways to make a "monster sized" flower, having the petals go off the page. Below is the line drawing that Aven did of the flower at the top of my blog. Gorgeous lines and composition right?


The children had lots of acrylic colors to play with and I gave them free reign with their selections. I encouraged them to mix colors and we talked about how to create tints and shades. The main direction I gave them was to try their best to paint in between the lines rather than on them. Every line that was white now would be black in the end after a quick rinse in the sink. This media is great fun to work with and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it again.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dog Portraits with Kandinsky Circles




















Yes, I realize these two subjects make for strange bedfellows. My main objective for this lesson was to hit home the difference between abstract and representational art, while combining the two in one project. This is similar to my Grumpy Cats on Mark Rothko inspired Color Fields. My kindergarten through 4th graders followed a basic line drawing lesson to create their dogs on colored construction paper with Sharpie, pastel and charcoal. We looked at Kandinksy's, (one of the founders of the Abstract Art Movement) "Squares with Concentric Circles" from 1913 and admired the play of colors against one another. On a separate board that was divided into six squares with white oil pastels, the children created a series of circles using oil pastel and watercolor. This is always an enjoyable process for all ages. Once dry, pooches were cut out and glued to their colorful backgrounds. I like the playful contrast of these two elements together.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Matisse Inspired Apples


Above works were done by 1st through 4th graders


Kinder through 2nd grade pieces


My new Mini Masters group of kindergarten through 2nd graders looked at Matisse's Apples from 1916. I had seen this lesson idea before on Artsonia, Fine Lines, and Use Your Coloured Pencils. I tried it a few years ago here. I think it's a great still life lesson for younger children. We started off by tracing a large plate and outlining it in oil pastel. We talked about this being a "bird's eye view" of a plate of apples. I gave the kids a variety of liquid watercolors to paint their plates and backgrounds. Once these were dry, we made prints for our apples using plastic cups and acrylic. These were painted in with yellow, green and red. I had a variety of apples for the kids to hold and observe the different colors and details. These were added with charcoal and chalk pastel. Last they painted shadows on one side of their apples and plates. I like their loose, expressive quality.

Friday, February 27, 2015

West Coast Winter



I was born and raised in Southern California. So, I can't even fathom the conditions many of you are grappling with right now. I scan my blog list and see quite a few Snow Day posts and everything that encompasses. Late night talk show hosts have made a big point of what weather wusses we are out here. And it is very true. We are on "storm watch" for this weekend, bracing for some rain basically. I took a long walk on the beach this morning (We have a 3:2 ratio of teens to adults in our household, so a long cleansing walk is "a good thing" - just saying ) I watched the few surfers (1-3 feet is weak) have the "ultimate morning meeting" as I call it. I wish you all an Amazing spring to make up for the severe winter you've endured. Have a Great Weekend! (I plan to enjoy a big chunk of House of Cards)

So we waited all weekend and not one drop of water fell. Then almost out of the blue on Monday morning this happened ....
Hail in Surf City USA!

Tuesday - back to "normal" 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kindergarten Koi


Today was the last class with my Wings and Fins group. I was definitely pushing it to have my kinders complete these mixed media koi in an hour and 15 minutes. I tend to use liquid watercolor for backgrounds a great deal (okay, to death), so I wanted to switch it up this time. We used a variety of cool acrylic colors to give a painterly pond background for our fish. The koi were done on black (yet another favorite) with oil and chalk pastel. While my class looked at a variety of koi, I gave them the option to make them realistic or imaginative. Koi were cut and glued to the acrylic painted backgrounds. Up next - Mini Masters (creating art inspired such artists as Cezanne and Matisse).

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Year of the Sheep (or Goat)


Gung Hei Fat Choi!



I didn't plan any projects for Chinese New Year given my class themes at this time. But here are two projects that would work this year. Depending on who you talk to, it could be the year of the sheep  or goat - I guess it's a regional thing. I did these winter sheep a couple years ago. They were created on brown or blue construction paper with chalk pastels and were cut out and glued to a watercolor background. The Chinese Zodiac says that people born in the year of the Sheep or Goat (which I happen to be) "want a bit of peace" and "enjoy carrying on with their life in their own individual way." Bingo!


These colorful Chinese lanterns made last year at this time, were great fun for my students to create and were a basic way of teaching 3 dimension with the use of ellipses. The possibilities are endless! Artwork is done in oil pastel with a watercolor background and printed dots of white acrylic for white lights.