Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paper Bag Walrus Collage

I love to do animal collages with my classes. This walrus was created using a rectangle from a brown paper grocery bag. Open up the bag completely. Each bag will give you 2 rectangles. First we did a direct line drawing of the walrus head in pencil. We went over our lines in permanent marker or oil pastel. I had the children make lots of folds and wrinkles to give their walrus character. Next we crumpled up our paper and flattened it out 2 or 3 times to give our walruses more of that tough wrinkly skin which acts as their coat of armor. This part they of course loved. Next, I had some watery brown paint for them to paint their walrus. I told them to leave some brown paper showing to give their walrus even more dimension. We learned that walruses sometimes have pink spots as their bodies warm. So the children could add some pink as well. The walrus's whiskers act as sensors on the ocean floor, helping them find food. Our whiskers were painted with some yellowish-white tempera and a small brush. We also learned that walruses have very poor eyesight. Their eyes are a brownish red which we added with oil pastel. To make the eyes look more realistic we dipped the back of our small paint brush in white paint and added a couple reflection dots. The tusks (which grow continuously from birth) were cut from a folded rectangle of ivory colored paper. This allowed 2 identicle tusks which were glued onto our dry paper. On a separate piece of posterboard, the children painted the icy water with lots of white and some blues and purple using horizontal strokes. After our work was dry, we simply glued our walrus to the background. I did this project with K thru 3rd. And as you can see, each child's walrus has their own distinct personality. Some look like young pups and others like wise old guys! :)

Warm and Cool Lines

I got the idea for this simple but beautiful art project from a wonderful art teacher on Flickr: Wimomz.

Since we are focusing on the major elements of art this session (line, shape, space, value, color, texture and form) I thought this was an effective lesson to emphasize a few of them.

Using oil pastel on black paper or board create a few types of lines for the ocean using cool colors. I am going to challenge the children to use as many as they can think of: squiggly, swirling, flowing, dotted ect. Some can be thin and others colored in to create thick lines. Using warm colors, do the same for the sun and sky. Next using metallic tempera paint add more varieties of lines in the cool ocean and warm sky.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tar Beach

My classes will be doing a collage project based on the book, Tar Beach by Faith Ringold. It follows the 8 year old Cassie, as she lets the stars take her wherever she wants to go. She claims the buildings as her own as she hovers above New York City. I especially like this passage:

"anyone can fly. All you need is somewhere to go that you can't get to any other way. The next thing you know, you're flying among the stars."

To create our collages the children will first paint a base of deep blue for the nightime sky. Next using metallic gold or silver paint they will paint a simple bridge with white lights. Squares and rectangles of colored construction paper will act as buildings. Windows can be draw using permanent marker and oil pastel. Since the book was based on Ringold's story quilt, I will offer lots of different squares of scrapbook paper to create quilt-like borders. Lastly I will take a picture of each child to cut out so they can fly high among the stars above their city.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Hand Trees" for Earth Day

For Earth Day on April 22nd I decided to do this simple hand tree project. The children would first trace their forearm and hand for the tree trunk and branches using patterned scrapbook paper. Next 2 sheets of textured paper are created using combs and clipper guards with tempera paint. After these are dry, the children cut out simple leaf shapes to adorn their tree. One of the girls in my Kindergarten class said she "had" to do a background. Since this is a private afterschool art class I can and try to give the children more freedom and choices to express themselves. In this case I was so glad to have her create this rich and beautiful oil pastel background of rolling hills. I think the results are stunning (and much more creative than my original idea.) Thanks for reminding me about the creative process Tess- your work is Beautiful!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Laurel Burch Cat Faces

There are a number of wonderful Laurel Burch projects out there on the blogs. She has a great style for kids to enjoy and mimic since her art is so colorful, graphic and bold.

For this project, we are going to focus on the cat face. After following a simple direct line drawing lesson, the children will adorn their cat with a their choice of a variety of simple graphic shapes: stripes, swirls, triangles ect..all with oil pastel. As always, I will encourage the children to press hard with their oil pastels as it really makes the drawing POP! My daughter did this piece which takes on an almost Mexican Aztec art feel. For the final touch, simple geometric shapes are cut from solid color scrapbook paper or construction paper and glued to a black posterboard background.

Laurel Burch is always a favorite amongst the children and I'm really looking forward to many beautiful inspirations to post in the next few weeks.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mixed-Up Hockney Inspired Portrait

I did this project some time ago with a couple of my 2nd and 3rd grade classes. I introduced them to artist David Hockney and his wonderful cubist style photography pieces. I particularly like Hockney's photo collage of his mother.

To create our inspired pieces, I took 5 close up pictures of each child's facial features. I ordered double prints so each child could put together a portrait of themself as well as a crazy mixed-up portrait using classmates features put together. It was a big hit and this piece in my house still gets a lot of laughs. The children love to try and name each of the boys in the picture.