I always marvel at how pelicans can spot a fish as they fly above the sea, swooping down into the water, grabbing them in their large bills and gulping them down. Seagulls on the other hand are notorious opportunists, hanging around beach-goers, waiting for dropped remnants of lunch. I once had one fly away with a an entire corn dog while I went to grab some napkins at a place in Santa Monica. This is not meant to be a seagull bashing post - just an observation. :)
This project was inspired by a gorgeous award-winning piece by a 1st grader in the Coastal Art and Poetry Contest. My students created their birds using their choice of chalk or oil pastels following a basic direct line drawing lesson. Wings were done with the scratch art technique using oil pastel and acrylic paint. Many of my young students took this as an opportunity to carve their initials, names and doodles. (Funny I hadn't anticipated that.) Backgrounds were created on a separate board using acrylics and watercolors. (Hindsight - I would have offered a wider variety of colors for their skies to yield more diverse results.) These are big poster sized pieces by kindergarten through 5th graders.
Yesterday was the last class of my summer art series. I intend to do a little pelican (and seagull) watching and soak up the last gasps of summer before my fall classes begin.
This project was inspired by the art of Ezra Jack Keats, (one of my favorite children's book authors/illustrators) and more specifically his book, "Hi Cat" seen here. I love his expressive, painterly brushstrokes and use of collage to portray an urban landscape. So my students used cut painted paper placemats full of brushstrokes, spills and even doodles, just as they did with these Mixed Media Cityscapes. They could add more paint, stamped letters, or scribbles to their backgrounds to make them their own. Stray kitties could be done in a choice of media on black or white paper. The kids created the top of a trash can using scraps of roofing felt and silver paint. Some of my students really embraced the messy, expressive aspect of this project
My Draw, Paint, Print, Collage classes revisited this lesson I did in 2011. Summer seemed like the perfect time to try it again. Although we don't have fireflies where we live, some of my students have seen them in their travels east. I was thrilled the first time I spotted hundreds of little flickers of light, one summer evening while living in Atlanta.
Children had the option of creating a cartoon firefly or a more realistic one by following a basic direct line drawing lesson. Our branches were illuminated with a silver metallic marker - a great tip from Natalie at smART Class, who did her own great version of this lesson here. I added floral wire antennae to the cut fireflies before they were glued to their moonlit painted backgrounds.
(Artwork by children ages 5-11)