Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Both these projects were either from or inspired by Art Projects for Kids. The holiday candles was a great 1 day project that I adapted from Kathy and had the children use their choice of or a mix of media: markers, watercolor and oil pastels. This candle piece was done by 3rd grade boy who really enjoyed creating an intricate background. I cheered him on to finish because I thought the end result would be so dynamic. I was right... nice work Nick!

The colorful winter tree was a project I originally adapted last year. It is created by decoupaging squares of colored tissue paper to triangles of board. The background is done with oil pastel and watercolor. The tree trunks can be created using oil pastel or cut textured paper. The final touch is a snowfall of hole-punched dots. My daughter gave this one to her teacher. This is a nice rainy (or snowy) day activity for over the winter break. I love it because the outcomes can be so different.

My best to you all this holiday season!Enjoy your time with family and friends.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Cardinals

Love this chubby guy shivering in the snowy night! Nice job Patrick (6)

Cardinals are a very popular art project this time of year. My students really enjoyed this since snow and Northern Cardinals are about as exotic as palm trees in Minnesota. So while we've had temperatures in the high 70's earlier this week, this project brought a bit of the winter holiday feel to us. Some of the children created a cool daytime sky, while others worked on a black nightime background. Some birds can be seen experiencing a light snowfall while others endure a full snowstorm. (Something tells me this goes against their better nature.) We created the cardinals using thin sharpie and watercolor and gluing the cut birds to their perch.
I loved this project because all ages felt successful as the direct line drawing lesson was so easy to follow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Palm Frond Masks

About 5 months ago I found a pristine palm frond base while walking my beloved mutts. As any art teacher I am always looking for ideas to use different materials. (Dumpster diving is not out of the question for me.) This looked like a great canvas for a primitive mask. It took me all these months to find enough fallen palm fronds for my 3rd thru 5th graders to create their own. (Only to find out last week that one of my student's parents is a landscaper and could get a boatload :D )

I love primitive art and have a small collection of masks from Africa and Indonesia I shared with the children. We kept our palettes limited and I encouraged repetition of shape. But I didn't over direct this lesson.

More to come...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Van Gogh Meets The Masai

I wish I could take credit for the idea for this project. But that would go to the art teacher at J. B. Watkins Elementary in Midlothian, Virginia. I saw the fantastic pieces on Artsonia one day while I was "wandering" around. I instantly loved their energy, brightness and texture.

To create these inspired pieces in my K-3rd class we first talked about Van Gogh's use of strong textured brushstrokes. I told them I didn't want any pre-mixing and to use brushstrokes to capture the feeling of movement. I also challenged them to create 2 different strokes for the sky and grass. The colorful clothing of the Masai people of Kenya were created using leftover textured paper. The shapes were very simple as we were creating abstract people. Finally they added simple features to capture different movements of their people.