Thursday, May 28, 2015

Zen Pandas

Beautiful Kate! (2nd grade)














 Love your elegant twisted branches Emerson! (kinder)




I've done this lesson based on the Beautiful book Zen Shorts by John J. Muth a number of times. This book is a Treasure! It works well for a wide age range (K thru 4th grade) and the kids always seem to enjoy creating their collage pieces. My group started by creating a chalk pastel sky background. They painted a moon and then branches using watered down acrylic. While their backgrounds dried, they created their panda based on the book's main character, Stillwater. (He teaches his three neighbor children some wonderful life lessons through stories that have roots in Zen Buddhist literature.) Last, my class created their cherry blossoms using the ends of pencils dipped in red and white. Cut pandas were then glued to their backgrounds.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cuddly Koalas

 1st grade


 4th grade


 kinder


 2nd grade


 2nd grade



 1st grade


2nd grade


kinder


 kinder


I decided to stay on the continent of Australia with this mixed media Koala lesson. My daughter and I have been watching a wonderful series on Netflix called Dance Academy, filmed all round beautiful Sydney. This coupled with commercials for the "Koalafornia" exhibit at the San Diego Zoo clearly played a part in my choosing an Australian themed lesson. 

My K through 4th grade group created their koala portraits using chalk pastels and charcoal, smudging with their pointer fingers to blend. Since Eucalyptus trees are home, shelter and food for these cute marsupials, the children created branches and leaves with oil pastel and last a watercolor background. Koalas were cut out and glued to their colorful habitats.

my experiment

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Uluru Landscape Aboriginal Inspired Art

 4th grade


 2nd grade


 1st grade


 1st grade
reminds me of a stage with lights


Kinder

These mixed media paintings were inspired by a piece by Aboriginal artist, Danny Eastwood. You can find it on Flickr here. Uluru is a large sandstone monolithic rock in the middle of the Australian outback. Over 600 million years old, it is a holy place for the Anangu tribe of Aboriginal people who have been there over 10,000 years. 

Here's a link to the brief video I showed my class from Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOxVc2XVV7s

I thought this style of art would lend itself well to my new favorite "canvas", roofing felt. Basic drawings of "The Red Center", as it is nicknamed, were drawn in white chalk. I had the kids draw "copycat" lines for every line drawn to give spaces for our dot work. Oil pastel was used to fill in their larger spaces. These were rinsed in the sink, washing away all chalk. Children were given free reign for their acrylic dot-work designs.

Here you can see the white chalk design and oil pastel 
before rinsing with water 


Felt was blotted dry and dot prints were made 
with the backs of paint brushes and acrylics

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mother's Day Art Fun

Here are a few art projects my classes have been working on 
that would make nice Mother's Day gifts.




Ella - Pre-K
(Not supposed to pick favorites, but this piece is so lovely to me)

Thanks to Christie at Fine Lines for inspiring this art lesson! You can find her Snapdragons lesson here and her Springtime Lupines here. We started with a base of chalk pastel shaded lightly with the side of the chalk. I had some texture plates I've been wanting to put to use, so I had them use an oil pastel (like Christie) to create a darker texture on top. Stalks and leaves were painted with brushes and last finger painted blossoms from dark to white. We had enough time left over to add a hummingbird. (It is Draw, Paint "Collage" class after all) My Pre-K through 1st graders really enjoyed making these. Messy fun!

 Trivets using rubbing alcohol and Adirondack inks -
 A Pinterest favorite - link from The Crafted Life here!
I gave these several layers of spray protective coating and foam pieces on backside four corners - 
Voila, great usable art gift!

Eden - Pre-K

Jolie - Pre-K

Ella - Pre-K

Mya- 2nd grade

 Tea time collages with home made teabags (folded stapled paper with white thread) 
with mini messages for Moms

my experiment