Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chinese Lanterns

In honor of Chinese New Year last month, I thought this lesson from Art Stars would make a great project for my K-5th graders. As Amy describes in her post, the children started their lanterns by drawing "squashed circles". I encouraged them to overlap some lanterns and have some go off the page to create an interesting composition. They used oil pastels to add color and patterns and then painted the background with watercolor. Once dry, they used the backs of their painted brushes dipped in white acrylic to create strands of white lights. I told them to imagine their backyards decorated for a party with colorful lanterns and strands of draping lights.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Other than a lesson based on the book, "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?", I have steered clear of realistic dinosaur art lessons.(They are a bit challenging) One of my students had been requesting dinosaurs for several weeks. Since my classes are private, I think of my kids almost as "clients"; their enjoyment is definitely a priority. So this one was for Jenna. :)

My kindergarten through 3rd graders created their Triceratops with watercolor and salt to mimic a textured skin. My 3rd through 5th grade group made their dinosaurs using chalk pastels. Both groups were encouraged to use charcoal to add shadow and definition. Dinosaurs were cut out and glued on top of simple chalk pastel landscapes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mixed Media Woodpeckers

 Abby, 1st

Ian, 3rd

I love how the "happy accident" of running watercolor looks like dripping sap.
Amanda, 4th

 Lacie, 4th

 Maggie, 1st

Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers to be exact. File this one into the, "when all else fails, do a bird project category." I find that bird art lessons are great for multi-age range groups. My 1st through 4th graders created these with a variety of media to choose from: watercolor, oil pastel, and colored pencil.We looked at photos of actual Sapsuckers. The children could create a realistic or "fantasy" colored bird. They also had the option of adding an extra layer of acrylic sponge painted leaves which I think adds a nice sense of depth.