Recycled Cardboard Butterflies Inspired by David Gerstein

7:23 PM
 Skyler, 3rd grade

 Summer, 4th grade


Fiona, 3rd grade 


 Clare, Kindergarten


 Miss Mary, 49  :)

Pinterest is a constant cource of inspiration, from my next "must read", to the perfect crockpot soup,  and on and on. But what I have really enjoyed is stumbling across new (to me) artists that inspire me. Insert David Gerstein. This Israeli born painter and sculptor creates colorful, dynamic pieces full of movement, life and often humor. His outdoor sculptures can be found all over the world. Yup, I'm completely smitten! Here is a link to his metal butterfly sculptures that inspired this project:
http://www.gersteinart.com/animal-kingdom/butterflies.

For this project we utilized recycled cardboard from large boxes and extra large pizza boxes. I had the children draw half of the butterfly shape and used it as a template to cut a second symmetrical wing. They also drew a simple body separately. This project was all about layers. They painted large, simple shapes on their cut bases with a limited color palette. They could add an extra layer of painted shapes in a complimentary or analagous color. On a sheet of watercolor paper, the children created wet on wet dots that were cut out and glued to each wing. I also offered recycled painted paper for them to cut into ovals or circles. These were glued down in a symmetrical manner (or not if they chose to go another route). We added finishing touches with black glue, puff paint and even sequins for some. This was my first time using puff paint and I can see what all the fuss is about. So much fun....like icing a cake!
These pieces measure about 2' X 2 1/2'. I glued a piece of twine to the back so they could be hung.

Here are steps to create one using recycled cereal boxes. This would be a fun project for Earth Day! Ask children to bring in a cereal boxes. You can utilize scrap painted paper or even magazine pages for collaged spots. Instead of puff paint, create colored glue using tempera or acrylic paint shaken with used glue bottles.You can even challenge yourself to use the nearly gone bottles of acrylic and tempera paint (as I did) to paint these. Children can make small circle print details using dried up markers or old pencils dipped in paint. There are lots of fun possibilities here to use what's on hand.



Layer one - acrylic painted shapes in a limited color palette

Painted papers from the recycling bin for collaged spots

Miss Mary's finished cereal box butterfly 

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