Friday, May 22, 2015

Cuddly Koalas

 1st grade

 4th grade


 2nd grade

 2nd grade

 1st grade



I decided to stay on the continent of Australia with this mixed media Koala lesson. My daughter and I have been watching a wonderful series on Netflix called Dance Academy, filmed all round beautiful Sydney. This coupled with commercials for the "Koalafornia" exhibit at the San Diego Zoo clearly played a part in my choosing an Australian themed lesson. 

My K through 4th grade group created their koala portraits using chalk pastels and charcoal, smudging with their pointer fingers to blend. Since Eucalyptus trees are home, shelter and food for these cute marsupials, the children created branches and leaves with oil pastel and last a watercolor background. Koalas were cut out and glued to their colorful habitats.

my experiment

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Uluru Landscape Aboriginal Inspired Art

 4th grade

 2nd grade

 1st grade

 1st grade
reminds me of a stage with lights


These mixed media paintings were inspired by a piece by Aboriginal artist, Danny Eastwood. You can find it on Flickr here. Uluru is a large sandstone monolithic rock in the middle of the Australian outback. Over 600 million years old, it is a holy place for the Anangu tribe of Aboriginal people who have been there over 10,000 years. 

Here's a link to the brief video I showed my class from Youtube:

I thought this style of art would lend itself well to my new favorite "canvas", roofing felt. Basic drawings of "The Red Center", as it is nicknamed, were drawn in white chalk. I had the kids draw "copycat" lines for every line drawn to give spaces for our dot work. Oil pastel was used to fill in their larger spaces. These were rinsed in the sink, washing away all chalk. Children were given free reign for their acrylic dot-work designs.

Here you can see the white chalk design and oil pastel 
before rinsing with water 

Felt was blotted dry and dot prints were made 
with the backs of paint brushes and acrylics

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day Art Fun

Here are a few art projects my classes have been working on 
that would make nice Mother's Day gifts.

Ella - Pre-K
(Not supposed to pick favorites, but this piece is so lovely to me)

Thanks to Christie at Fine Lines for inspiring this art lesson! You can find her Snapdragons lesson here and her Springtime Lupines here. We started with a base of chalk pastel shaded lightly with the side of the chalk. I had some texture plates I've been wanting to put to use, so I had them use an oil pastel (like Christie) to create a darker texture on top. Stalks and leaves were painted with brushes and last finger painted blossoms from dark to white. We had enough time left over to add a hummingbird. (It is Draw, Paint "Collage" class after all) My Pre-K through 1st graders really enjoyed making these. Messy fun!

 Trivets using rubbing alcohol and Adirondack inks -
 A Pinterest favorite - link from The Crafted Life here!
I gave these several layers of spray protective coating and foam pieces on backside four corners - 
Voila, great usable art gift!

Eden - Pre-K

Jolie - Pre-K

Ella - Pre-K

Mya- 2nd grade

 Tea time collages with home made teabags (folded stapled paper with white thread) 
with mini messages for Moms

my experiment

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Llamas with Peruvian Textiles

This project was inspired by a friend's recent amazing trip to Macchu Picchu.
 Truly a bucket list moment!

Since the chances of me making the trek there anytime soon are nonexistent, the consolation prize was to do an art lesson based on the Peruvian llamas. There are over 7 million llamas in South America. They are highly intelligent animals that are easily trained. They are raised for their wool, to carry loads and pull carts. And since they are in the camel family, they can survive weeks without water.

Jackie said this photo-bombing llama's name was Lucy 
and a group of 30 of them live there year round to keep the grass down.

Just -WOW!

Beautiful Peruvian textiles

 sketching it out

 Sharpie and chalk pastel

 Simple line work for our Peruvian textile backgrounds -
easy and approachable for my young groups

 Watercolor and oil pastel resist

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Bird Collages

 age 5

 age 7

 age 5

 age 5

 Sometimes the evolution of an art lesson is a bit like the game of telephone. It starts out as one thing, and ends up something completely different. These sweet Chickadee illustrations from artist, Carolyn Gavin caught my eye.  I decided to create a lesson loosely based around them for my Draw, Paint, Collage group. I ordered some color diffusing paper and have been itching to put it to use. I wanted my young students (ages 5-7) to have a lot of elements to play with: pattern drawn birds with marker, cut and painted branches and leaves and pencil eraser prints for berries. It had a little bit of everything and they all seemed to enjoy creating their spring bird pieces (even though they bare no resemblance to their original source of inspiration).

sketching ideas

playing with media

my experiment

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mixed Media Cityscape Collages

 Reese, 1st grade

 Mia, 1st grade

 Ella, 1st grade

Presley, 1st grade

Lauren, 1st grade

Rylee, 5 

Parker, 5

 My new Draw, Paint, Collage classes are working on some very large mixed media cityscape pieces inspired by the art of Ezra Jack Keats (a real favorite of mine), Romare Bearden and even a little Basquiat. You'd never know it by the amount of animal based projects I do, but I Love cityscape art. The more expressive, the better. So I experimented with a variety of media and techniques and came up with this project. The kids started out choosing a well worn placemat full of paint and even doodles.

They choose a few analogous colors and white to sponge paint lightly over their poster board, leaving paint and doodles showing through. The next layer was a black city silhouette started with Sharpie and then painted in with acrylic. Once dry, ends of pencil erasers were used to make colorful prints for city lights. Next, I had the children use sponge brushes to paint over a sheet of newspaper, encouraging them to leave some words and pictures showing through. Pieces of cardboard were then used to print out building shapes and sponges were used to print colorful lit or dark windows. Once dry, they glued down some logos cut from magazines. And as if this wasn't enough (a less is more art lesson, this is not), I had them create reflected city lights using oil pastels, which they painted over with blue watercolor to create a waterfront city. Collage pieces were cut out and glued in layers with some help from Miss Mary. They are wild and expressive - just my thing!

My experiment for the lesson