Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cityscapes with Fireworks Collages


Over the summer, I did a mixed media cityscape with fireworks project with my Unique Materials Art Fun classes. I was very excited to be asked by Arts and Activities Magazine to submit the lesson for possible future publication. I was so pleased to hear the article will be in the December issue. What an honor and privilege to be included in the nation's leading art education magazine!

Here is my original post and a variation on the lesson using recycled materials.









 Jackson Pollock fireworks show (by Calvin)












This fun and "everything but the kitchen sink" lesson is a take on this mixed media cityscape project I did a few months ago. "Miss Mary, the 4th of July is over." I told my classes, "There is a fireworks show at Disneyland every night at 9:35. You can even hear it from where we live!" (about 15 miles away) Each child created a cityscape outline using cardboard pieces and black acrylic, using the edges to make prints. After these were dry, they painted them with watercolors. Windows were created with circle or square prints in bright colored acrylics. They glued company names from magazines to personalize their cities. Fireworks were done on a separate piece of construction paper with small brushes and acrylics, with a final flicking of paint. And last, we located out cities on water and created reflections using oil pastels with a watercolor wash. There is a lot going on with these, clearly evident on our tables (and even floors) at the end of this project. But what Fun!


Mixed Media Cityscape Collages



 Reese, 1st grade

 Mia, 1st grade

 Ella, 1st grade

Presley, 1st grade

Lauren, 1st grade

Rylee, 5 

Parker, 5


 My new Draw, Paint, Collage classes are working on some very large mixed media cityscape pieces inspired by the art of Ezra Jack Keats (a real favorite of mine), Romare Bearden and even a little Basquiat. You'd never know it by the amount of animal based projects I do, but I Love cityscape art. The more expressive, the better. So I experimented with a variety of media and techniques and came up with this project. The kids started out choosing a well worn placemat full of paint and even doodles.


They choose a few analogous colors and white to sponge paint lightly over their poster board, leaving paint and doodles showing through. The next layer was a black city silhouette started with Sharpie and then painted in with acrylic. Once dry, ends of pencil erasers were used to make colorful prints for city lights. Next, I had the children use sponge brushes to paint over a sheet of newspaper, encouraging them to leave some words and pictures showing through. Pieces of cardboard were then used to print out building shapes and sponges were used to print colorful lit or dark windows. Once dry, they glued down some logos cut from magazines. And as if this wasn't enough (a less is more art lesson, this is not), I had them create reflected city lights using oil pastels, which they painted over with blue watercolor to create a waterfront city. Collage pieces were cut out and glued in layers with some help from Miss Mary. They are wild and expressive - just my thing!

My experiment for the lesson

10 comments:

  1. Wow! What an explosion of riotous color!!! I love projects where students get to use lots of different techniques and media. Such a lot of bang for the buck (no pun intended:)) Congrats on being highlighted in Arts and Activities -- well deserved!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Christie! I appreciate it.

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  2. Wonderfull colored collage. greeting from Belgium

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  3. Nice collages in your blog, best regard from Belgium

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  4. Thanks for the nice comments Louisette! My brother and sister in law just came back from a wonderful trip in Belgium. I appreciate your feedback!

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  5. Hi Mary, I'm a K-8 art teacher working with a Cityscape theme this summer. We've been doing some vibrant collage work and I was looking for some fresh fun ideas. I absolutely love the mixed media fireworks. Perfect for next week! Thanks so much for sharing this! Congrats on the published article, well deserved! Terri

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    1. Thanks so much Terri! They were a lot of fun to create. Happy collage-making!

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  6. Hi Mary, I'm a K-8 art teacher working with a Cityscape theme this summer. We've been doing some vibrant collage work and I was looking for some fresh fun ideas. I absolutely love the mixed media fireworks. Perfect for next week! Thanks so much for sharing this! Congrats on the published article, well deserved! Terri

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I appreciate your comments and feedback!