Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Frogs of the Rain Forest

My K-4th students looked at both Red Eyed Tree Frogs and Poison Dart Frogs from the rain forests of South America. They created several frogs in different angles. They were then encouraged to create a lush habitat, as if they had walked in the rain forest and taken a snap shot. they had the option of using oil pastels, acrylics and watercolors to bring their paintings to life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Menacing Mandrills

Wonderful expressive lines and Fauvist colors Zoe!

 This was the first art class for this kindergarten student
as well as the first time using chalk pastels.
Awesome job Butch!

My K-4th grade group kicked off our Animals of the Rain forest and Desert class with these striking Mandrills in chalk pastel. We learned that they are the largest monkeys in the world and live in the rain forests of Africa. The mature males have the unmistakable colorful characteristics of the bright red nose and blue ridged cheeks. They also have enormous canine teeth that they like to show off (for whatever reason, this group preferred to draw them with closed mouths). And while they look menacing, they are in fact quite shy.

We followed a direct line drawing lesson starting with those mysterious deep set eyes. They were encouraged to use their pastels in a way to create the texture of fur, blending outward. I think each has a very distinct personality.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cats with Scraped Paint Backgrounds

To create an interesting backdrop for our cat portraits the children chose 3-5 acrylic paint colors that were dripped and scraped on their board using thick card stock(credit or gift cards would be even better- but I'm lacking both ; )  ).You can find detailed directions and options Here. This is such a fun and addictive technique because results are so varied and it's both expressive and spontaneous.
Next the children (K-3rd) chose their media and paper of choice to create their cat portrait. Their completed cats were then cut out and glued on their painted background. I will definitely be playing around with this technique in the future.

 Children added their own flair to their cats following the same line drawing lesson

 Flynn (grade 2) created a cool tie-dye effect background to play against her sleek feline

 This is my example scraped paint background using yellow, blue pink and red

I showed the children a few options for their cat and how they looked against the same background.
Left is a more realistic cat on brown construction paper with chalk pastels
Middle is the Fauve cat on pink construction paper using "imaginary" chalk colors
Right is done with Sharpie line work and a watercolor wash

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Colorful Koi Fish

Well, it was week 3 in my Wings, Fins and Fur class. Wings - Tropical Birds (check), Fur - Raccoons (check) ....time for some "Fins." Thanks Natalie from smART Class for your great step-by-step tutorial for Koi Fish. After their fish were "sharpied", the children had the option of using washable markers and water (a great idea from Natalie) for the scales or watercolor for their entire piece. In thinking about composition, I encouraged them to fill up their space in a creative way (an extra cropped fish, lily pads going off the page ect..) The last step was to add liquid watercolor for the background. My K-4th group really enjoyed this lesson and were happy with their bold, colorful paintings.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mother's Day Bouquets

Art by children K-5th (last 2 pieces are my experiments)

On Friday, I held a special 1-day mixed media class for children K-5th. The children created floral bouquets in honor of Mother's Day. We looked at the floral still life work of one of my new favorites, Lulie Wallace.
Her work is so bright, lively and loose. She even does commissions of bridal bouquets, which is such a fantastic idea! The children were encouraged to create a variety of flowers for their glass vases. I offered acrylics, watercolors, and oil pastels to add color to their work. The last step was to add liquid watercolor in their vases with a sprinkle of salt to give the look of water. I was excited to learn that some of these pieces are headed to grandmothers living in South Africa and Switzerland! For the local Mom recipients, I am wrapping them up for their Mother's Day surprise next Sunday. They will be sure to treasure these. (Wish I was able to get photos of all of them.)