Thursday, October 27, 2011

O'Keefe Inspirations

Acrylics and tissue paper

My "fearless" creator Talia (7) was not happy with her painting and she regretted not painting it more simply . It is Gorgeous and I couldn't disagree more. But this brought up a conversation about the importance of taking risks as an artist and not always playing it safe. These children are only in the 2nd grade, but I wanted her to treasure her loose and free spirit. And of course I told them no artist likes every piece they've created, even the "greats." It's important to have fun with the process.

I love the bits of white showing throughout this piece.
Tissue paper and acrylics

This 8 yr old has the style of a graphic artist -
Precise, confident lines and a love for painting with minimal
color palettes

Beautiful work Paige! Acrylics

We had one more day left for my Tuesday afternoon art class and I had a unanimous request to do a Georgia O'Keefe flower project. I'm always game for that! But I wanted to try a new approach. I found these lovelies on Artopotamus. They were created with tissue paper, watercolor and chalk pastels. But with just one class, I had to make some adjustments. We started out with large board and tried creating asymmetrical flower compositions with pencil and then Sharpie. For those who wanted to use tissue paper, we just ripped pieces and decoupaged them to our boards with watered down glue. While still wet the children added acrylic paint in analogous colors and white to their compositions. We looked at photographs of flowers to see the variety of shades and colors in one flower, rather than just using one flat color. The pieces were dry enough by the end of class to go over our Sharpie lines again or switch to black oil pastel for extra boldness.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Treescapes, Two Ways

Talia, I love how you never care to look at the others' work.
Your art is always what you want it to be. :)

My example

I have been doing so many animal themed art projects lately, I thought it was time for me to do a some nature based lessons. It is especially appropriate given this beautiful time of year. (Yes, even in Southern California there is a hint of fall in the air.) The first lesson was inspired by the gorgeous treescapes I found on Flickr here. The quality of artwork from the students of this art teacher just blows me away. I could "pin" every single piece. To start I had the children dry brush onto large black construction paper. I gave them acrylics in the primaries and purple and asked them to brush from side to side. No need to clean their brush, just continue onto the next color. They could also choose any order to paint their colors. This allows for such unique results. Because acrylics dry so quickly, they were able to do the next step during the same class. We used oil pastels to create our trees. From here they had two options, to create leaves using oil pastels or (in thinking of my kindergarten students) they could dip their fingertip in yellow, orange and red paint to create their fall leaves. They could also add a moon, stars, shadows and some grass or plants if they chose.

The inspiration for my next treescape was found via Pinterest at the Georgetown Elementary Art Blog. I knew my all girl class would love to create these brightly colored backgrounds with silhouette trees. I offered a variety of acrylic colors and they could choose how simple or elaborate to make their backgrounds. Once this was dry they used small brushes to paint their tree silhouettes. (artwork by children 5-7)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Painterly Peacocks

"Miss Mary, I really want to put purple polka dots on my peacock's beak to make it beauteeeful." Hannah, 5

This week my class created some wonderful painted peacocks. I wanted them to be loose, painterly and expressive with their birds. So I had them start by using sponges to swirl acrylic paint onto their boards to create a feathery impressionistic background. While still wet they painted the body and the "eyes" of their feathers. Once the background was dry, they used oil pastels to finish the details on their feathers and finished their paintings with the eyes and beak. These works were created by girls 5-7.

On a side note, my daughter and I went to the Los Angeles Arboretum early this summer just in time for peafowl mating season. (hundreds of peafowl roam the grounds freely, descendants of the birds first imported from India by the wealthy original landowner, Lucky Baldwin back in the late 1800's.) What a treat to see the peacocks fan their feathers and literally strut their stuff trying to get the attention of the peahens. But we laughed because the females just looked bored and uninterested no matter how proud the males were of their beautiful plumage. (Insert joke regarding parallels with human behavior here ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Piatti Owls, Take Two

Paige (7)
Sharpie Markers and Acrylic

Ella (7)

Talia (7)

Lilly (5)

Hannah (5)

Brianna (7)

My October session art students looked at the work of Celestino Piatti. For this group, I gave only the primary colors and black and white. We talked about adding designs and patterns in the way Piatti did in his graphic owls. This was the first opportunity for some to mix paint and it was fun for them to come up with their own color palettes for their owls.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Mega Bugs

(preppy bug with an argyle body?)

(With those lips...maybe a diva bug)

First time using oil and chalk pastels - nice job Lilly!

I just started a new art session with a group of kindergarten thru 2nd graders. I thought my pastel "mega bug" project from my earlier post would be a quick straightforward starter lesson to loosen everyone up on our first day. Some of my students have never used pastels before while a couple could have jumped up and lead the lesson. I talked about creating fantasy bugs using whatever colors or patterns they'd like. The key was to work BIG (and off the page), as if we were viewing the bug through a magnifying glass. They outlined their shapes and patterns using light colored oil pastel (for contrast with our black paper) and used chalk pastel to fill in color