Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pop Art Chimps

Today I had a 2 hour Animal Art Fun workshop for children ages 6-12. This wide age range posed a challenge for me to create projects appropriate for 1st graders thru 6th. I thought these multi media pop art chimps were basic enough for my younger students, yet would work well for my middle schoolers. I gave the children acrylics in blue, yellow, orange and hot pink with no water to clean their brushes. I encouraged them to start with the lightest color - yellow, and fill their board with color. We discussed which overlapping color combos would create beautiful colors and which would create a muddy look (blue and orange) that we were trying to avoid with this particular project. From there, they could approach their painting any way they wished. Once the bases were dry, (thanks again to my niece with blow dryer to speed things up) the children followed a basic direct line drawing to create their chimpanzees in charcoal. I encouraged them to fill up their page to create bold pop art portraits.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all much happiness over the Holiday Season!
Enjoy your time spent with family and friends!

Savannah, 10

My example

I had a Holiday Art Fun class earlier in the week with a group of children ages 5-8. They created painted Grinch portraits and some cute reindeer based on this piece I found on Etsy. With 2 hours to complete 2 pieces ready to take home, I didn't get a chance to take photos. (I even enlisted the help of my niece to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer.)

The children did a direct line drawing that they outlined in Sharpie and then painted their reindeer and sky. Once dry, they used oil pastel to add pine branches, snowflakes and other details. They had the option of hanging Christmas balls from their reindeer antlers. Most were content with a straightforward portrait.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Landscapes with Van Gogh Inspired Accents

These pieces by my 1st and 2nd graders were created with a tempera sponge brushed sky, painted trees and oil pastel Van Gogh inspired details. The last touch was a snow storm effect using a flicked paint brush of watered down white tempera, charcoal cast tree shadows and of course the option of an added snowman. We may have a forecast of 75* for Christmas day, but these pieces have me in the holiday spirit. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Camel Portraits with "Magic Carpet" Backgrounds

Sierra, 1st grade

Breanna, 2nd grade

Paige, 2nd grade

Brendon, 2nd grade

Lacie, 2nd grade

Luc, 2nd grade

Alexa, 1st grade

Zoe, 2nd grade

Hank, 2nd grade

Scott, 1st grade

I was inspired by both these camel portraits from a secondary school in Switzerland as well as some great magic carpets at Use Your Coloured Pencils, Georgetown Elementary and Princess Artypants. I thought the two would go together well. In the end, I decided to use a project based on Gordon Hopkins pattern designs we did last week as our magic carpets. I thought the bold oil pastel designs and colors made a fun backdrop for our contour camels. (These were created by taking 3 sheets of colored construction paper, folding them in half and making six different patterns using oil pastels, and then cutting them up and rearranging the squares.)

The children chose between a large or regular sheet of tan construction paper for their camel. From there we followed a direct line drawing lesson based loosely on this beautiful drawing I saw on Pinterest. What wonderfully individual interpretations my 1st and 2nd graders created. Love their personalities! They added details with oil pastel and could use pastel and charcoal to add light and shadow smudges. The camels were cut out and glued to their "magic carpet" designs.
(As always, virtual mat and frame are courtesy of Picnik.com. I can't help it, the graphic designer in me loves a polished presentation.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Polar Bears with Northern Lights

Alexa - 1st grade

my experiment

Since I only see my classes for four weeks now, I really try to combine lessons when possible. So my Northern Lights with Polar Bear Portraits was a great combo lesson. We made our polar bear portraits first on blue construction paper with white pastel and charcoal. Next we created colorful Northern Light shows with chalk pastels on black construction paper and then pine tree silhouettes were painted with black tempera. Before adding our cut polar bear portraits, the last touch was a smattering of snow fall dots using the end of our paint brushes dipped in white tempera.
These pieces were created by 1st and 2nd graders.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gordon Hopkins Inspirations

This example was intended to be my second Gordon Hopkins inspiration. I had the children create six different patterns on three different colored construction papers (which I folded in half). We talked about Hopkins' use of repetitive plant designs, fish and geometric shapes in his art. These designs were cut up into squares and the children glued them to a board to create a new and interesting composition. I ended up using them for our camel magic carpet backgrounds. I hope to try this again with a group of older elementary students with the designs as the total subject.

Pinterest has been a wonderful source for me to discover new artists. (New to me that is.) Last week I stumbled upon the wonderful work of American artist, Gordon Hopkins. (Who now lives and works in Belgium.) I was instantly taken by his bold designs in oil stick on large linen canvas. You can't admire his work without a mere mention of Matisse.

To create our inspired pieces, I had the children use 3 acrylic colors to divide their board any way they wished. We put them up to dry for about 20 minutes while we worked on another project. We looked at this piece and this by Hopkins and talked about the play of color, organic shapes and pattern in his work. They used oil pastel on top of the acrylic base to add those elements in their own pieces. I encouraged them to add white and black somewhere in their artwork to really make it "pop." These pieces were created by children ages 6-9.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ton Schulten Inspired Landscapes

(my experiment)

The first time I saw the work of Dutch artist, Ton Schulten, I fell instantly in love with his bright, rich color palettes and the way his landscapes look like building blocks of color intersected vertically and horizontally.

This was a a simple and quick lesson for my students to do in our last 25 minutes of class, inspired by Schulten's work. We used long black sheets of construction paper. White would be great, and would give this project a softer feel. I had the children choose between black or white oil pastel to create a simple landscape with trees and hills. I had them divide their work a few times horizontally and at least once vertically. They could switch colors (using chalk or oil pastels) when their shapes were divided or could keep the same color. Several children asked to add an outline of glue to their finished work to create even more of a bold line. I like their playful compositions and bold use of color. (ages 6-9)