Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Inspirations from Hubble

We have been in a bit of a space frenzy around here lately. We had the wonderful experience of Endeavour's fly over several weeks ago before making its way to its new home at The California Science Center in LA. And my daughter was so excited about her studies with the solar system, she brought home her science text book to show me everything she was learning. (Thanks to her Fantastic 5th grade teacher, Ms. Long for igniting her curiosity and enthusiasm in exploring the world of space and astronomy!)

So when I stumbled on this fantastic art lesson from Make It....a Wonderful Life, I knew I had to give it a try. I showed my students pictures from the Hubble website. We talked about Supernovas (exploding stars) and Nebulae (clouds of dust and gases in space). They were as impressed as I was with how incredibly beautiful and amazing these discoveries are. Treat yourself and visit the HubbleSite gallery here.

 The Endeavour fly over - What a treat!

My experiment for the lesson

 This artist wanted to show an exploding supernova

We created our pieces on black construction paper with chalk pastels. We used the side of our pastels and blended lightly to create the look of the feathery nebulae. Stars were added with acrylics using toothpicks as well as splattering with brushes. They could choose to add cut planets that were shaded with dark on one side and light on the other to give them dimension.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Good Dog Carl

 (this pup is waiting for his balloon 
string to finish the piece)

 My experiment for the project

Inspiration page

I haven't done an art lesson inspired by a children's book for a while, so I thought it was time to give it a go. I found Carl's Afternoon in the Park by Alexandra Day in my shelf, and thought it would be perfect for my Multi-Media Art Class. The children created a textured back ground using acrylics and sponges to mimic Day's beautiful painted illustrations. The dog and balloon were done separately using chalk pastels and charcoal. Emphasis was on shading and shadow for these elements. The children followed a line drawing lesson for the puppy, but were encouraged to make adjustments to make it their own. Cut out balloons and dogs were added to their painted background and last a balloon string was added to bring their piece together. Cute pooches guys! Artwork by ages 7-9.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Multi-Media Leaf Art

 Alexa, 2nd grade 

 Calvin, 2nd grade

 Jenna, 4th grade

 Sonja, 2nd grade

Sierra, 2nd grade

My experiment

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf's a flower"  Albert Camus

Even in seasonally challenged SoCal, where the temps hit the 90's here today, there are signs of autumn all  around. I love the twisted shapes of the fallen leaves and the change in the shadows. I combined the watercolor printed leaf project from Groove is in the Art with the observational leaf drawing with cast shadows from Color Collage and Much More to kick off my new Mixed Media Art Class..

Leaf prints were made with leaves and watercolor (fresher works best for this part in order to get the veins and details). These were left to dry over night. I had my students take one leaf and use their best observational skills to create a contour drawing. I like to go over the difference between a stylized drawing versus a contour drawing and show both on the whiteboard. Line work was gone ever in thin Sharpie and chalk pastel added for color. I gave them free reign with this. A cut cast shadow was added and glued underneath for an added punch of emphasis. I think this is a great project for a variety of ages and skill levels.