Sunday, January 29, 2012

Folk Art Roosters

These folk art roosters were inspired by this lesson from Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists. Thank you Hope! The children chose between a front view or profile portrait and followed a simple line drawing lesson. The pieces were painted with acrylics. Once dry, they used chalk pastels to add some extra texture. On a separate sheet of colored construction paper, squares of patterned were glued to create a border for our cut rooster portraits. These were created by K-2nd graders.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sunset Seascapes with Dolphins and Seals

My K-2nd graders created these pieces with acrylic painted seascapes and cut out dolphins and seals done with Sharpie and gray marker. I used the book "let's draw cute animals" by Sachiko Umoto. The step by step animal drawings are sweet and simple for my younger students to follow. I loved hearing all the children's seal and dolphin sighting stories. I think they did a great job with their pieces; they make me smile.

On a side note, my beloved Picnik is closing shop in a couple months. I do love a virtual mat and frame to showcase the children's artwork. Any thoughts on alternatives: Fotoflexer, Pixler, Picasa....?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

California Dreaming....

on such a winter's day...

Every year from November to March a sand berm is built up to help protect the beach front homes from the high surf and tides that can occur during these months. As an added bonus, it gives local children the opportunity to do some sand sledding on these steep slopes. When school let out on Friday we headed to the berms for some fun in the sand. This will probably be the closest thing to actual sledding my daughter will experience this year.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fish Collages

On top of our cool colored acrylic backgrounds my K-2nd graders created sponge painted seaweed and coral. Patterned fish created with oil pastel on construction paper were cut out and glued to finish their compositions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Hannah, 5

Avery, Kindergarten

Cate, 2nd grade

Zoe, 2nd

Lacie, 2nd

Olivia, Kindergarten

Abby, Kindergarten

Amanda, 2nd

Almost half of my January art class are Kindergarten students. I thought a good basic lesson would be to learn about warm versus cool palettes. The children created two painted backgrounds, warm colors for our lovebirds and cool for our fish (to post later). These lovebirds were inspired by this piece from Jennifer Mercede. We learned that lovebirds often stay together as a couple for life. They can be seen sitting side by side on branches in the wild. I thought this was a sweet lesson in light of the approaching Valentines Day.

We went about the project the same was as my earlier posted giraffes and hummingbirds. The children used oil pastels on black construction paper to create their lovebirds following a direct line drawing lesson. They then added color using chalk pastels. These were cut out and glued to our warm color backgrounds.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sandra Silberzweig Inspired Faces

Your details and use of color are fantastic Brendon.
What a beautiful piece! Frame it Carrie!

With just 40 minutes left for the last class of the Dec/Jan session, my group of 1st and 2nd graders created these wonderful faces that are a blend of Cubism and tribal masks. They were inspired by the work of a the very heavily pinned Canadian artist, Sandra Silberzweig. I knew instantly when I saw her work, I had to do an inspired lesson.

To create their pieces, the children chose a colored long piece of construction paper and created a "super huge U shape". From there they followed basic facial directions but I encouraged them to really cut loose and create their own designs and patterns using Sharpie. They used both chalk and oil pastel to add color. The final step, as tedious as it was, was to trace over all their Sharpie lines with black oil pastel to really make their work "pop." Beautiful work guys! I'm proud of you all. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Paper Bag Jaguar Collages

my experiment

My group of 1st and 2nd graders created these collages using watercolor, oil and chalk pastels, construction paper and brown grocery bags. The first step was to create simple and bold leaf shapes on posterboard using a white oil pastel. A layer of watercolor on top would magically reveal their designs. This would be the first layer in creating our rain forest habitat for our South American jaguars. Next on a rectangle from a grocery bag the children drew their wild cats in a direct line drawing lesson. (I think the texture and neutral color make it a great base for a number of projects.) They then used chalk pastel to add color and black oil pastel to create spots.

Coming back to our backgrounds the children could add another layer of oil pastel leaves and plants. They then glued their cut jaguars to these bases. The last step was to add an extra layer of cut leaves of construction paper that they added texture and color to with oil pastels. I encouraged them to have the leaves go off the page to give the effect of the jaguars in the rain forest. This concept was still a little confusing to some of my young students. But I think they did a wonderful job with their layered pieces.