Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polar Bears with Northern Lights

Alexa - 1st grade








my experiment

Since I only see my classes for four weeks now, I really try to combine lessons when possible. So my Northern Lights with Polar Bear Portraits was a great combo lesson. We made our polar bear portraits first on blue construction paper with white pastel and charcoal. Next we created colorful Northern Light shows with chalk pastels on black construction paper and then pine tree silhouettes were painted with black tempera. Before adding our cut polar bear portraits, the last touch was a smattering of snow fall dots using the end of our paint brushes dipped in white tempera.
These pieces were created by 1st and 2nd graders.

20 comments:

  1. These polar bears are adorable.
    I love the silhouette trees.
    You can never go wrong with chalk pastels; beautiful colors.

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  2. These are gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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  3. These are fantastic, love the colors! I'm inspired to do these with my kids!

    Tina

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  4. Mary - These are really amazing! I love the soft colors, the shaded polar bears and the colorful touch of the hats on some. I would have guessed that they were done by older kids -- this is really skilled work from "little ones"!! Bravo!

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  5. Wow- Mary, your little students did a fantastic job! Love soft, wintery scenes like these.

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  6. These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I have been looking for an idea to try with my second grade students using a winter theme. I just might give this a try.

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  7. Mary they take my breath away, they are so incredibly beautiful!

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  8. WOW. Very sophisticated work for such young kids. I'm so impressed. GORGEOUS!!

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  9. Mary, these are stunning. I wish I could take your art class. :)

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  10. These are awesome! I have tried using chalk pastels many times with my kids but I have so much trouble trying to keep them from smudging. Do you have any advice?

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  11. Oh my! Thanks so much for all the nice comments!If you're like me, you never quite know what New projects will hit and which will miss.
    Suzie K. - Thank you! Chalk pastels are of course by nature messy and smudgey. So they naturally might be difficult for some projects. But this would be a perfect choice for that medium. I honestly showed some pics of Northern Lights on Pinterest, made a few suggestions about using light pressure and blending with one finger in a singular motion and then stepped back. I did not over direct this lesson.

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  12. These look amazing! 1st and 2nd grade!? Love the shading with charcoal on the polar bears :]

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  13. these are incredible! the kids did a really wonderful job. i adore the little polar bear faces. i tend to shy away from shading because it is not a strength of mine, but that is not fair to the kiddos....so i might have to steal this! LOVE IT! thanks for sharing.

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  14. I just finished these with my 5th grade! They came out awesome!!! Thank you so much for such an inspiring lesson idea! Your students' work is great!

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  15. Can you offer any advice for drawing the polar bear? Thanks!

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    1. I pinned this photo on pinterest to lead the kids in a direct line drawing lesson: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/43699058853952434/.I have the children draw lightly with pencil starting with the curved line of the forehead. From there I go the ears and the sides of the face and so forth. Working on blue paper I think lends to the success of the project. After the drawing is complete I have the shade lightly with white chalk pastel. Charcoal is used to draw the mouth, nose and eyes. I have them add shadows under the neck, on the sides of the nose and inside the ears. Very light pressure is helpful as charcoal is very strong and a little goes a long way. To give a realistic touch I like to add one or two white dots inside the eyes. I always practice drawing a subject several times on the white board before any lesson. But I always encourage the kids by telling them every polar bear will and should look different and that's the beauty of art.
      I hope this helps you!

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