Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scary Self Portraits

For our last project of this
art class session the children altered black and white copies of their faces using colored pencil and chalk pastel.(A great idea from Art Projects for Kids) They had a lot of fun turning themselves into vampires, ghouls and devils. Down right scary for a nice group of 2nd and 3rd graders!

Halloween Sunset Silouettes

These were created with a watercolor sunset, black arcylic painted tree and paper cut silouettes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Symmetrical Cut Vases with Tissue Flowers

Here's a project that uses a wide range of media (oil pastel, construction paper and tempera paints) as well as a range of skills. My Kindergarteners and 1st graders first cut a folded piece of paper into a shape to create a symmetrical vase. This could be folded in half and painted to create a symmetrical design or just painted freely. A table cloth in oil pastel was created and the vase glued. After drawing stems, the children were to create flowers using tissue paper. This they found to be the most challenging. For those frustrated trying to cut petal shapes, I showed them how to create scrunched flower shapes. They all are bold, bright and wonderfully different!

Day of the Dead Skulls - Kindergarten

To adapt the Dia de Los Muertos skull project for my kindergarteners I created a large simple skull shape to be traced in oil pastel. The paper was folded in half lengthwise. The children were instructed to create eye, nose and mouth shapes on the left side only. Next they were to create designs, flowers and shapes (on the left side again only). The paper was folded in half and rubbed with the back of our safety scissors to create a decorative symmetrical face shape. After going over the design again in oil pastel, the shapes were painted with watercolors.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dia de Los Muertos Skulls

Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and other Latin American countries in conjunction with All Saints Day, honoring loved ones who have passed on. It is not meant to be scary, but rather a day for the whole family to remember their loved ones. Scholars have traced this holiday back thousands of years to the Aztecs. My 2nd and 3rd graders did these fabulous pieces.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Salt Dough Owls

Need a "go to" project for rainy days with bored kids? Salt dough is easy to make and has endless possibities. Just 4 cups flour/ 1 cup salt/ and 1-2 cups water and you have enough dough for a variety of creations. My kindergartenders and 1st graders made these cute owls. After a simple lesson in shaping the dough bodies and pinching the ears and beaks, they created the eyes using the bottoms of glue sticks. I gave them toothpicks and encouraged them to create textures using the sides and the points. These baked for about 3 hours at 300*. The following week they painted them with acrylics and I gave them a coat of Mod Podge to seal them and give them a nice finish. These would make cute paper weights or maybe a little decoration in a houseplant.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Swimmy" Project

A good friend and mother of a boy in one of my classes lent me the children's book, "Swimmy" by Leo Lionni (published back in 1963). I like to create art lessons around some of the wonderful children's book illustrations. Lionni has a unique and mysterious style. After reading the story to the group we began our take on "Swimmy". First we sponge painted our sea background with blue and green. Next we dipped cotton balls in yellow, brown and white to create sand. To make our seaweed we painted cut doilies with blues and purples. A school of red fish were done with thumb and finger prints. And of course Swimmy himself, was done in black. A few children opted to give him some look alike family members. This was a very messy but fun project! Some of the Mom's recalled the book from their childhood which made it all the more meaningful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marshmallow and Toothpick Structures

This was the perfect art lesson for those children who may be creative but aren't as enthused about drawing and painting. Using only mini marshmallows and toothpicks the children were encouraged to build a structure of any kind. I gave them the tip that triangles held up better than cubes, but they were left to their own trial and error exercise. This was a hit throughout all my classes. It was great to see see some of the kids beam with pride at their success.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mexican Folk Art Flowers

This project was inspired by a post from Painted Paper. I loved the graphic and bold flowers on black paper. My Pre-K through 1st. Graders spent day 1 painting bold flowers using pastel shades onto black paper. The following week they used oil pastels to make graphic accents.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Winter Birch Trees with Warm or Cool Skies

Yet another wonderful idea from Deep Space Sparkle! My 2nd and 3rd graders first chose whether they wanted a warm or a cool sky. We went over again what exactly this meant. After decoupaging the ripped tissue sky onto our 11X14 posterboard, they cut birch tree shapes out of white card stock. They were encouraged to vary the lengths and the widths to give the winter forest some dimension. Shadows and details were added and then the trees glued to the background. Lastly they painted diagnal shadows cast from the trees and optionally some growth from the snow. I think the results are so striking.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Impressionist Trees Using Primary Colors

These beautiful trees were created using only primary colors, "double dipping" their brushes to create trees in green, orange and purple. I love how this project was a lesson in color mixing for my Pre K's - 1st Graders, as well as a quick lesson in Impressionism. I brought out the book,"Lydia in Monet's Garden" to show some examples of the strong display of brush strokes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Q-Tip Skeletons

I love the fun energy and individuality these have with such a simple medium as q-tips and paper. A fun project for Halloween time!

Picasso Style Self Portraits

My 2nd and 3rd graders used oil pastel to explore the world of cubism in these self portraits.